November 5th, 2016
The Next President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Future President,
I feel that we have a very big problem in this country with our corrections system. Our prisons are full and we have more prisoners in jail than any other country. Even China who has 3 times our population has less prisoners than we do. To really see what that looks like, China has a population of 1.357 billion and only has 1,550 million prisoners and the US is a country of 325 million and has 2,193 million prisoners. That means that for every 7 people in the US there is one person in jail and for ever 875 people in China there is someone in jail. That just doesn't make sense. Is there just more criminal DNA in US citizens?
I have found that US citizens are not criminals by nature. I have also found that excessive punishments for nonviolent crimes is one of the main reasons there are so many people in jail. A prime example of this is when people are found to possess drugs, they are sent to jail for up to a year! Another interesting fact that I think is important is that no judge has been away from his or her family for a year to serve time. No judge has had to worry about the safety of their life and if they could come home to their family after a year. As a military brat I know how that much time apart feels. I know that being sent away from your family and into a dangerous place does not make you a better person, but only the opposite. There has been and never will be a case where putting someone's life in danger day in and day out makes them a better and more upstanding citizen. Prison are dangerous places and a year is a very long time.
I believe we would not have to deal with the problem of overcrowded jails if we had a better court system. It would be better if we did not group drug offenses into the same category as sex offenders. We could categorize these different crimes a little better. We could release the 46.4% of prisoners who are in jail for drug offenses and have them bettering our country with community service. I've found plenty of trash on my street that can be cleaned up and plenty of homeless people that need houses built for them. I believe that by making all non-violent criminals do community service like cleaning up our streets will help them not go into a dangerous crime infested place away from all their family and friends.
Most people would argue that having criminals on the street makes the US less safe, that having harder punishments will keep criminals off the streets and in jail. People like to group things together; races, cultures, and criminals. People think all criminals are the same. I do not agree with this because someone who does drugs is not dangerous, they just need a little guidance. I believe that jail is not the right kind of guidance. If someone goes to jail they will always be effected in a negative way. I know from experience how long a year is when it’s away from you family and it is never helpful. They will be discriminated because they have made a mistake, for the rest of their lives. This is not right and you as my future president need to change this.
But to summarize what I believe is that our court system is too harsh and should not put non violent criminals such as drug offenders with violent criminals such as sex offenders. We should make our streets clean and give these people a second chance at learning a work skill and not to end the possibility of rehabilitation for them, by sending them away from their families for many years into a dangerous environment that will not help them.
Stanley, Debra L. and David Newton. “Criminal Punishment and Rehabilitation.” Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, ABC-CLIO,2016, issues.abc-clio.com/Topics/Display/913426?cid=41. Accessed 4 Nov. 2016.
Article Title ATTN:
Website Title The 4 Biggest Reasons So Many Americans are Behind Bars
Article Title BOP Statistics: Inmate Offenses
Website Title Federal Bureau of Prisons