A guest blog entry by Fisherc (student, world citizen)
In the United States legal system people are considered bad simply because they break the rules of society. When they are prosecuted they are removed from our society, put into a correctional center that is guarded, a place many people term as prison. When they have served enough time to compensate for the punishment, they are allegedly rehabilitated and released.
Is this system doing right in any way?
There are many flaws in the system described above, and also in the society as a whole. Starting at the beginning, doing wrong isn’t exactly wrong. It can just be something that is outside the norm of the current society. Removing someone who breaks the rules of society from society, by putting them in a correctional facility, clear doesn’t work. For instance, “about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years” (Cooper, Durose, & Snyder, 2014).
Taking them out of society is only a temporary fix, it is not a correction and does not correct the people who need it.
On top of that, social label theory is added to this. People who are released from the correctional institutions are label as felons or parolees and are required to identify under these terms on everything. If we had any true trust in our rehabilitation system there would be no label added to the person to identify with. It is clear that the current system is flawed and needs restructuring. I don’t have the answers with regard to what social measures and rehabilitation measures need to happen in order to find a better solution to this. I just know the current system is clearly broken and we need to do something.
Bring on the ideas.
Cooper, Alexia, Matthew Durose, and Howard Snyder. 2014. “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010″. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 22 April 2014. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4986