Free «Incarceration in the United States verses Russia» Essay Sample

The detention of a person in a prison upon committing a crime is called incarceration. The rates are the ratios of the imprisoned to the ratio of the incarcerated per capita.  In 2007 there were more than two million inmates meaning one percent of the adult population is incarcerated. Increase in the population increases the crime rate which in turn increases the number of convicts in the prisons. In the United States the population increased by seven percent consequently the inmates increased by nineteen percent. This means more money is needed to maintain the increased number of convicts. Many convicts hinder effective crime control hence the need to reduce the prison population. The ultimate punishment for criminals is to be sent to prison but sometimes imprisonment doesn’t serve the preventive purpose. for instance old convicts who were convicted under the” three strikes law” are virtually harmless but still receive the care from hospital infirmaries. (Jacob, 2008)

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 In California the prison budget might rise to higher than the university budget. The solution to these problems can be in exploring nonincarceration alternatives which would lead to the changing of policies that govern the process of incarceration. (Jacob 2008)

By keeping some people out of prison the number of inmates can be reduced. This would be achieved by providing drug rehabilitation centers for addicts and community service for small time thieves, parole when they behave properly and cease to be a threat to the community and giving good behavior credits they can be released back into society  hence the reduction of prison expenses. The congress passed policies that funded more to the truth oriented sentencing programs that ensure full time serving as announced at the sentencing. This has led not only to the sentences being more “truthful” but also longer.  If the policies made are less kneejerk and tough then this would help reduce the crime rate. Most of the victims are drug addicts but the punitive laws of the system makes tend to focus on the incarceration rather than on the treatment ( Ryan, 2000)   There are many minimum sentencing laws together with a militant –style drug war that s not compassionate or effective, has turned most citizens into criminals and succeeded in deluding themselves that they have succeeded at law enforcement. (Mike 2005. )

This in itself leads to the penal crisis where the government has to increase its budget significantly to accommodate the increase in the number of convicts .Since the governments cannot be able to fulfill the duty of ensuring safety all by itself ,it has incorporated the help of the private sector . This favors privatization of prisons and the contracting out of state functions .this has ensured that the civil society has to participate in crime prevention. The focus of policy making  has been on situational crime prevention and incarceration. Privatization led to the withdrawal of the state influence various areas by outsourcing. The main function of the state is the supervision of the security and correction providers. Advantages of this are that the costs of the government reduce, the competition improves the value of services rendered, jobs are offered to the communities and there are diverse educational, health and rehabilitation programs (Ryan, 2000)  

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Incarceration in Russia;

Similar to the United States penal system in terms of the “three strikes rule”, zero tolerancing, truth sentencing , the war on drugs and electronic monitoring (tagging). These policies are the basic elements of a law and order ideology. But the system is worse because unlike in the United States the number of convicts increases while the crime rate also increases so the penal system is obviously not working. Russia has a big corrections industry but the government has yet to embrace the prison privatization system. The problem that the government is faced with is that they require new policies(alternative sanctions) which will require private involvement since its expensive for the government on its own. There is potential for privatization of prisons in Russia.

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Some of the advantages of privatization are that it enhances quality therefore better value for less money, saves on management, and saves on construction costs. The disadvantages of the system far more outweigh the advantages .the system results in more cases of drug abuse which cause a clog in the justice system, more insecurity in numbers of escapes, abuse of prisoners’ rights, and there’s less training for the prison personnel. All these leave Russia wary of the incorporating private correction companies. The main reason is that privatization has lost most of its supporters and is a tendency for centralization and regulation of power. Observations of countries that have adopted this system are marred by influence of politics and lastly the government doesn’t want to relinquish its traditional functions.

There is the fact that they have however borrowed those parts that are positive like contracting out of public services (outsourcing) but its wont engage the private sector in the corrections.  the result is that there’s half public and half private system able  to maintain its power and still handle the corrections. It’s a precarious balance. If the prisons were private in Russia there would be increase in abuse and neglect for prisoners rights since corruption is high.  The Russian penal system resembles that of the United States culturally and politically but they both do not work effectively in the respective countries. Hence the penal crisis still looms and there aren’t any solutions being offered. This system can’t ensure the safeguarding of human rights where some are violated publicly and the government turns a blind eye. Most of the incarcerations are unjust because the incarceration policies are a scandal in themselves such as being imprisoned for “speaking against the government”. Most convicts are tortured; power is abused, overcrowded and inefficient running of the prisons.  


The only effective means of running correctional facilities is by ensuring that human rights of prisoners are upheld while in prison.   .Having a just system of rule that ensures petty crimes are dealt with effectively without all of the culprits being handed over to the prisons. Alternative means of incarceration like educational facilities for the young criminals and rehabilitation facilities for the drug users.  Other ways of unclogging the system is by putting comprehensive fair by laws that do not hinder the basic lifestyles of citizens rather compassionate with them.

Other systems are those of giving credit to those inmates whose behavior is no longer threatening to the society. Inmates could get a system where several years are removed from their sentence if they are found to be upright and by the evaluation of the correctional officers this evidence is backed. The prisons being correctional facilities should offer tutors to teach the basic skills to inmates hence improve their intelligence while they stay in prison. The skills could be used to provide labor in major government projects that may require laborers for a certain wage that is sent back to his family.  This then ensures that the correctional facility that is prisons have served their main central purpose: to correct bad behavior.  This will ensure that the prisoner is not focusing on the destructive rather on the constructive and that the numbers of the incarcerated reduce.

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