Second Chance for Felons
In this informative review, I will discuss some of the social factors associated with individuals that have been convicted of a crime and have a felony record. I will also show evidence that supports my investigation and will be culminate in action. This is not a only a problem that affects the individual that holds an felony record, it is a problem that affects society as a whole (Pew, 2008). The Cost. some of these individuals are in prison for crimes they did not commit and crimes they did commit (Greene & Heilburn, 2011).Either way, when most of these individuals return to society they will have a felony record that will follow them the rest of their lives.
These individuals were sent prison to pay their debt to society for the crime or crimes for which they have been convicted, but will also receive additional punishment further than their sentences. This includes their status in life, education opportunities, and jobs opportunities. Majority of these individuals are stigmatized as deviant individuals in our society in the U. S. (Anderson, 2010).Our society is shaped to think, that all individuals with felonies are very deviant or bad people that don’t have the ability to change to become a better person and that they could contribute to society in a positive manner (Greene & Heilburn, 2011). These individuals made a mistake and they need a second chance to survive to become productive members of society.
Second Chance for Felons Essay Example
Some people believe in the belief in a just world, that good things happens to good people and bad things happen to bad people(Anderson, 2010), so they really don’t care about people with a felonies.These individuals have been outcast by society this includes men, women and even some adolescence’s. Individuals that have a felony or a criminal record are ineligible to work in certain occupations, may not be allowed for public welfare benefits and public housing, and disqualified for some college tuition loans. Prison’s were built for rehabilitation and punishment of a crime but, seems to be a life sentence even after the hand cuffs and bars are removed. These individuals are not capable to totally live in a free society following prison (Greene & Heilburn, 2011).Individuals do have to be responsible for the harm they do to others. But when they have paid their debt to society by going to prison, they should not be treated as outcast, when they return rehabilitated.
The United States motto “the land of the free” has the highest prison rate and the most prisons in the world. The prison system is an institution of social control. America and its politicians emphasizes punishment, the tough on crime method seems to only help the careers of most politicians in the United States, but still has not made us safer in society (Huber & Gordon, 2004) .An example of how the federal government and several states use the social control model is by changing and getting laws passed. One of the most rigorous is the California’s three strikes law just like baseball “strike out three times and you are out”! No matter what crime you commit, whether it is minor or not, the offender must be sentence to either 25 years to life in prison or triple the standard sentence (Greene & Heilburn, 2011). This law would not only increase prison population but would mostly likely lead to individuals in prison for crimes that would not fit the crime they are punished for (Greene & Heilburn, 2011).Majority of the offenders are in prisons for nonviolent crimes.
This has contributed to the increase of individuals in prisons. Some states in the U. S. the federal government has ordered state prisons to reduce their prisons by 40,000 inmates (Pew, 2008). This makes me sick in the inside, because it makes me wonder maybe these individuals didn’t need to be in prison in the first place, if they are releasing such a large number of individuals. Prisons were built for punishment and rehabilitation, but in reality prisons have not proven to be effective on increasing the risk of individuals reoffending, making prison a revov.Actually, the research seems to correlates that criminal behavior increase after prison (Pew, 2008).
Broken schools, poor healthcare and early childhood development, and the disappearance of jobs prepare many poor children for little else than a cradle-to-prison pipeline. Prison walls do not create nurturing environments, but more proficient criminals, who during their lives walk through a revolving prison door. Many are imprisoned for nonviolent, drug-related offenses for longer and longer periods of time. Three-strike laws and other draconian sentencing schemes are way out of proportion to the crimes committed.The consequences of over-punishment are seen across the country, as states in need of cash cannot afford their ballooning prison budgets. In California, a federal court has ordered the state to reduce its overcrowded prison population by 40,000 inmates. If so many inmates are to be released, it makes you realize that many of them probably shouldn’t have been in there in the first place.
America’s reliance on punishment only serves to break up families and communities, rarely helping to rebuild them or those who have served their time.Many would be surprised to know that the right to vote, a cherished right of citizenship, is denied to 5. 3 million Americans with felony convictions. These felony disenfranchisement laws are a holdover from the Jim Crow era, a time filled with all sorts of bad intentions. This madness must stop, and Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) have introduced legislation to restore voting rights in federal elections to millions of disenfranchised people.How do you expect ex-felons to become productive citizens when they can’t find a job, can’t afford to better themselves through education, and can’t even vote? Some are behind bars for the crimes they have committed. Others are there for crimes they did not commit.
Either way, when they return to the street, the punishment continues. Punishment on top of punishment does not work, and we have to build up the formerly incarcerated so they do not fall down again. We have to ensure that they have the opportunity to contribute as full-fledged members of society.