Society’s outlook on prisoners

Davenport, Kareem

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Society's Outlook on Prisoners An underrated social problem as a society is the outlook on prisoners and criminals. Society feels criminals and prisoners do not deserve any right as a human what so ever. They put all of us in one category, two at the best; violent and non-violent. This is all they know of us, and society uses this solely to define us. Not even giving a thought and consideration to our achievements, failures, families, background, education, work history, and so many other things used to define a person's life. I say consideration because it is so much that we are restricted from on the inside and out solely, because of this label, without a case by case scenario consideration and mitigation of different factors. Our progress after our conviction is something that is not considered at all if you are a violent offender. A violent offender in Illinois is restricted from good conduct credits to reduce their sentence. It is no way around this. Not even if this inmate saved an officer or another inmate's life. Not even if he/she accomplishes multiple vocational trades, an associates degree, and have excellent job ratings for jobs obtained in prison. Not even a check into that persons case to see if it was cruel and inhumane. The department of corrections, our entire governmental system, and society has forgotten the whole reason for incarceration is to rehabilitate a person, so that when they are released they are law-abiding tax paying citizens. The purpose it seems now is to put you in prison to undergo inhumane conditions and deprive you of your humanity and place in society. We are looked at as heathens, barbarians, not worthy of society, menaces, a burden to the world, and meant to be left in a cell to die. Some of our own families have this view. Forgetting that some of us were tax-payers and are graduates. Forgetting that some of us had strong positive uplifting ties with people in our lives and the community, forgetting the potential for rehabilitation merely because some in prison have less potential. We are all in one or two categories no matter what all else factors we have to offer. We are unable to vote while incarcerated, upon release we are unable to apply for public housing, or even live in public housing. Our voice is stripped and put on mute by our own people. We are looked at as we do not deserve any right society has to offer. Not even on a case by case basis. A man is shot down by an officer it is a national outbreak. An inmate beaten to death by a gang of officer in prison, no one cares. No one has any emotion about it, if any feeling at all society feels as if the inmate deserved it. This is the opinion, without even knowing a single fact about this man. Mass incarceration has nothing but raised our crime rate. Why? The reason being the conditions mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually we are forced to face in jail or prison does nothing to most but creates a new hatred for society and being a law abiding tax paying citizen. Hate and cruelty is only going to bring the same outcome. That's why in Chicago the young generation do not care about women and children. Mass incarceration will only worsen this. How long will it take before society sees this is not the answer to crime, will they realize it once society has lost all of its secure feelings. Of course all inmates won't actually take advantage of rehabilitation. A lot will and the leaders will, changing the followers mindset. This would be done by violent and non-violent offenders alike. It is a need more than anything to rehabilitate the violent offenders above all. Does society forget that one day these people will be released. So why not change our perspective and work on inmates so that they won't be a menace to society again upon release and harm an innocent person. Kareem Davenport [ID] Menard C.C.

Author: Davenport, Kareem

Author Location: Illinois

Date: November 15, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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