The previous story didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite usually occurred. I couldn’t wait to get out of the room so that I could hurt my brother for ”getting me in trouble,” and I resented my parents for confining me. While I recognize that reflection and introspection can be the cause of great personal changes, I’m not personally aware of anyone who has rethought their actions when they have been forcefully confined and told to do so. I’m sure that it has happened, but to my knowledge it is a fairly rare occurrence. Per the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 2/3 of criminals are rearrested within 3 years. If you give all the credit for the other third to the penal system (which I wouldn’t), then the system is only successful at rehabilitating one in 3 criminals. Therefore, I think that I am on fairly safe ground when I say that the prison system is almost exclusively punitive, and very minimally corrective.
Here’s the problem I have with that. According to the BJS , just shy of $30 billion was spent on prisoners in the US in the most recent study year. That is actual money spent, already being offset for any revenue producing activities prisoners perform.
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