Within our society, we are faced with a great need for a Criminal Justice system restoration. Indeed the current one works, however as with most things, just because it works does not mean it cannot improve. Our current system has created over population within our jails and prisons, placing our country in the forefront of the world’s incarcerated population. Granted criminal activity has decreased within United States. Is this due to overcrowding and overpopulation our facilities? Perhaps, or is it the cause and effect of our mandatory sentencing that has removed the judgment from our Judges? This is a chicken and egg scenario that can be debated for another time.
Currently many of our jails and prisons offer different programs to help those incarcerated with future job skills, life skills, and further education. However, these programs are often limited and difficult for inmates to obtain. Many have wait lists so long that many inmates are released before they gain access to the programs. So, where does that leave them? Back home, with a criminal record and perhaps no direction with their lives except the one they were previously on.
Now, I know what many think, “You can’t help everyone.” “Not everyone wants to change their lives around.”, and their right not everyone does. However, what if we were able to reach that one out of hundred people? That has the potential to remove at least one person from the vicious cycle that many face of reentry into the incarcerated population.
Increasing availability and funding for specialized rehabilitation programs, such as college degrees, updated worker skills, and generalized life skills, has the potential to have a positive impact not only that individual’s life but as a benefit to our society as a whole. Being the top country of incarcerated inmates is not bragging rights for the United States. This is an area we should be ashamed of. It should no longer be, lock them up and forget about theses individuals. We owe it to ourselves, as a world leading country, to try and reform our current situation.