America is the most incarcerated country in the developed world. what is the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that lock people up for ten or More years?
Community Service Is The Best Alternative To Jail For Petty Crimes.
The increase in urbanization and rapid growth in research, as well as the development of the great American economy, has led to increasing crime rate. Again the total population of the prison facilities also keep on growing at an alarming rate (The Economist). Statistics has it that America is the leading in inmate population globally and also has the second largest per capita incarceration rate behind Seychelles; this is to say that the cost of holding criminals behind the bars is also high. Jail in America has become the warehouse for the poor, the mentally unstable and those with major drug addictions (The New York Times). People have been detained for minor violations such as the shoplifting and driving with a fake license. There is a need to derive the best alternative to jail for petty crimes to curb the increasing economic effect of the prison population. The European Court of Human Rights has also ruled out the laws of the life without parole that gets imposed on the less-violent sentences. They have argued that this practice violates the human rights.
My essay will support the fact that community service is the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that lock people up for ten or more years. Such is because the community service impacts the criminals with the responsibility and required social ethics. Additionally, it will allow the prisoner interaction with the real working world hence his contribution to the society maintains. Again it helps to reduce the cost of keeping a petty criminal in prison; that’s the economic effect of keeping a criminal locked up is reduced.
CHANCE TO INTERACT WITH FAMILY GROUPS
Pilkington highlighted that community service will allow the prisoner interaction with the real working world hence his contribution to the society maintains. Through community service the prisoner can have a sense of belonging, he can interact with the outside world, and emotionally he is appeased since he doesn’t feel like an outcast, this gives him the courage to face the world after his sentence ends (Pilkington). Thus, the after crime rate will be reduced; this makes community service the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that locks people up for or more years. Additionally, unlike the prison, community service will prevent severe pain to the petty offenders. This concept is fundamental since sentencing petty criminals without parole will eventually lead to depression and lowers the nation’s economy. Sending individuals behind the bars also ruin the families and their lives as depicted by the story of Jackson, who got a life sentence after picking a jacket worth $159.
Reduction of the expensive cost of prison service: Moreover, community service helps to reduce the cost of keeping a petty criminal in jail; that’s the economic effect of keeping a criminal locked up is reduced. The money set aside by the government to keep the criminal in jail could then be earnest and used in other sectors of the economy like agriculture and growth of the educational sector. The prisoner is also able to earn a little income throw community service this income helps him to feed his need reducing poverty levels and also creating revenue for the government. The social, economic benefits of community service are thus high as compared to keeping the petty offenders in jail (The Economist). Again the increased tax imposed on the citizens, to pay for the prison services has resulted in a reduction in the nation’s economy. Almost additional of $1.8 are paid by the taxpayers to ensure the prisoners get locked behind the bars for life.
Reduction of reoffending cases: Additionally, community service is a more efficient form of punishment since it reduces reoffending rate to a much minimum rate as compared to those kept in prison. Community services are not only limited to keeping the environment clean but also painting railings and lifting of machinery. Magistrates can determine the magnitude of punishment about the offense committed. The heavy burden put on the criminal will not allow him to repeat the same offense again in his life (The Economist). The sanctions aim at mentoring the criminals, enabling him to change his ways, in build a sense of responsibility in him and also giving him the courage to face the real world. Again most of the criminals are aged over 50, and this will pose little threat when they get released.
Development of the nation’s economy and personal advancement: Community service is also a source of relief to many criminals; most prisons get associated with cases of rape amongst the male inmate, fights, some as bad as causing severe injuries on fellow crime offenders or even death (The Economist). Community service serves to eradicate this norms, crime offender through community services could leave prison and go work becoming more productive. The sense of responsibility in each inmate reduces case of rape among inmates and also unnecessary fights. The nature of petty crimes like theft, substance abuse and instances of mental health commonly occur in poor backgrounds, where there is a shortage of food, lack of employment, and high rate of school dropout (The Economist). Community service gives the criminals time for self-evaluation. Personal motivation and also a chance to learn short courses that could assist such an individual to secure a job that can enable them to improve their living standard, this makes community service the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that lock people up for ten or more years.
Side effects of life without parole: While locking up people in prison don’t seem to do so much on the offender, given the high rate reoffending among those kept in jail, but the incarcerated effect is quite relevant to the society. Mobile.nytimes.com explained that Community service as a penalty had some underlining limitations. For instance, follow-up of offenders since they are not showing up for service in time requires a lot of closeness and strict supervision, this is not only unnecessary but also time-wasting, and secondly the implementation process is cumbersome and also expensive so is the cost of training probation officers to man this offender. The society does not find community service as useful as the jail. But such underlining limitations don’t deter community service as being the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that lock people up for ten or more years.
Further research: Though justice system has tried to implement the precepts that will ensure petty offenders do not get locked behind the bars, critique still has it that caged, individual will not pose any threat to the community any soon. Another research supports that this fact will tremendously reduce the frequency at which the criminal activities occur. John Donohue from Yale law school purports that 10% increment of the captivity will automatically lead to 2% of crime reduction. However, it has been argued by Bert of Purdue University that locking people behind the bars has reduced crime rate by only 0.5% (The Economist). He argues that increasing the incarceration rate will result in a rise in locking the petty offender behind the bars. This aspect will in turn increase the crime rate since most of the inmates emerge from the prison with new techniques of increasing their criminal activities.
Based on the assay above it’s clear that the merits of community service overweight its limitation. Drawn from statistics America remains the most incarcerated country in the developed world, most of the population held to represent the poor, unemployed, substance users and the mentally unfit. It is clear that most of this people cannot directly or indirectly feed for themselves. Holding such person in custody doesn’t directly help them solve their problem instead it gives the community a brief respite. Community service will provide such offenders ability to cater for their needs. With the experience gained they can be able to work separately, such initiative will go a long way in reducing the crime rate. The cost of holding crime offenders will also be minimal. This practice will give the country extra resources to improve other sectors of the economy as well as keeping this offender in check. Ideally, it is a clear prove that community service is the best alternative to jail for petty crimes that lock people for ten or more years.
“Too Many Laws, Too Many Prisoners.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 24 July 2010. Web. 12 Nov. 2015. <http://www.economist.com/node/16636027>.
Pilkington, Ed. ‘Over 3,000 US Prisoners Serving Life Without Parole For Non-Violent Crimes’. the Guardian. N.p., 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes>.
“The New York Times.” Jails Have Become Warehouses for the Poor, Ill and Addicted, a Report Says. Web. 12 Nov. 2015. <http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/us/jails-have-become-warehouses-for-the-poor-ill-and-addicted-a-report-says.html?referer=>.