This we versus they mind-set contributes to the labeling of "criminals" as the "violent," the "lawless" the "abnormal," and even the "subhuman"—in short, a "criminal type. Crimes are committed by persons of every class, race and age group. Studies indicate that an "overwhelming majority of the general population has committed criminal acts, many of them extremely serious. Almost all of these crimes went unreported and the criminal escaped arrest and prosecution.
NGOs and civil society Why promote prison reform? Central to the arguments to promote prison reforms is a human rights argument - the premise on which many UN standards and norms have been developed.
However, this argument is often insufficient to encourage prison reform programmes in countries with scarce human and financial resources.
The detrimental impact of imprisonment, not only on individuals but on families and communities, and economic factors also need to be taken into account when considering the need for prison reforms.
Human rights considerations A sentence of imprisonment constitutes only a deprivation of the basic right to liberty. Prison reform is necessary to ensure that this principle is respected, the human rights of prisoners protected and their prospects for social reintegration increased, in compliance with relevant international standards and norms.
Imprisonment and poverty Imprisonment disproportionately affects individuals and families living in poverty. When an income generating member of the family is imprisoned the rest of the family must adjust to this loss of income.
The impact can be especially severe in poor, developing countries where the state does not provide financial assistance to the indigent and where it is not unusual for one breadwinner to financially support an extended family network.
Thus the family experiences financial losses as a result of the imprisonment of one of its members, exacerbated by the new expenses that must be met - such as the cost of a lawyer, food for the imprisoned person, transport to prison for visits and so on.
When released, often with no prospects for employment, former prisoners are generally subject to socio-economic exclusion and are thus vulnerable to an endless cycle of poverty, marginalisation, criminality and imprisonment.
Thus, imprisonment contributes directly to the impoverishment of the prisoner, of his family with a significant cross-generational effect and of society by creating future victims and reducing future potential economic performance.
Public health consequences of imprisonment Prisons have very serious health implications. Prisoners are likely to have existing health problems on entry to prison, as they are predominantly from poorly educated and socio-economically deprived sectors of the general population, with minimal access to adequate health services.
Their health conditions deteriorate in prisons which are overcrowded, where nutrition is poor, sanitation inadequate and access to fresh air and exercise often unavailable.
Psychiatric disorders, HIV infection, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted diseases, skin diseases, malaria, malnutrition, diarrhoea and injuries including self-mutilation are the main causes of morbidity and mortality in prison.
In countries with a high prevalence of TB in the outside community, prevalence of TB can be up to times higher inside the prisons. In most countries HIV infection in prisons is significantly higher than within the population outside prison, especially where drug addiction and risk behaviours are prevalent.
Prison staff are also vulnerable to most of the diseases of which prisoners are at risk. Prisons are not isolated from the society and prison health is public health. The vast majority of people committed to prison eventually return to the wider society. Thus, it is not in vain that prisons have been referred to as reservoirs of disease in various contexts.
Detrimental social impact Imprisonment disrupts relationships and weakens social cohesion, since the maintenance of such cohesion is based on long-term relationships.
When a member of a family is imprisoned, the disruption of the family structure affects relationships between spouses, as well as between parents and children, reshaping the family and community across generations.
Mass imprisonment produces a deep social transformation in families and communities. The cost of imprisonment Taking into account the above considerations, it is essential to note that, when considering the cost of imprisonment, account needs to be taken not only of the actual funds spent on the upkeep of each prisoner, which is usually significantly higher than what is spent on a person sentenced to non-custodial sanctions, but also of the indirect costs, such as the social, economic and healthcare related costs, which are difficult to measure, but which are immense and long-term.
The benchmarks for action in prison reform: Over the years a considerable body of United Nations standards and norms related to crime prevention and criminal justice has emerged. UNODC believes that effective prison reform is dependent on the improvement and rationalisation of criminal justice policies, including crime prevention and sentencing policies, and on the care and treatment made available to vulnerable groups in the community.The English workhouse, an intellectual forerunner of early United States penitentiaries, was first developed as a "cure" for the idleness of the regardbouddhiste.com time English officials and reformers came to see the workhouse as a more general system for rehabilitating criminals of all kinds.
The American Government Should Find an Alternative for Prison PAGES 5. WORDS 1, View Full Essay. More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
Exactly what I needed. - Jenna Kraig, student @ . Naturally, there was a designated critic of the reform consensus there: Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, who, while lauding the desire to find alternatives to prison, challenged the.
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regardbouddhiste.com is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements on questions related to controversial issues, including illegal immigration in the United States.