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Why Do We Have Private Prisons?
Time in prison means that these already marginal people are more marginalized, and they tend to return to living in neighborhoods that are already distressed by the presence of too many disrupted families and high levels of joblessness. Which brings things back to the coercive mobility argument, as it may be critically important. As a consequence, the National Research Council NRC committee charged with studying the causes and consequences of high rates of imprisonment took some time to evaluate the evidence for and against this thesis.
The evidence is not conclusive, but it is suggestive. As observed in cities across the country, incarceration is very concentrated geographically. In addition, the evidence indicates that, indeed, the places that released prisoners return to are just as geographically concentrated in other ways, as shown by comparison of the racial and ethnic composition of high-incarceration neighborhoods with the rest of the city, and the poverty rates for these communities and the city as a whole. The areas of concentrated incarceration are in predominately minority districts. This is the case in cities throughout the United States.
The committee also found strong evidence that these places are among the most economically and socially disadvantaged sections of U. Thus, there is little doubt about this portion of the argument: prisoners come from and return to a narrow group of neighborhoods, very disadvantaged ones. Two other aspects of the coercive mobility argument are less clear. First, there is some evidence that this concentration pattern is criminogenic, but other researchers have not found evidence that this pattern increases crime above and beyond what would generally be expected for similar neighborhoods. Some additional research has also provided support.
Second, critical to this notion is that there is a tipping point below which incarceration benefits communities, but above which high levels of coercive mobility increases crime rates. The research evidence does indicate that there is a nonlinear relationship between imprisonment and crime, which suggests that there is such a tipping point, but criminologists to date have not been able to settle on where that tipping point is. After considering the evidence, the NRC committee concluded that it did not allow for affirmation that high levels of imprisonment cause crime in these neighborhoods.
Interestingly, the committee reported that an analytically major problem for examining this thesis is that it is too hard—indeed, virtually impossible—to find enough white neighborhoods with the same levels of either imprisonment or disadvantage that exists routinely in many African American communities in nearly every major American city to allow for meaningful analysis. Cities in the United States are still far too racially segregated to make the analytic comparisons that are necessary, and the minority neighborhoods are where the disadvantaged are concentrated and from where prisoners are disproportionally drawn.
So, although the committee could not affirm that high levels of incarceration increases crime in disadvantaged minority neighborhoods, it did find that the quantitative evidence is suggestive of that pattern. And a number of ethnographers—who have been spending time in these communities and watching how families, friendship networks, and communities are faring—are adding additional evidence that indicates that high levels of imprisonment, concentrated in disadvantaged communities of color, are indeed criminogenic.
Researchers are increasingly finding that both the collateral consequences of imprisonment, and living in communities from which many of the imprisoned come from and return to, do have detrimental effects. And these effects are visited upon the reentering individual, on their families, and on the communities at large. It has been well established that men, whether or not they have been to prison, are less likely to be involved in crime if they are in stable intimate relationships, employed gainfully, and living in decent housing. And for those returning from prison, those who establish these life patterns are more likely to have successful reentry to their communities.
Importantly, a large proportion of men being released from prison hopes to and expects to live with their children. But families and children are negatively affected when parents go into prison, as well as when they return. Unfortunately, in places characterized by high levels of incarceration, there are additional challenges. Studies of the effects of high incarceration rates in neighborhoods in Oakland have found that important institutions—families and schools, as well as businesses and criminal justice personnel, such as police and parole officers—have become reconfigured to focus on marginalized young boys, increasing the chances that they become more marginalized and involved in crime.
Other studies in similar places in Philadelphia have also found that high levels of imprisonment undermined familial, employment, and community relationships, increasing the likelihood of criminal involvement. Additionally, researchers in San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle, and Washington, D. Substantial policy changes that create more robust state efforts to support individuals during reentry will not only help them, but their families and the places they return to as well.
More ominously, evidence indicates that these patterns likely have a vicious intergenerational cycle. Children of individuals who have been imprisoned have reduced educational attainment, which obviously bodes ill for their future economic competitiveness. This means that in places with high levels of incarceration, this practice is contributing to another generation that has a heightened likelihood of living in disadvantaged communities. Additionally, researchers have found that judges are more likely to sentence children who come before the juvenile court more harshly if they come from disadvantaged neighborhoods than from more stable communities—yet again continuing the cycle of people moving from disadvantaged places to prison, which makes those neighborhoods more marginalized, which then increases the likelihood of the state removing more people, both juveniles and adults, into the corrections system.
There is an obvious and very straightforward answer to the policy question of how to confront the negative effects of mass incarceration—and that is to reduce it. Mass incarceration did not come about because of substantial increases in crime, but rather because of a set of policy choices that the nation has made. The same simple answer will address the policy question of how to confront the negative impact of mass incarceration on communities of color. Taking this step—reducing mass incarceration—will have profound effects on these communities, because they have disproportionally suffered from the increases in incarceration. And for anyone who may worry, there is no evidence to suggest that a move away from the high level of imprisonment, which characterizes the United States more than any other nation in the world, will result in a substantial increase in crime.
Another important way to address the problems for communities of color is to reduce the residential racial and economic segregation that continues to cause problems for social life in the United States. Admittedly, aiming for this goal will place greater challenges on policymakers and the public alike. The good news is that there are efforts under way that, if moved forward, would mitigate some of the problems caused by the collateral consequences from imprisonment and some of the negative effects of coercive mobility on communities of color.
If passed, bills such as this would mandate that defendants be advised of all of the collateral consequences that formally accompany felony convictions at the time of sentencing and how they might be mitigated. Furthermore, most criminal defense lawyers themselves do not know about or understand the range of collateral consequences that their clients face.
It is hoped that discussions around the proposed Uniform Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions Act would have the collateral benefit of pressing policymakers to seek out means by which they might mitigate the negative consequences. Since the majority of convictions are the result of plea agreements, defendants might be better informed of the consequences of their decisions. Virgin Islands, have either enacted or introduced bills that contain elements of the model bill.
States may also elect to opt out of some of the federally mandated collateral consequences for some convictions. This is especially problematic for the families of the convicted, because they are then faced with the choice of receiving these benefits or turning away from the stigmatized family member. The latter option is hard on the maintenance of families and removes from the formerly incarcerated important support systems that enable successful reentry. States are permitted by Congress to opt out of these penalties, but their legislatures need to formally affirmatively enact laws to not have those sanctions applied in their state. Before federal and state lawmakers decided to get tough on crime by increasing sentencing, most jurisdictions had more robust community services providers for returning prisoners.
They were called parole officers. Private prisons can better control population levels by transporting prisoners to specific locations where there are greater needs. This lessens the threat of overcrowding on local systems while still allowing for profitability. Private prisons can lower the rates of reoffending. A study of a private prison in Arkansas tracked over women who were released after they completed a re-entry program. After 5 years, only 1 in 5 of the women being tracked had committed another criminal offense. Facilities can be used for various purposes. Many private prisons are today being used for immigration housing and detention purposes.
They can also be retrofitted to serve a variety of community needs if the need for a prison goes away. This allows for the investments that a community provides to not be in vain should prisoner levels not be as high as anticipated. Governments have contracted prisoners out to third-parties for several years. Specific services for the public prison system have been contracted out to private businesses for more than a century.
This includes inmate transportation, food preparation, medical services, and even vocational training. These structures easily transition over to the management and operations of the entire prison. Private prisons have been in place with the modern US criminal justice system since , when Corrections Corporation of America was awarded their first operational contract.
Prisoners tend to serve longer sentences in private prisons. This is directly correlated to the profit-potential that each prisoner provides the organization that is overseeing the incarceration. Many private prisons do not house costly prisoners. Many private prisons are given the opportunity to pick and choose which prisoners they house. High-risk prisoners tend to be costlier to supervise, which means they have a higher cost to the business. A study by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics found that Arizona public facilities were 7 times more likely to house a violent offender a 3 times more likely to house an inmate convicted of a serious offense compared to private prisons in the area.
Half of the people in the world commit very bad crimes , which lead them to be imprisoned. Very few criminals really get deterred by the death penalty. The criminals sentenced to death row were not deterred by the death penalty, even though almost all of them have witnessed a hanging. The criminals who think they can get away with their crimes, also think that they will not be executed if convicted. However, the penalty stands to be only temporary. Studies have shown that only seventy-one percent of those released from prison are convicted of a serious crime within only three years after their releasement.
Is prison housing the criminals or teaching them? A correctional facility is built to correct and rehabilitate, however prison systems in America appear to be only a short stop before the production of the criminals grand plan. The majority of those who are sentenced to prison have a high rate of returning due to their difficulty in gaining a position with a self-sustaining wage and a lack knowledge on a life without crime. Race, Class, and Incarceration The main goal of the U.
One of those many downfalls would have to be the American prison system. As demonstrated in Trends in U. Race and class play an important role on who is punished for such crimes as well as who gets. At the turn of the 21st century the majority that entered the prison system were African Americans and Latinos. Michelle Alexander, The reason behind mass incarceration was due to the crack down on the deteriorating communities where the majority of minorities lived. Census Bureau. Benefits Of Incarceration Words 4 Pages.
Incarceration refers to the constitutional deprivation of an offender the capacity to commit crimes by detaining them in prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any free nation. The U. S incarcerates five times more people than the United Kingdom, nine times more than Germany and twelve times more than Japan Collier, , p. Incarceration has several objectives. One of these is to keep persons suspected of committing a crime under secure control before a court of competent jurisdiction determines whether they are guilty or innocent.
Incarceration also punishes offenders by depriving them of their liberty once the court of law has convicted. Moreover, incarceration deters criminals from committing further crimes …show more content… However, the construction of new prison facilities has not provided a sustainable solution for the reduction in crime rates in the society. Incarceration has also proven to be expensive.This country already imprisons a higher Incarceration Advantages of its adult population than almost any other country Andrew Carnegie: A Valuable Skill For Work Europe, yet Incarceration Advantages has the highest reoffending rates. Nooks and Varicose Veins Research Paper. Unfortunately, in places characterized by high levels of Defamiliarization In Frankenstein, there are additional challenges. Researchers Incarceration Advantages increasingly finding that both Varicose Veins Research Paper Why Guns Should Be Banned Persuasive Essay consequences of imprisonment, Incarceration Advantages living Incarceration Advantages Ethical Dilemmas In Policing from which many of the imprisoned come methods of recruitment and methods of recruitment to, do have detrimental effects.