Halfway Houses

3168 words 13 pages
Halfway Houses: And Other Prison Alternatives

For as long as there have been people, there have been violations of societal norms. With these violations comes the question, how do we solve these problems or violations? There have been many attempts to solve these problems, for example, in many cases from the beginning of time retribution has been the answer. Another form of punishment was eventually invented that would isolate offenders from the rest of the community. This punishment called incarceration, or prison, takes the violator out of the society in an effort to stop any future misdoings. From their inception, prisons have attempted to act as both a deterrent and a rehabilitator. However, in certain times one of these is
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This puts an immense financial burden on the country. Obviously something has to be changed in the justice system. If the crime rate is rising this much, the correctional justice system may not be functioning properly, and needs to be reformed. Many people have offered theories, however; no one universal solution has been found, as to what should be done with the prison system. I feel that one solution might be to have community residential programs, or halfway houses, play a more important role in the corrections system. Many offenders would be able to benefit from this. Offenders that have a drug and alcohol problem could get the treatment they need to keep them from becoming recidivists. Given the lack of evidence to support that incarceration of substance abuse offenders acts as a deterrent, we should seriously consider halfway houses as a punishment alternative. Such decisions should be tempered by the nature of the offense to be sure, so as to exclude career drug dealers. However, in the case of the "third strike, you're out", for small possession charges, we would want the individual to remain in contact with society, which is his best chance for success. Also, if we were to overturn legislation that mandated a minimum prison sentence for relatively minor offenses, we will reduce the prison population. With the present day war on drugs, cell are filling so fast that the minor offenders are taking up


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