The Correctional Key: Throw It Away

Roslyn Muraskin, Long Island University - C.W. Post

Incarceration punishes those individuals who have violated the law. Depending on the level of the crime committed, the punishment can be lengthy. The legislators in their passage of laws dictate the sentence or at least its range. Bad people are locked up, this according to the media as well as Hollywood who enjoys depicting the "excitement" of crime as being worthy of their productions. Correctional facilities and their purposes are not fully comprehended by the masses. The perception of what goes on inside is misunderstood by those outside. The practice of overcrowding cells as well as subjecting prisoners to unsafe and unsanitary conditions exist in the 21st century, as it did in centuries gone by. If the Constitution is to protect all of us from cruel and unusual punishment, so then it must protect prisoners, "it is essential that their rights be protected and that inhumane treatment be prevented." This paper will examine the state of corrections in the 21st century and talk about policy implications and changes necessary for this new century.

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Updated 05/20/2006