Daisy Lees Lees 1Mr. ConklinHonors U.S. History 2- Period C22 December 2017How For-Profit Prisons In The United States Impact The Rehabilitation Of PrisonersThe two main purposes of all prisons is to punish and rehabilitate; to restrain those who are dangerous until they are well enough to reenter society in a healthy way. Prisons may be away from society, full of criminals, and there may be no reason for one to ever visit or even think about the system in their life. Even so, it is important to know how the United States prison system truly makes the country a more dangerous place to live even outside of the buildings. The prisons are also not meeting their said goal. To be more specific, for-profit prisons are selfishly behind the overpopulation and non rehabilitation of prisoners which leads to many in prison who do not deserve it and many leaving more dangerous than they arrived. Some, such as Kent W. Perry believe that rehabilitation “doesn’t work. The recidivist rate, billions of wasted dollars and failure of countless prison job-training programs have left little room for argument. Perhaps it’s time to change the premise of corrections from one of rehabilitation to simple punishment” (Bender 19). By going back to before the existence of prisons, crime was solved by public executions and floggings. The invention of these buildings were a more humane way to punish these people. This decision has led to the system today in which Francis T. Murphy claims was “the right idea in the wrong place” (Ensign 18). It seems obvious that the U.S. have come a very long way in terms of human rights and if it is agreed that rehabilitation is an important system to spend money on and there is money available to do so, Lees 2action should be taken. It is known that there are progressive techniques used in other countries that have become very successful in lowering crime rates but still those are not used in the US. The US have similar goals for the prison system as other countries yet do not take the same actions. For example, in Norway only 75 for every 100,000 people are in prison compared to the United States 707 for every 100,000 people in the U.S. (Sterbenz 1). The people in Norway have hundreds of rehabilitative programs and no profit prisons, there must be some connection between these statistics. The point of a prison is not only to punish ones who have done wrong, but to also rehabilitate them so when they leave they can successfully reenter society. It is proven that therapeutic programs are the most progressive way for inmates to want to better their decisions and become more mentally stable. Multisystemic Therapy is an intense treatment program involving family and community used on juveniles in order to rehabilitate them. This cut recidivism from twenty percent to seventy percent and family therapy has done the same by cutting recidivism from twenty-five to eighty percent (Multisystemic Therapy 1). In an interview with Bruce Wilkinson he stated, “rehabilitative programs are too expensive and are not guaranteed to work” (Wilkinson Interview), but truthfully they cost less than one fourth of the cost to put them into a juvenile corrections facility. By using these techniques, overtime the rate of returning inmates will decrease a staggering amount because crime rates will decrease. Why are these effective techniques not used in prisons, only juvenile correctional facilities? This would mean less people in prison, less returnees, shorter sentences, and saving taxpayer money in the long run. What this means for profit prisons is losing money. This is because the more Lees 3inmates, the more money the private companies behind the running of many U.S. prisons make in order to keep their business going. Logically this is not helpful for those companies but is moral, safe for society and is a fair way to decrease the population in prisons. Whenever possible, reentering society as a productive member should remain at the forefront of any prison system. Some prisons contain only single person cells and allowed little to no communication with other inmates. It is proven scientifically that this sort of isolation does not take long to cause change in brain structure, eventually ending up as mental illness such as paranoia, anxiety and depression. Developing these illnesses in prison makes it that much harder to return to life once released. After a long sentence these illnesses may have become severe. The unawareness of life outside of prison for years alone will leave someone lost, unsure of who they are, what the next step is, financially unstable and likely to commit another crime. Life outside of prison is fast paced and more complex, if these private companies want to keep their prisons making more money they want incarceration rates to get even higher. They are not going to be motivated to teach prisoners ways to become healthy citizens once their sentence ends. If for profit prisons are successful in rehabilitating prisoners, they reduce demand for their services. When for profit prisons reduce demand they reduce their income. For profit prisons will never be driven to undermine their own financial productivity. Because there is such an immense amount of violence in U.S. prisons, mostly from the guards, that is what is taught to the inmates, leading them to be more violent outside the system, Lees 4also making them likely to return. Twenty-one percent of inmates say they have been assaulted by staff (Gilson 1), creating an unsafe environment and also teaching them to inflict pain on others. Most profit prisons are not organized much more than simply having the criminals wait around for the end of their sentences, maybe becoming even better criminals. Being treated like an animal that must be controlled, beaten and not like a human only teaches inmates to be violent in order to get what they want. In an interview with Susan Lees she states that, “Most who end up in prison are already hurt, treating them like less than humans will scar them even deeper, making it all the more difficult for them to get out of the prison cycle” (Lees interview). The violence experienced in the daily life of a prisoner would negatively impact anyone in the system no matter their background. For profit prisons purposely run the buildings in a way that is nearly no help to the inmates if not setting them back during their time in prison.This leaves the question of; why has no one with power tried to create a helpful environment in all prisons so the population decreases? Incarceration rates have been increasing for years, showing how ineffective the system has been. The blame cannot be put fully on Americans that some countries have tens of prisoners and the U.S. has millions. The knowledge of how to fix this problem is available and there are many people whose jobs relate to putting into play these changes and would be willing to help. Yet teachers are not being hired who understand human behavior and have the patience and drive to rehabilitate prisoners and give them the chances they eserve. The government also has the power to make change but does not. The reason behind this is that the three largest private corporations have spent over forty- five million on campaign donations to keep politicians on their side and to keep what they are doing Lees 5legal (Shen 1). This seems like much effort and bribing to keep an immoral business going especially when that money could be used to better society. The buildings are expanding to fit the growing population but are not concerned with the problems they are creating. The manipulation and selfish ways within this business has led the original goals to slip away from each prisoners process. Profit prisons cause the owners to fail to consider the overall fairness of the system and how it affects each individual person within it. Instead they are solely driven to make their business thrive and keep making money off these people; some who should not even be in the system, and will do almost anything to make that happen. An example of unfair punishment occurred this November with rapper Meek Mill. He had a drug and gun case in 2008 and was arrested and put in prison for eight months. Since then he has completely rehabilitated himself and become an idol to thousands. He was arrested and sentenced about a month ago to two to four years in prison for popping wheelies on his dirt bike and getting in a fight earlier this year (Zaru 1). Mill’s attorney Joe Tacopina told CNN that “He’s been on probation for nearly ten years, no ones on probation for ten years” (Zaru 1), illuminating the broken nature of the system. In those ten years he went from living unhappily in poverty to becoming a successful musician. Despite knowing how well he was doing and how little danger he was to society, Mill was sent back to prison to simply become one of many who were there to help fill a quota. The injustice of Mill’s sentence reflects the pattern of prisons putting people who commit small crimes in prison for too long. Lees 6The reason behind the overpopulation of prisons, the undeserving long sentences, and the large recidivism rates are largely because of the existence of profit prisons and their goals; in which do not line up with the initial goal of prisons. Profit prisons are stingy with the time and money spent on the rehabilitation of prisoners because the less people in their prisons, the less money they make. Works CitedAndrew Day Professor of Psychology; Member of the Strategic Research Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, Deakin University. “Crime and Punishment and Rehabilitation: a Smarter Approach.” The Conversation, 7 Dec. 2017, theconversation.com/crime-and-punishment-and-rehabilitation-a-smarter-approach-41960.Bender, David. America’s Prisons. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1980.Herman, Peter. The American Prison System. United States of America: The H.W. Wilson Company, 2001.Graham, Ian. “Countries Compared by Crime > Prisoners. International Statistics.”NationMaster.com, NationMaster, www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Prisoners.BENSON, ETIENNE. “Rehabilitate or Punish?” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2003, www.apa.org/monitor/julaug03/rehab.aspx.Gilligan, James. “The New York Times Company.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Dec. 2012, www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/12/18/prison-could-be-productive/punishment-fails-rehabilitation-works.Gilson, Dave. “10 Stats about Assault and Sexual Violence in America’s Prisons.” Mother Jones, 23 June 2017, www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/attacks-and-assaults-behind-bars-cca-private-prisons/.Ensign, John. “Incarceration Should Be Punitive.” Prisons, edited by James Haley, Greenhaven Press, 2005. Current Controversies. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://libraries.state.ma.us/login?gwurl=http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010059241/OVIC?u=mlin_m_ahs=93bbfab1. Accessed 11 Dec. 2017. Originally published as “statement before the U.S. Senate,” 2003.”Iceland.” Iceland | World Prison Brief, 1 Jan. 1970, www.prisonstudies.org/country/iceland.Lees, Susan. Personal Interview. 20 December 2017.Petersilia, Joan. “Beyond the Prison Bubble.” National Institute of Justice, 3 Nov. 2011, www.nij.gov/journals/268/pages/prison-bubble.aspx.Rademacher, Mike. personal Interview. 20 December 2017. Sterbenz, Christina. “Why Norway’s Prison System Is so Successful.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 11 Dec. 2014, www.businessinsider.com/why-norways-prisoxn-system-is-so-successful-2014-12.”What Is Multisystemic Therapy?” Multisystemic Therapy for Juveniles | MST Services, 15 Dec. 2017, mstservices.com/.Wilkinson, Bruce. Phone Interview. 20 December 2017Zaru, Deena. “Meek Mill’s Prison Sentence Draws Outrage.” CNN, Cable News Network, 10 Nov. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/11/10/politics/meek-mill-prison-sentence-judge-jay-z/index.html.