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Big Need of Prison Reformation

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There are many prisons in the U.S and the Government spends billions of dollars on them each year,there are also many prisoners, some innocent some guilty and many who are habitual violators.So does that question the effects of prison or is the government wasting money on prison.As a prisoner you may have 3 outcomes when it comes to prison you could be free, you could get sentenced or you could be punished by death penalty. Since 1973 according to Google, 144 people on death row have been exonerated. As a percentage of all death sentences, that's just 1.6 percent. But if the innocence rate is 4.1 percent, more than twice the rate of exoneration, the study suggests what most people assumed but dreaded.

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An untold number of innocent people have been executed.This country needs Prison Reformation because of the unreliability of the prison system.Another leading cause for Prison Reformation is overcrowding and From the collected data, the Initiative found that the incarceration system in this country holds more than 2.4 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities 3,283 local jails, that is more than enough people in one jail or prison.

Although Prison Reform won't fix every problem it could be a start.Many people that don't believe that the prison doesn't need reforming may say that most of the inmates are guilty, that is true but most of the guilty ones made a mistake when they were younger and regretted it when they were older.For example,Daniel Manville he is an example of an arrest gone wrong ,Daniel Manville served three years and four months in jail for manslaughter. While he was in jail he studied the legal profession, earning two college degrees. After he got out he went to law school. He passed the bar, representing both prison guards and inmates in civil court cases. He currently teaches law at Michigan State University.Daniel Manville proves that no matter the circumstances, anyone can turn their lives around and become a success and an influence

Prison has had many encounters of wrongful convictions many of them were underaged.For example, according to an Article by (Wegman, J), George Stinney, a 14-year old boy, was electrocuted in South Carolina in 1944 for the murder of Betty June Binnicker, age 11, as well as Mary Emma Thames, age 8. The arrest occurred on March 23, 1944 in Alcolu, inside of Clarendon County, South Carolina. 

Apparently, the two girls rode their bikes past Stinney’s house where they asked him and his sister a question; after this encounter, the girls went missing and were found dead in a ditch the following morning. After an hour of being interrogated, a deputy stated that Stinney confessed to the murder. This shows how the judicial system is not always reliable. He was the youngest person executed in the United States. More than 70 years later, a judge threw out the conviction, calling it a 'great injustice”.That proves how unreliable the Prison is, he was 14 and he was electrocuted, as if he was an 30 year old man.

Another reason for Prison Reformation is the money spent on a unreliable non consistent prison system.According to the Vera Institute of Justice, incarceration costs an average of more than $31,000 per inmate, per year, nationwide. In some states, it's as much as $60,000. Taxpayers foot the bill for feeding, housing and securing people in state and federal penitentiaries.That is an extraordinary amount to be spending on an prison.Prison spending is still a fraction of overall pre-K through 12 education spending States spend $534 billion on prisons and $125 billion on schools each year.The government is basically stating that they care more about sending people to a prison system that might wrongfully convict someone or might put a innocent person in prison.

Prison Reformation is also needed because of the harsh treatment of it’s prisoners and injustice, Mississippi has been known for decades for its hard-line approach to criminal justice and is considered by prison reform advocates to be one of the toughest places in America to be a prisoner.In recent years, the state has faced several lawsuits alleging inhumane treatment. One forced the closing of a unit at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, where several violent deaths had occurred. Another led to the shuttering of a juvenile lockup. A third uncovered neglect and abuse at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility for mentally ill prisoners run by a private corporation ,And Mississippi spends less on health care for inmates than many other states.

A Pew Charitable Trusts study found that Mississippi spent $3,770 on health care per inmate in 2015, compared to a national median of $5,720.For example according to the article(Schuppe, J) “16 prisoners died in one month in Mississippi Their families want to know why” a girl named Rathmann, 33, died Aug. 23 at a hospital in Jackson, and her family says the state hasn’t given a full explanation of what happened. Prison officials told her father, Kent Rathmann, that Nicole, a mother who had struggled with meth addiction, died of an aneurys.This shows a need of prison reformation because it shows the unreliability of the prison system by not telling the parents what happened to their own daughter.She died in the hands of the government so this tells everybody, the government doesn't serve and protect it only puts innocent people behind bars and treat them like an caged animal.

Overall the government spends to much money on prison and overcrowds several prisons. They also wrongfully convicts too many innocent people and puts to many innocent people to the death penalty and it is time for a change.When will they put an end to this mayhem so innocent people like George stinney a 14 year old boy won’t die so young or people like Steven Barrett who was wrongfully convicted.The government waste money on the unreliable prison system and the justice system serves no justice to the number of innocent people that they have put behind bars.What type of country are we if we sit back and let this happen, so us as citizens have to make a stand for what's right.  

Works cited

  1. Associated Press. (2020, January 2). In Mississippi, Prison Reform Idea Could Help the State's Dire Bottom Line. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-mississippi-prison-reform-idea-could-help-the-states-dire-bottom-line/2020/01/02/e5fa9f90-2d5b-11ea-bcb3-ac6482c4a92f_story.html
  2. Carson, E. A., & Sabol, W. J. (2012). Aging of the State Prison Population, 1993-2013. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/aspp9313.pdf
  3. Death Penalty Information Center. (n.d.). Innocence: List of Those Freed from Death Row. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/innocence-database/list-those-freed-death-row
  4. Kao, G., & Thompson, K. (2021). The Economic Costs of Mass Incarceration in the US. The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/HP_KaoThompson_IncarcerationCosts_Final.pdf
  5. National Institute of Justice. (2014). The Effectiveness of Incarceration as a Criminal Sanction. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/244205.pdf
  6. Prison Policy Initiative. (2021). Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2021. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2021.html
  7. Schuppe, J. (2021, September 6). 16 prisoners died in one month in Mississippi. Their families want to know why. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/16-prisoners-died-one-month-mississippi-their-families-want-know-n1278557
  8. Thistle, S. (2021, January 15). Maine's Massive Prison Reform Law is About to Become Reality. Portland Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2021/01/15/maines-massive-prison-reform-law-is-about-to-become-reality/
  9. US Department of Justice. (2015). Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' Use of Restrictive Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness. https://www.justice.gov/archives/dag/file/850036/download
  10. Wegman, J. (2014, June 16). America’s Youngest Executioner: George Stinney, Jr. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/opinion/americas-youngest-executioner.html

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