Every year, American taxpayers pay billions in taxes for criminals to spend time in jail. Billions of dollars for some criminal to have a warm bed, cable TV, and good food. Most criminals are more comfortable in jail than out. In the United States, prisons are overflowing. Many violent offenders are released months ahead of time. This leads to an increased crime rate and more dangerous cities. Since the majority of criminals are extremely poor or homeless, being in an American prison is almost a luxury. When they are out of jail, they face homelessness and malnutrition. Therefore it is no surprise that these criminals become repeat offenders.
The justice system needs to change. But how? Physical punishment as it's used in Singapore works. But importing it to the United States would be challenged by the Bill or Rights and would most likely not stand a chance. Building more prisons takes time and money. A combination of the two would therefore be most efficient. Convicted criminals would be sent to jails in desolate areas. They would spend their nights in tiny cells, and their days doing physical labor.
The amount of money saved would be tremendous. Nowadays, criminals have access to magazines and cable TV. In a single year, this can add up to over one thousand dollars. You have to multiply this by the hundreds of thousands of criminals in jail today.
Lessen luxurious jails would lessen the crime rate, improve the cost efficiency of jails, and perhaps even provide an incentive to find honorable work. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.