Hard Core Truth

Is Today's Incarceration An Effective Crime Deterrent?

Crime: Is Today's Incarceration An Effective Crime Deterrent?

The major question that comes to my mind regarding crime statistics is "Why is it that the number of people that are incarcerated in the U.S. is rising at an unprecedented rate?" Analyst say that the crime rate has remained relatively flat over the last 15 years, but today we are seeing the most rapid growth in our nation's prison population since the first prisons were established in the 19th century. Some say that this incarceration increase is due to the crack down on drug users. Other say that it is due to the fact that sentenced offenders are more likely to be sent to prison for there crimes than ever before. But I can tell you first hand why our prisons are over populating. I use to be a correctional officer at a maximum security prison in Riverside, Texas. The reason our prisons are over populating is because incarceration is no longer an effective crime deterrent.

  1. Incarceration is not the same as it used to be:

    1. 30 years ago people who watched over inmates were called guards.

      • Today that are called correctional officers.

    2. 30 years ago prisons were a horrible place to be, you were forced to work all day. The prisoners did as they were told, because if they did not, they would be physically beaten by other inmates or guards, and they were often killed.

      • Today work is an option and the most severe punishment while in prison is the taking away of privileges that they should not have in the first place.

    3. 30 years ago, citizens perceived prison as a horrible environment; they feared breaking the law and the prison population was extremely low.

      • Today the average citizen perceives prison as a lazy man's paradise, and prison population is at an all time high.

  2. What element has made the difference?

    Clue: 4 letter word that begins with an F:

    1. Laws are most effective when the consequences of breaking them are Feared.

    2. Consequences will be feared only if they involve stringent punishment

    3. The incarceration of today is not a stringent enough punishment to effectively deter crime. If it were we would not have so many new offenders and so many repeat offenders.

Prisoners of Today have too many rights and privileges that lead to ineffective incarceration. We must bring fear back into the system and we can only do this with stringent punishment. Lets bring back some of the crime deterring qualities of the prisons of 30 years ago. Let's make incarceration an effective crime deterrent as it once was. That is the Hard Core Truth.

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