In this world we live in many feel that prisons exist to punish, not counsel, offenders. That may be true that Prisons exist for punishment, but they also have an important contribution to make to reducing re-offending by engaging prisoners in rehabilitation programs and purposeful work. Society is flawed in its thinking that by putting criminals in a place away from society we would be better off. To make it worse I am sure that more that 60 percent of Americans are against social reform because they have made up their mind that once a crook, always a crook. This is flawed mainly because it seems to assume that showing people that what they've done is wrong will always accomplish something, that punishing those who commit crimes will deter others from following the same pattern. The problem with prison is that prisons are not a place of rehabilitation.
There are people who steal and sell drugs simply because they have no other means of survival. There are people whose lives in the outside world are so terribly difficult that for them, that prison life is a cushier existence than their ordinary day-to-day existence, and many of these people intentionally commit crimes so they will be arrested and thrown in jail, simply so that they can get a decent meal and a bed. These people are then introduced to major offenders, who have not been rehabilitated and become worse than their "mentors." For these people, even if they feel that their criminal existence is indeed a moral wrong, prison does nothing to make them repent or change their way of life.
A poorly planned criminal justice program can incapacitate the goals of reintegration of ex-criminal into society. With the way things are in prison prisoners are coming out of prison worse off than when they went into prisons because of current prison experiences. Prison life can be harsh, and time spent in a isolation is even worse. A majority of those in prison spend countless hours in idleness. It would be much better if they used that time to reeducate themselves for a productive life on the outside. Some of the prisoners have serious emotional and mental problems that are never addressed and it is illogical to not attempt to correct these problems before they are released.
There are even worse scenarios that exist in today's prisons. The prison guards have little control and prison can be a violent place because again it is not a place that specializes in rehab. On television shows you see inmates stabbing each other and are quick to assume that it is a dramatization, but it really an occurrence that happens often, in prisons all over the world for that matter. In an article by Raphael Rowe he writes about how a part of him died in prison, and he had to be on his guard constantly, "Once, I was sitting in the television room watching football when someone I knew came in and told me to leave the room. I didn't ask questions: I just left and stood outside. A few...