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Prison Alternatives Prison inmates are some of the most dysfunctional people in society Most of the inmates have had too little discipline or too much come from broken homes and have no self-esteem They are very insecure and are at war with themselves as well as with society Most inmates did not learn moral values or to follow everyday norms as they were brought up in society Take a group of people strip them of possessions and privacy expose them to constant threats of violence overcrowd their cell-block deprive them of meaningful work and the result is a bitter underclass more intent on getting even with society than contributing to it There are better ways to deal with crime and punishment in America Most of todays correctional institutions lack the ability and programs to rehabilitate the criminals of America One can predict that a prisoner held for two four eight or ten years then released still with no education or vocational skills will likely return to a life of crime Often their life in crime will resume in weeks after their release Although the best prisons and programs in the world will not cure the problem totally improvements still must be made Next some believe that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just send them to prison For instance we could give them a chance to acquire job skills which will improve the chances that inmates will become productive citizens upon release These programs must aim to change those who want to change Those who are taught to produce useful goods and to be productive are likely to develop the self-esteem essential to a normal integrated personality This kind of program would provide skills and habits and replace the sense of hopelessness that many inmates have Out of ninety-five of Americas federal prison institutions only 23 of them are violent offenders Federal Bureau of Prisons Quick Facts So
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