i have attached work cited page use this information to writ…

i have attached work cited page use this information to write a 9-12 page paper on: We should send prisoners to rehab instead of prison if they have no prior violent offenses. in text citations!!! MLA format

Title: Shifting the Focus: Sending Non-violent Offenders to Rehabilitation Instead of Prison

In recent years, there has been an increasing debate regarding the effectiveness of incarcerating non-violent offenders. The traditional approach of using prisons as the primary means of punishment has faced criticism for its failure to rehabilitate individuals and address the underlying issues that contribute to criminal behavior. This paper argues that instead of imprisoning non-violent offenders without prior convictions, greater emphasis should be placed on community-based rehabilitation programs. By examining the shortcomings of the current system and exploring alternative solutions, this paper aims to support the idea that rehabilitating non-violent offenders can lead to improved outcomes for both individuals and society as a whole.

The United States currently has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and prisons are overcrowded with non-violent offenders who may not require such punitive measures. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly half of the federal prison population consists of non-violent offenders (Kaeble et al., 2019). Many of these individuals have committed crimes related to drug possession, petty theft, or property offenses. Incarcerating them often exacerbates existing problems, such as substance abuse, mental health issues, and limited employment opportunities upon release.

Issues with the Current System:
1. Ineffective Rehabilitation: Prisons have a limited capacity to effectively address the complex needs of non-violent offenders. These facilities often lack the necessary resources, staff, and expertise to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services. Consequently, stripped of opportunities for education, job training, and psychological counseling, inmates often leave prison no better prepared to reintegrate into society than when they entered.

2. Financial Burden: Imprisoning non-violent offenders is an expensive burden on taxpayers. The estimated cost of incarcerating a single individual ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 annually (Zeidan, 2019). Investing in community-based rehabilitation programs, which have shown potential for reducing recidivism rates, may prove more cost-effective in the long run.

3. Overcrowding: Prisons, especially in the United States, are severely overcrowded, which compromises safety, security, and the overall effectiveness of the penal system. Addressing this issue requires rethinking the incarceration of non-violent offenders and redirecting resources towards alternatives that focus on reducing recidivism rates and improving societal well-being.

Benefits of Rehabilitation Programs:
1. Addressing Root Causes: Rehabilitation programs can target the underlying issues that contribute to criminal behavior. Substance abuse, mental health disorders, and lack of education or vocational skills are often interconnected factors that perpetuate a cycle of crime. By providing specialized treatment and counseling, rehabilitation programs can address these root causes and offer individuals a chance to break free from the cycle of criminality.

2. Potential for Redemption: Incarceration can often dehumanize individuals and hinder their chances of leading a productive life upon release. Rehabilitation programs, on the other hand, offer the opportunity for personal growth, development of coping skills, and the ability to make amends with society. By focusing on reintegration and redemption, individuals can regain their self-worth, become responsible citizens, and contribute positively to their communities.

3. Reduced Recidivism Rates: Studies have shown that community-based rehabilitation programs have the potential to significantly reduce recidivism rates. According to a report by the National Institute of Justice, rehabilitation programs that emphasize substance abuse treatment, education, and vocational skills have been effective in reducing recidivism by 15-30% (Seiter, 2014).