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Prison Reform

Olivia Sherron


Many view the prison system today as outdated and ineffective in rehabilitating criminals to re-enter society. Not only do prisoners face widespread racism, overcrowding, poor living conditions, and assault while in the system- they are no better off once released. America has a long list of discriminations against prior inmates, including denying them voting rights, housing, and food stamps, not providing work experience or training, and increased rates of rearrest for the same crime. According to a report by the Prison Policy Initiative, people who were formerly incarcerated are nearly 10 times more likely to experience homelessness. In order to benefit arrested individuals as well as general members of society, the prison system must face complete reform. The system needs to prioritize rehabilitation and mental health treatment while helping inmates acquire skills that will be useful upon release. The current system focuses too harshly upon punishment, leading to even more detrimental effects on prisoners that they carry with them into society upon being released.

According to Biden’s Website, Biden is committed to Prison Reform. His website states:

"Biden will take bold action to reduce our prison population, create a more just society, and make our communities safer, by: Preventing crime and providing opportunities for all. Eliminating racial disparities and ensuring fair sentences. Offering second chances. Reducing violence in our communities and supporting survivors of violence."

The Trump Administration helped pass the First Step Act in April 2019 and has announced that they plan to work on a Second Step Act easing on employment barriers.

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