Race, Ethnicity in Criminal Justice

Comment on the following statement: An alternative approach to just warehousing or lock’em up offenders is required to help them with individual reform goals. I think the following should determine the decisions and actions of long-term planning in corrections.

27 Comments

  1. Kayla Wieder

    In my opinion, alternatives to incarceration that could really help offenders become reformed would be to create personalized programs for people who are in the system. Maybe while incarcerated they can work with someone who will help put together a plan for their life when they get out, and can help them start working on it while incarcerated. If the prisoner has something to look forward to and keep him busy when he gets out, he will be more successful, instead of going back to the lifestyle of crime.

    This will also give the offender a sense of accomplishment and pride in knowing he is taking charge of his life and doing something to change and possibly be a role model for others to change.

  2. Samuel Lemley

    I think that perhaps the most important rehabilitation program that can be offered to an offender is a work program. Many offenders are uneducated and have no job skills, which resulted in them committing crime. If offenders can be given jobs while they are incarcerated, then when they are released they will have learned a skill and developed a strong work ethic. The work programs would keep them occupied, give them a sense of purpose, and most important give them skills they can take with them back into society. Work programs would be much more effective than just locking the offenders up in a cell all day, where they will just be bored and more likely to get into trouble.

  3. Adriane Wisner

    I believe that the way to benefit an inmate most is to promote activities that will help them once they are out of prison. Education is very important and programs that can help prisoners gain their GEDs, college degrees and life skills is the best way to rehabilitate. Learning how to go about getting a job, finding a house and raising a family are practical skills that are more likely to keep people from returning than harsh punishments. Because there is so much down time it is also crucial that they are being productive with their time. One last component I believe so successful rehabilitation is finding a way to repay the community/victim/family of victim and to try to feel remorse and take responsibility for their actions. All these things are practical, productive ways of working towards a somewhat normal life instead of sitting in a cell and feeling angry and hopeless.

  4. Warehousing prisoners is a very unproductive solution with very few pros and many cons. Keeping prisoners busy in PIE or other work can benefit society and the prisoner. A important variable of recidivism is ex cons don’t have employment opportunity. Teaching them a trade like being a electrician can help them land a stable job and keep them away from crime. this can also help the prison as they will be able to fix things in the prison that would cost money, this can go for a lot of other trades and labor work. They will also have a legitimate job to pay restitution this will also help the victim, this can be a win win situation for all of society. Knowing that communities with higher racial minorities are hit harder by the prison system, teaching the prisoners who will eventually go back will help these communities in the future as well with more people contributing to their family’s if they have learned a use-full trade.

  5. Lexi Kos

    I believe it is important to have programs within the prison system for prisoners to learn and take advantage of. This especially would help prisoners learn the proper ways of how society lives, because they are isolated from the real world. It would also benefit them in the long run if prisoners were given an opportunity to gain their GED, college degrees, and job skills for if and when they get out of prison. Without any of these programs and rehabilitation the prisoner, if they were to be released, would struggle with being in the community. By struggling in the community, the previously locked up inmate could possibly hate the way society is and eventually commit another crime putting them back in prison. This tends to happen because the inmate feels more comfortable in prison rather than being out in the community.

  6. Sarah McFadden

    I believe that there are definitely certain people that need to do some time in jail. It is important that people who commit crimes be held accountable for the crimes they committed; however, I believe that while they are in prison we should provide them with rehabilitation and treatment. An offender is never going to become successfully reformed if you use the locking up and throwing away the key method. One of the most important things we can do in the prison system is offer the prisoner education. A lot of people in the prison system don’t have an education and if we start by providing them with education, this will help them be more successful for when they get out of jail. I believe that work programs are also something that prisons should provide because work programs give prisoners job skills. It is important that prisoners get job skills so they can also use these skills when they get out of jail. Work programs also give offenders a sense of accountability because they need to be able to hold on to the job and be a good worker in order to keep the job. I believe rehab and drug treatment is also tremendously important so that people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol can start to work on their dependencies. It is critical that offenders with drug problems get treatment because it is considered a disease and needs to be treated like any other medical problem. I believe it’s important to realize that we don’t give up on trying to treat offenders. It is never a waist of money trying to help an offender better his or her life. Once the prisoners get out of prison, they will now have the skills that have been provided to them in prison to try and live a better life. By providing treatment and rehabilitation, at least we will know that we have done all we can in trying to help them and what they do with it from there is their decision.

  7. Kevin CCJS375

    my comment Warehousing prisoners is a very unproductive solution with very few pros and many cons. Keeping prisoners busy in PIE or other work can benefit society and the prisoner. A important variable of recidivism is ex cons don’t have employment opportunity. Teaching them a trade like being a electrician can help them land a stable job and keep them away from crime. this can also help the prison as they will be able to fix things in the prison that would cost money, this can go for a lot of other trades and labor work. They will also have a legitimate job to pay restitution this will also help the victim, this can be a win win situation for all of society. Knowing that communities with higher racial minorities are hit harder by the prison system, teaching the prisoners who will eventually go back will help these communities in the future as well with more people contributing to their family’s if they have learned a use-full trade.

  8. Jessica Perry

    Warehousing prisoners or just locking them up may work for certain crimes, but for most, they do not. For example, the Martha Stewart case, she probably is the type of person who doesn’t need any help to be reintegrated back into society because she already had a place to go when she got out of jail that is a pretty stable environment. However, most prisoners, people in jail, and people in juvenile hall, need help on how to reintegrate into the outside world. Programs that help people gain their GED while incarcerated and sometimes even take college classes can be really beneficial to the prisoners and their self esteem. Boosting self confidence is important, because somewhere deep down, the reason they committed the crimes is because of a lack of appreciation for themselves and their capabilities.

  9. Kaitlin Nicolls

    Warehousing prisoners seems to be a very old and less effective method. From societies point of view, locking them away is seen as justice at its best. People like to know that those who have committed crimes are being punished properly. However this is only adding to prison overcrowding and costing tax payers a ton of money. This method also leads to greater recidivism rates as prisoners do not know what to do with themselves upon release. Prison programs such as job training and life skills are crucial in order to reintegrate them back into society.

  10. Amanda Ford

    Locking up offenders does not help anyone, it just creates future problems. Looking at other countries that take a more rehabilitative approach to sentencing shows us there is a way to lessen recidivism. A major component our criminal justice system lacks is rehabilitation. The lack of available jobs for offenders after release has been proven to be a strong reason why people re-offend. Once released many offenders have no social capital and employment is one way to gain this. Without a job offenders are sometimes left in situations where they must fall back on old habits to survive. If our system could provide job training and education it could increase the amount of offenders being employed after release and later reduce the recidivism rates in the country. This is just one way to make a minor dent but combined with a number of effective ways to change the course of this system, a difference can be made.

  11. AnaMarie Falzon

    Warehousing prisoners is an ineffective method for the majority of prisoners. Warehousing approach main goal is to deter crime by locking the offender up, and supplying time to think about and change their behavior. However, this tool does little to implement change in the offender’s life, because they are unable to gain skills to reintegrate themselves into society upon release. Rehabilitation approach is a better and effective option to create the change for the offenders. This approach allows the offenders to partake in GED classes and work programs. These programs enhance their marketable skills; these skills might not have been obtainable in society pushing the individual into a life of crime. The skills that they gain from these work programs are likely to increase their chances of getting a job and becoming a productive member of society because they have gained a vital skill. Many prisoners who go through these programs also begin to take responsibility for their actions and have remorse for their crimes, making them less likely to recommit a crime. One of the main benefits of the rehabilitation approach is it lessens the chance of recidivism. The correction system strives to change the prisoners’ behavior through various methods of deterrence, so they would no longer be a threat to society’s safety. Lessening the chance of recidivism is ideal because it will also lessen the burden of overcrowding. Rehabilitation is very beneficial to our criminal justice system, and should be considered to be implemented more in our system.

  12. Ashley Shanks

    The simple old “lock em up” program that the Criminal Justice system is still being used it clearly not effective. Being as our prison rates are through the roof, and the recidivism rate is still pretty high at around 60%, I think it is safe to assume that while the prisoners are in jail, they are not getting what they need out of it to be able to survive back in the real world so abruptly. Whether the republicans like it or not, these people need to be gaining something from being in jail so they can become productive members of society when they return, if not they will end up back where they started. Learning simple job tasks, or obtaining a GED is a step in the right direction to where the people need to be when getting out. The stigma of jail has to be a place of discipline I totally agree with, where I believe it can be both. We can’t have it so lax that going to prison seems like no big deal, but at the same time them not gaining anything from their stay is only hurting our tax dollars and our communities. Maybe something about a strike program we could start to use. The first time in jail/prison give them the opportunity to gain a skill or educate them, but the people who keep coming back, limit their rights because clearly they were given an opportunity to straighten out after prison and they did not. That way, we can separate the hardworking from the lazy. In closing, it is clear that the criminal justice system is in desperate need of action towards a solution to this ongoing problem. The question, how can they present it to the public in a way that they pass it through legislation?

  13. Jose Carlos Hernandez

    I believe there should be an alternative job set to offenders while in the system. There should be a selection of for example five different job routes that a offender may take, this way they can pursue something of their interest. Most of the offenders come from a low economic lifestyle, others don’t have a high education or a job. By allowing them to participate on job skills, they will be able to gather experience and start setting a goal once they get out. This i hope will give them a different perspective on life and start putting their knowledge to work on the outside world. This will also prevent violence inside prison since most will be working with others to get the job done as a team.

  14. Cameron Davis

    It is crucial for the change in the criminal justice system to take dramatic measures into the alternative choices for inmates that are sentenced to prison time. One dramatic change I think we should implement a prison time portfolio. For example if the inmate doesn’t have GED make it part of his time at the prison to go through with the program and successfully pass it in order to be let go when their time is up. Make them commit into programs that would give them life lessons and skills to contribute to society for when time as an inmate is completed. Upon completing all these programs, when the inmate is going to the hearing for possible release they can look at the portfolio and determine if their stay at the prison has been successful and they think that they have been rehabilitated enough to go out to society and start contributing rather than go back to life of crime after they have been released. Those are just some idea’s that could possibly help reduce the amount of offenders coming back to prison after being released.

  15. Amber Bryant

    I think that we should offer alternatives to the currently unsuccessful form of justice. We have people that are locked up for things that they were unaware were illegal. There are those who try and redo their lives after they get out of prison and can’t do so because they have no work history, have committed felonies, and are uneducated. If we could continue to do a work program so that those who are in prison could create connections that would help them once they get out of prison. Education and connections could be something so simple to us, however, it could change the lives of someone who would have never thought to get out of this life style.

  16. Amanda

    Warehousing prisoners is an ineffective method for a lot of the prisoners that are locked up today. The approach the system takes is locking up them up and making them sit and think about what they have done and hoping that by locking them up will deter them from reoffending when in reality that is not true. There needs to be an effective change put into place that allows prisoners to positively better themselves and their lives for when they get out of the system. Giving them the ability to learn a trade is a good way to help them get a job when they get out of jail and prevent them from going down the same path over and over again.

  17. Patrick Scott

    Believing that the same lock em up method that has been used for years is somehow going to go from, ineffective and hurtful to inmates, to effectively making them learn from their mistakes and helping them get back into society, is not realistic. There needs to be a new program that will rehabilitate prisoners and right now it is just deteriorate prisoners from the inside out.

  18. Kelly Laughlin

    I don’t necessarily believe in the ‘lock em up’ approach to offenders. I am personally a fan of methods like the Missouri Model, which is becoming popular in juvenile justice systems. This time of model is based on positive reinforcement and goal-setting. i think it is very helpful in teaching individuals how to create positive, future goals for themselves. These systems also have a strong bias in peer support. There is very little interference from supervisors and staff and is very much run by the offenders themselves. The results from methods like this are overwhelmingly positive in favor of the offenders, their recidivism rates are drastically lower than in a traditional reform approach.

  19. Danilo

    I think that the most important rehabilitation program that can be offered to an offender is a work program. As soon as an offender leaves prison, the best thing that he can do to stabilize his life once again is find a stead job. A stead job leads to a steady life.

  20. Cory Backovich

    I think a huge alternative to warehousing of prisoners should be restorative justice. Utilizing this approach as a form of “punishment” can bring about a common understanding between victims, offenders, and the community. Ideally, there should be a face to face meeting between victim and offender with a moderator. This is where a punishment to better the offender is decided upon by the victim so long as the goal is for the betterment of the victim, offender and community. Studies have shown that this type of justice can be more effective form to prevent recidivism rates because it brings about a common understanding between those that were victimized and those that were offending. Due to this, their sentences tend to be more focused on rehabilitation and reformation while also seeing the true consequences of their actions. Whereas if we just utilize locking prisoners up and forgetting about them allows recidivism rates to rise and changes nothing.

  21. Davis

    I believe that the warehousing of inmates should be saved for the worst of the worst. For the inmates who have the chance of parole or a second chance, I believe we need to educate them and prepare them for the outside world. Inmates who begin an education inside prison and learn basic skills for an introductory job, will have a less of a chance of recidivism. If we do not educate inmates on new ways of living, how are we supposed to believe they have changed in prison? Correctional facilities need to become more smart on crime and less lock them up and throw away the key. Education is key and power for a successful life.

  22. Trevor Carney

    I believe that work programs and educational opportunities are extremely important to the rehabilitation of inmates. However, in the eyes of the public they are still seen as dangerous prisoners upon release. How is this to change or will it ever? Work skills and an education may look good on paper but employers will not look past the box checked felon. In order for rehabilitation to succeed it is important for the public’s view of inmates to change. We need to start believing in the system to do its job and stop discriminating against those who have gone through the system.

  23. Ana-Estella Calles

    I think our prison system needs to be readjusted and focus towards a more rehabilitative system. The whole lock them up and throw away the key can be very detrimental to the prisoners and can cause the opposite affect that we are trying to have. Prisoners will become bitter and violent when they are forgotten about. I think we need more restorative justice so we can bring the community together and we can help figure things out. I also think that there should definitely be more in jail jobs and farms for prisoners to gain skills to leave prison and find a job. There needs to be more programs for after prison too because so many times prisoners leave and end up right back in because they couldn’t handle life outside right away. There should be more programs like Homeboy Industries to help them after prison too. Prisoners should be able to attain their goals after prison to gain better self esteem and more forward, not committing crime again.

  24. Nicole Keating

    It seems that an incredibly important rehabilitation program is the work program, and has been known to be the best way to help offenders get back on their feet after incarceration. Often times when a person enters the criminal justice system they do not have a lot of skills, and being incarcerated for a long period of time would lesson any skills that they may have had to start out with. However, using the work program would allow inmates to gather skills and a work ethic that they would not have otherwise been able to obtain. Not only is the work program an excellent solution, but also promoting things like education for the inmates while they are incarcerated. To be a successful person in society when they are released from prison, having a GED and other life skills are an important part.

  25. A. Soto

    I truly believe that the “lock ’em up” approach is completely ineffective. This approach has been used so much in the past and it has been proven that once offenders are outside the bars, based on their experiences in prison (due to wherehousing), serving time does not help them. They quickly fall to recidivism and are once again put back in the system. I believe that when inmates are incarcerated and other methods such as rehabilitation are used, they are less likely to re-offend and are returned to society with some education and job skills that can help them be a thriving citizen in the future. Not only are alternate methods good for the former inmate but also for the community he/she will live once out of prison.

  26. Jennifer Coppo

    I think our criminal justice system is just lazy in some ways when they say just lock up prisoners. Locking someone up doesn’t mean that they will learn a lesson, all it is going to do is make that individual hard inside and make it difficult to see a life outside of their cell. There are some people that do deserve to be locked up forever and never see the light of day again, for example: murders, rapist, and child molesters.
    The guys that robbed a store or a car, beat someone up, sold or did drugs, they are all going to be back on the streets. So my question why are we spending so much of our time and money to lock these guys up and not give them any type of skill to have for when they get out? They are only just going to end up back in prison wasting more of our money, when all we had to do in criminal justice system was give them a fighting chance to become a law abiding citizen with the ability to hold down a job that is legal.

  27. samantha

    The “lock em up” approach is clearly not working for offenders. The recidivism rate for offenders is not decreasing but staying at a constantly high rate. Inmates are always being told what to do and how to do it. There is no way of learning how to re-integrate inmates into society, so they must fend for themselves. Prisoners must learn certain trades and be able to take the trades they learned on the inside and apply their traits on the outside in order to survive outside the prison walls.
    Alternatives to incarcerations such as restorative justice and rehabilitation programs may help overcrowding and harsh punishment in prison and jails. Overcrowding would not occur if more low level offenders would be deterred from incarceration in put into programs that would help decrease crime and criminalization.

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