Being more conservative on the issue of the prison system and on punishment, I believe that the punishment should correspond to the crime. But studying this topic not only in our class, but also in other classes related to my specialty, I believe that the US prison system needs changes. It is no secret that the United States is in first place in the number of people in prison. From about the years 1960-1970, the level of imprisonment has been growing, and at the moment we are talking about millions of prisoners throughout the country. So is the policy of conservatives about the harsh rules of sentencing? It seems to me that, in combination with both effective punishment and exacerbation, attention to the prison from within and attitude towards prisoners can form a more effective prison system that is necessary for America.
It is believed that people commit a crime because of adverse social circumstances that many cannot overcome and criminal justice does little to reduce crime. From this it follows that most likely the best way to reduce crime is to solve the social problems of society that are the causes of crime. And in general, the justice system must rehabilitate criminals, train, advise and employ. But the reality is completely different.
According to the US Department of Justice, 77 percent of released prisoners are arrested again within five years after leaving prison. This high level of recidivism indicates problems within the US penitentiary system. The United States should focus less on punishing prisoners, and more on improving prison conditions, which contributes to the continuation of criminal behavior after release. Since in class we talked about the Norwegian Prison System, I would give an example in Germany, where there are innovative criminal justice systems very similar to the Norwegian one.
Germany takes a completely different approach to the prison environment than the United States. Each prisoner has the key to his or her own cell, which offers natural light, a private bathroom and a telephone. Prisoners have access to a communal kitchen and prepare food bought with money earned through professional programs. While in prison, inmates learn skills that provide more jobs after release (for example: a mechanic, a plumber)
Another successful aspect of German prisons is the level of respect that correctional officers treat prisoners. Newly hired correctional correctional officers undergo thorough training, which is useful because there is a minimal number of attacks between prisoners and staff. Correctional officers treat prisoners with positive reinforcement and defend the privacy of all prisoners by knocking on the cell in front of the entrance.
While German correctional officers emphasize the humanization of their prisoners, the tactics of American correctional officers tend to be more strict. When prisons are designed to treat prisoners as objects, infringing, humiliating, that only pushes them to crime again and again.
Of course, many and even I may argue that prisoners do not deserve a favorable environment and attitude because sometimes the crimes they commit are so cruel that the only punishment they can deserve is death, but it is important to understand the advantages of the correctional system, which should focus on rehabilitation. A positive environment will do more than just improve the quality of life of prisoners; its benefits will extend beyond the prison walls by reducing crime rates in the United States.
Fyodor Dostoevsky once said that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” America must take a step forward, following the German type of prisons, which shows that positive treatment of prisoners can be of great importance.