The purpose of prison is to punish the offender and act as a deterrent to those who commit crime. Prison is necessary to contain dangerous and violent offenders; it is not an effectual system of criminal reform because it does not stop re-offending. Our prisons have become community wastebaskets and the only way to put the boot in this costly tendency is to supply effective drug treatment, mental health care, and community sentences. Prison should be reserved for dangerous and violent offenders, with tough alternative penalties for less serious offences and very low risk offenders At midyear 2004 The Nation's prisons and jails incarcerated over 2.

1 million persons. In both jails and prisons, there were 123 female inmates per 100, 000 women in the United States, compared to 1, 348 male inmates per 100, 000 men. 2, 477 State prisoners were under age 18. The number of inmates in custody in local jails rose by 22, 689; in State prison by 15, 375; and in Federal prison by 10, 095. There were an estimated 486 prison inmates per 100, 000 U. S.

residents the number of women under the jurisdiction of State or Federal prison authorities increased 2. 9% from midyear 2003, reaching 103, 310 and the number of men rose 2. 0%, totaling 1, 390, 906. At midyear 2004, there were 4, 919 black male prison and jail inmates per 100, 000 black males in the United States, compared to 1, 717 Hispanic male inmates per 100, 000 Hispanic males and 717 white male inmates per 100, 000 white males. If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 15 persons will serve time in a prison during their lifetime. Prison should be reserved for serious and violent offenders such as murder, rape, sexual assaults of any type, and robbery.

Prison is necessary to contain dangerous and violent offenders; it is not an effective way of dealing with crime because it does not stop re-offending, particularly since most return to crime on release. Four in ten jail inmates had a current or past sentence for a violent offense. The increasing number of violent offenders accounted for 63% of the total growth of the State prison population. Four in ten jail inmates had a current or past sentence for a violent offense. Males were roughly 10 times more likely than females to commit murder in 2002. Both male and female offenders are more likely to target male victims than female victims.

18-24 year-olds experience the highest homicide rates. Juveniles are most often implicated as offenders in homicides that involve multiple perpetrators or are gang-related. These violent criminals are often paroled only to harm more citizens that are innocent. I would strictly limit the availability for parole, eliminating it all together for murder and forcible rape. Cold blooded killers need to be removed from society.

No amount of retribution can bring back a human life taken away. These offenders would not be aloud to mingle with each other, but kept solitary and provided all the necessities. A murder serving life in prison does not need an extensive college education at the expense of the taxpayers. I would not impose any death sentences. Nonviolent crimes classified as property, drug, and public order offenses that do not involve a threat of harm or an actual attack upon a victim.

For example, drug use, prostitution, and white-collar crimes. Of convicted property and drug offenders, about 1 in 4 had committed their crimes to get money for drugs. A higher percentage of drug offenders were in jail for a crime committed to raise money for drugs. About 60% of mentally ill and 51% of other inmates in State prison was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their current offense. A higher number of women in prison reported committing their crime to get drugs or money for drugs, compared to men. Half or more of juvenile arresters tested positive for at least one drug, the largest proportion was between ages 15 and 17.

These are not premeditated crimes, but rater crimes committed out of sheer desperation. What good could possibly come from locking these offenders up with violent criminals? There is a very fine and often blended line between drug abuse and mental illness. I would not lock this group of offenders away from society, but would impose a mandatory inpatient drug or psychiatric treatment followed a lengthy probation period, and house arrest or some type of monitoring devise. Often some one who has function under the influence needs to be taught how to live day to day as a sober person; I do believe compassion and guidance can make a difference. Rehabilitation and long-term counseling would also be ordered, along with community service and any necessary retribution. Educational opportunities will also be a part of this program, resulting in more useful, happier, and more productive members of society.

White-collar crimes are fraudulent schemes that cause monetary loss for unsuspecting individuals, and corporate America alike. Although these crimes are reprehensible, I believe these types of criminals can be rehabilitated. White-collar crimes can help us to strengthen our security systems, and tech the importance of verification. Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. I would not lock up whit collar criminals, but instead place offenders in programs designed to strengthen the weaknesses causing Americans such vulnerability to fraud. From these particular offenders we can learn exactly how the planning and preparation work.

These offenders can also help finger other fraudulent activity. This type of rehabilitation would also enable the offender to make monetary restitution while at the same time building a sense of self worth. After all, that is the purpose of rehabilitation. In short, I would choose to lock up those individuals who are truly a threat to society. Those who cannot or do not deserve to be reformed or rehabilitated. Murderers, repast, child molesters, would definitely fit this category.

Violent offenders are locked up separately from each other, under humane conditions, and provided only the basic of necessities; there would be no luxuries and no extra comforts. The purpose of these prisons would be strictly keeping viscous offenders away from society. Those who are not a threat to society should have every opportunity for reform. Mental health treatments, drug abuse programs, retribution, and community service would be part of the treatment, along with long-term guidance.

Our modern day prisons are not currently a place for reform, but rather criminal producing factories. references: Development and Practice Report 8 The substance misuse treatment needs of minority prisoner groups: women, young offenders and ethnic minoritiesReferencesBrennan, N. Prisons do work [Online], Available: web [2004, Apr. 8].

Carter, S. (2003) Managing Offenders, Reducing Crime, Strategy Unit, London. HM Prison Service 2003, Her Majesty's Prison Service Annual Report and Accounts, The Stationery Office, London. Home Office 2002, Perceptions of the National.