The U. S. prison population has tripled since 1980 so that on any given day there are 1. 5 million Americans behind bars. (Alternatives 1). There is a clear overcrowding problem in todays prisons.
Why I believe that the population explosion in the prison system is due to the increasing moral decline of America. Prisons should keep dangerous criminals off the streets and keep others from committing a crime. (Prisons 1) One would think that being locked up is to be feared. But in todays society, criminals simply do not care. Incarceration is not effective in crime reduction (Alternatives 1). But what can be done to fix this ever growing epidemic More prisons can always be constructed, right Building more jails is expensive and does not solve the problem.
(Prisons 1) So we must now search for plausible alternatives to incarceration. First of all, there is the option of only putting violent criminals in jail. Non-violent criminals could be put into work programs. (Prisons 2) They could spend their days cleaning and repairing Americas highways and national parks. This, in my opinion is an excellent idea! Yet we still have to deal with the violent criminals. There are some different options in punishing those individuals.
Early release programs let prisoners out of jail before their sentence is complete. This promotes good behavior in prison and keeps the prison population lower. However, many released prisoners just commit another crime and are returned to jail (Prisons 1). Early release seems as though it would work wonderfully, but alas falls short. I think that prisoners should not be released early, or at all for that matter. They should serve out their complete term.
If parole were not an option, maybe someone would think twice before they pull the trigger. And for those who dont take heed, they would be locked up where they belong. The last option is by far the bes in my eyes. Before the abolition of slavery there was no real prison system in the United States.
Punishment for crime consisted of physical torture referred to as corporal or capital punishment (Browne 2). Doesnt sound too bad to me. I believe that the punishment should fit the crime. If a man beats his wife to death, he in turn should be beaten to death. My solution to the prison problem is a simple yet harsh one. An eye for an eye.
By the way, what ever happened to cutting your hand off for stealing Alternatives to Prison. 2 Feb. 2000. Browne, Julie. The Labor of Doing Time. 2 Feb.
2000. Prisons Do Not Work. 2 Feb. 2000.