Prisoner Risk and Recovery System by Phebe Staggs (Age: 16)
The United States prison systems house an overwhelming number of prisoners who do not receive the proper intervention and recovery to help them find their way back to normal society. Racism, low income housing and addiction contribute to hindering convicts before and after they enter the system. People in need of help can only receive it while they are in the prison system and most of the time it is short lived. Once they are released it is hard for them to continue moving forward with their lives.
A majority of incarcerations could have been prevented if there was a proper prevention system within American society. Sixty-five percent of Black Americans and sixteen percent Latinos make up the American prison population. Twenty-five percent of those are immigrants (American Jail Association, 2018). Had they and many others been allowed any other alternatives, they would have strayed, but because of there living situations, the color of their skin and were they've come from they are only taught to keep there guards up and to be wary of everyone.
Low income housing is the most watched by police and investigators. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (n.d) has seen numbers of felons come back right were they started because they have on other means. They have no money and no protection and even young kids' watch as there parents do every thing they can to survive. Police have been reported to regularly come by these specific areas and arrest any one they see out of line or out of command (Sawyer, W. and Wagner, P., 2020). All of this leads to trust issues and fear of the people who are supposed to be helping them through the difficulties they have all ready in there lives. They turn to other means of protection: gangs, drugs, abusive spouses who claim they can help them but only want them for their own selfish needs.
Surviving being the main reason, when they are released form jail, convicts go right back to what they were doing before. When their in jail they are given free therapy, addiction prevention classes and told how to be better (American Jail Association, 2018). It's short lived, after your out of prison were are you going to go? You have nowhere. So you go back, to drinking, smoking, and stealing. Anything to keep the people who do stay around longer. Then, you're caught again. Being homeless, or black, or from a bad neighborhood. You're sent straight to jail until they can get a lawyer and tried.
Most convicts are never tried fairly, will never be let out on parole, and are subject to police brutalities in the prison system (National Low Income Housing Coalition, n.d.). This also includes low income or communal housing residents. These people are taught from a young age to fear and protect themselves from the people that are supposed to protect them, and when we ask the big questions about why there are so many, black, Latino, immigrant, and poor prisoners' in jail. Convicts have no one to turn to and nowhere to go (Volunteers of America, n.d.). So they turn to drugs, guns, and who ever they can get to love them. Once their in the prison system, it doesn't stop.
The American prison system is corrupt. A majority of its victims are minorities and immigrants. Many people who live in low income housing are targeted by the authorities which leads to trust issues later on in their lives. Prisoners who are released from the system that gave them rehabilitation services can no longer receive those same services for free. In or out of the prison system, minorities and low income Americans are taught they should fear the people who are trying to help them. There is much corruption that needs to be eliminated from the American prison system.
American Jail Association, (2018). Jail Statistics. https://www.americanjail.org/jail-statistics
Sawyer, W. and Wagner, P., (2020, March 24) Prison Policy Initiative, Prison Policy https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2020.html
National Low Income Housing Coalition. (n.d) Barriers to Housing for Justice-Involved Persons, https://nlihc.org/explore-issues/policy-priorities/housing-and-criminal-justice
Volunteers of America, (n.d.) A pioneer in Correctional Services for 123 Years, We Champion the Humane Treatment of Prisoners. https://www.voa.org/correctional-re-entry-services