- About 600,000 people are released from prison each year. However, many of these citizens come back into society with a large mark on their record, which could potentially hinder them from receiving social services, obtaining proper housing, getting a job, and even having access to food stamps (Oliver 2015).
- As a result, 1/2 of all people released from prison return to prison at some point in their lives, and about 2/3 of parolees return to prison due to a violation of their parole. It is quite clear that this prison system can become a vicious cycle that many people may have the misfortune of not being able to escape from (Oliver 2015).
- The average cost of incarcerating a prisoner for 12 months is $50,000. That is millions and millions of dollars spent by taxpayers each year! This money could also go to other sources which may ultimately slow the rate of imprisonment such as social services, education, job training programs, and much more. (guest)
- Almost 40% of prisoners in the United States are African American and about 20% are Latino, meaning that groups that are considered minorities in the United States make up a large majority of the inmates residing in prisons. One may think that the deeply rooted racial prejudices that this country continues to battle with today has a factor in why a disproportionate number of prisoners are Black and Latino (Jones 81).
- Finally, it is important to know that 95% of prisoners will be released. Since most of the people that are being imprisoned will eventually become regular citizens again in our communities, isn’t it only fair and just to provide programs for these citizens to restart their lives? They are people like you and me, and the world will only get better if we try to help one another out! (Oliver 2015)
Jeff Pryor: Guest Speaker in Class Lecture on 2/18/16
Jones, Sabrina, and Marc Mauer. Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling. New York: New, 2013. Print.
Oliver, John. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prisoner Re-entry (HBO).” YouTube. YouTube, 8 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2016.