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Word Count: 1,249
For as long as society has existed it has been made up of two categories of people law abiding citizens and menaces to society Today these menaces to society are more commonly called criminal offenders As long as we have criminal offenders we are going to need some type of sanction to detain manage or rehabilitate them so that they may function as a productive part of society This is the job charged to the department of corrections The main problem that emerges in the department of corrections is what do they do with these criminal offenders Should they get tough and lock them up and throw away the key in hope that this will serve as an example to potential criminal offenders Should they just simply lock up the criminals and isolate them from the rest of society These are valid options that have been previously experimented with in the United States and to a certain extent are still being experimented with The trouble with these options is that they create sever overcrowding of our prisons which in turn digs deeper into the pockets of law abiding citizens On average it cost about 56 per day for each inmate which is a little over 20000 a year 1999 corrections yearbook The United States prison population is about 2 million inmates Multiply 2 million by 20000 plus the cost to run the correctional facilities That is a lot of money that is charged to tax payers Why invest so much mon ey into an institution that just keeps growing in size and cost Why not invest the peoples money into programs that could help lower the population of correctional institutions and rehabilitate criminal offenders so they could be productive citizens in society Rehabilitation was an option that was experimented with back during the progressive era Inmates were diagnosed with a problem and were treated for that problem during the time that they were incarcerated
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