One of the hottest topics in the state lately has been prison reform. The biggest question is “what are we going to do about the prisons being overcrowded?” Well, the solution is actually a lot easier than you might imagine.
We, as humans, tend to overthink situations that are much easier to solve than we like to admit. Essentially, we like to alleviate the symptoms of the problem rather than addressing the problem itself.
Need for Prison Reform
Causes of Prison Over Crowding
The problem is easy to address, “why are prisons overcrowded?” Because people commit too many crimes, getting convicted, then they start the looping process.
Many states adopted a 3-strikes and you are out law, where in theory, if you committed crime constantly you would have a life sentence and this would deter you from committing a crime. All this caused was people to have life sentences faster. It treated a symptom, but it didn’t treat the problem.
The problem that needs to be addressed is preventing people from committing crimes.
That solution is hard to resolve. Because, crime, as we know it, has been around since the beginning of humankind. But there are solutions that would help lower the crime rate. I am not crazy enough to think that it would be completely eliminated, but it can be lowered greatly.
The easiest solution would be education.
First, we need to educate the inmates themselves. We have them the entire length of their prison sentence. We should make them smarter. Most people would cry and moan that educated prisoners would create more educated criminals. However, this isn’t the case. AND if it were the case would that be the worst thing ever. To be able to say as a state our inmates are the best-educated inmates in the world.
Primary, Secondary, and Higher education improvement. We need to educate the people before they get a chance to be prisoners. America (especially Alabama) is great at a lot of things. Education is not one of them. However, we do seem to be extremely good at incarcerated citizens per capita. Do you see how those two things are possibly linked?
When a prisoner is incarcerated we as a society have a duty to provide means to move on from the causes that put them there in the first place. As it stands today, we put a prisoner in a place that makes them feel abandoned and surround them with an environment that only teaches them how to be worse. Yet when they are released, we expect them to function at a higher level? Again, illogical.
What if you walked into a prison, that allowed no cursing. Not from the inmates, or from the guards. It was a smoke-free environment. There were classes for the inmates to take, such as religious studies, GED classes, or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
My personal belief is that it would not only improve the inmate population, but it would lower the chance for inmates to return back to the criminal justice system.
Thank you for your continued support