By Marisa Bordowitz
- There is a serious misconception about what happens when inmates return to society. People don’t trust them. A criminal record can make getting an interview for a job very tricky. Job applications ask prospects if they have been convicted of a felony – a question that in some cases disqualifies them from being considered. (John Oliver, 2015)
- There have been arguments regarding the “inextricable” link between race and the justice system. Most people have heard of racial profiling (or racial injustice). 40 % of all prisoners are African American and 20 % are latino. This is incredibly disproportionate to their census. (Jones & Mauer, 2013, pg. 81)
- African Americans constitute 13 % of the population. 21 % of drug related arrests were African American in 1980 and 36 % in 1990. Statistically, there is no difference between the rate that blacks use drugs and the rate that whites do. Why the disparity then? (Jones & Mauer, 2013, pg. 91)
- Of inmates, 75 % are drug abusers and 40 % suffer from a mental illness. (Pryor, MSW, 2016)
- There are so many issues because it’s not easy to care about the welfare of ex felons. Once prisoners, are released, their likelihood to return is so high because they feel as if they are set up for failure. Some parole officers are very rigid about their meetings, conflicting with the jobs of former inmates (a detriment to the process of their integrating back into society. In some states, paying for a parole officer is necessary. Some people don’t have money to pay. Thus, they continue selling drugs or breaking the law (what got them to jail in the first place) in order to pay for a program they cannot afford. (John Oliver, 2015)
- Building prisons and utilizing them in a capitalistic way does not seem to benefit society. Perhaps more money should go towards building more programs to aid inmates and ex prisoners get jobs, shelter, food, and rehabilitation (for drug abuse and mental health). That would lead to a happier, and overall “wealthier” society as well. (Jones & Mauer, 2013, pg. 108).
Oliver, John.(2015).”Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison Re-entry (HBO) Last Week”.
Jones, S., & Mauer, Marc. (2013). Race to incarcerate a graphic retelling. New York: The New Press.
Pryor, J. MSW. (2016)