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SOC309Y1 (31)


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University of Toronto St. George
Travis K.Bost

Prison - Montana has one of the fastest-growing prison populations in the US - 57% of federal incarcerations were for drug offenses - Incarcerations are not only driving the growth of prison systems, but creating a virtual infection pump of HIV into the general population - Most drug-related convictions target dealers, but many first-time and petty users are sentenced because they finance their drug use with small-time dealing - Revolving-door prisoners—on short stays with frequent returns - These two kinds of prisoners have high rates of HIV infection. And either do not know or do not tell when they return to their old habits and partners on the outside - PrisonAIDS rates are six times higher than on the outside - Some were infected HIV within the prison system itself - HIV is spread to other uninfected inmates by drug use, sex for money, and rapes, which continue on the inside - Not only does the US have the largest and fastest-growing prison system in the world, but many prisons provide such poor health care that prisoners with HIV are not tested or treated - The largest increase has been in nonviolent offenders, who now comprise more than half of all US prisoners - Americans adopted the “mass incarceration” approach to crime and drug control in the 1980s - The war on drugs seems to be doing a better job of spreading AIDS than controlling drug use or crime - The relationship btw incarceration and violent crime rates in puzzling - Prisons may be creating more criminals than they are rehabilitating - Time in prison and jail for nonviolent offenders is “profoundly damaging” (Justice Policy Institute). The contemporary prison experience often converts them into social misfits and there is growing evidence that they will return to crime and other forms of deviance upon release - Mass incarceration in the war on drugs has also turned out to be profoundly racist. “African Americans and Latinos comprise a growing percentage of those we choose to imprison” - It is also playing out as sexist. The fastest-growing segment of our prison population and the least violent is women - Not only is mass incarceration morally dubious, its public health implications are frightening o Substandard AIDS treatment in many prisons makes them ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant super strains of HIV o Prisons are infection pumps for other diseases as well o Revolving-door prison system is repeatedly cycling prisoners- and their visitors and correctional employees- back to their communities, exposing family members and others outside the wall to dangerous diseases within - Lots of recidivism, or repeat visits by the same prisoners - Failed to adequately develop other social systems to prevent crime and rehabilitate prisoners, many inmates go through the revolving prison door time and time again until they die - Cost of American incarceration increased. when hidden cost like health care and other contractor services, administrative costs, and debt service on prison bonds are added, the costs are double. - Even without the hidden costs, in 1997 Americans spent more on prisons than on welfare, six times more than on child care - Few Americans feels that our communities are any safer than they were before although the nation spends more money on prison industry each year - Mass incarceration is a costly social and economic failure - The number of juveniles confined in jails and prisons skyrocketed, and most of the increased numbers were held in jail as adults - Prisoners HIV status is confidential, but be sure that many are HIV positive. - In fact, some inmates have committed crimes simply to get their medications taken care of through the tax rolls. If you commit a crime and you go to jail, the government pays medicines - Jails provide laundry and meals, clean. Meet family and friends in jails, with air conditions. Can go to clinic to see nurse. - Prisoners are controlled and structured in everything which is good for them - The US prison system is almost anything but a place in which those who have committed crimes can „pay their debt to society‟ - Prisoners are served by an array of skilled professionals, including librarians, legal staff, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS counselors, anger-management and parenting counselors, recreation supervisors - More than half of all prisoners participate in high school or college programs and attend English courses, and close to one-third get vocational education - There is a crisis of control. Gang warfare, turf disputes, racial tension and institutional violence are rife - Alabama Department of Corretions Acceded to a settlement in a federal lawsuit by 240 HIV positive prisoners
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