Is the United States government encouraging a war on crime or a war on criminals? This is the question that I often ask myself when confronted with the fractured imprisonment system of the United States. It seems as if the U.S. government is focusing more time and resources on enforcing punishment measures towards criminals rather than focusing their resources to correct their behavior. If a criminal’s time was spent in correctional facilities and environments in which officials attempt to help them as individuals instead of constantly punishing them for their crimes, the criminal’s sentence could be effectively reduced and could enter society with a mindset of improving and bettering themselves. Some of these punishments, such as solitary confinement, are demoralizing and can be seen as a form of torture to these criminals.
Upon entering the prison system, the criminal’s life is left entirely into the prison’s hands. An inmate cannot refute or appeal any decision that prison officials want to pursue, which leads to unfavorable conditions for the inmate.To a certain extent, it almost seems as if the government is giving up criminals as they enter the prison system. They are labeled as convicts and are often viewed as lesser beings in society. These criminals are literally separated from society by walls, not to mention currently, America has an extremely large gap between the number of incarcerated criminals within their prison systems and the number of incarcerated criminals in any other country, holding 25% of all imprisoned criminals. Not only is this statistic indicative of the amount of inmates in the United State’s prison system, it is also indicative of the amount of money spent on keeping these criminals in prison. Longer sentences mean that the inmate is required to be continuously fed, watched, suitably provided for his medical needs, etc. Regarding North Carolina, criminal justice professionals have been gathering in Cary in order to discuss and identify strategies to eliminate or reduce mass incarceration and its devastating impact on American communities. Mass incarceration is a pressing issue that requires immediate solutions that are not being examined or discussed enough to be implemented. Americas prison systems need change and I hope that through my future blogs, you’ll be inclined to raise awareness for this issue.