If you were asked to spend two months in jail, you probably would not do it.
Between the conditions that inmates live in, the food they eat, the violence and thedrugs, jails and prisons are nightmarish. No one would willingly put themselves in harm’s way.
But how else would the general public understand why the United States recidivism rate is so high? One Bureau of Justice Statistics study of released prisoners from 30 states showed 68 percent were back behind bars within three years.
A new docuseries premiering Thursday on A&E called “60 Days In” attempts to answer this question. The series follows seven ordinary people who have never been charged with a crime or done time as they willingly spend 60 days in jail. The impetus for this project is to understand what exactly is going on in lock-up and to have impartial people provide firsthand information so that effective reform can happen.
Tags: Jail, Prison, Jail Reform, Prison Reform, A&e
Even if they don’t think that we are the freest, they still believe that our population has far more rights than the vast majority of the human race. However, these people tend to ignore our large prison population. Can you really call it a free country when that nation restricts the freedoms of such a large percentage of its population, most whom are convicted of nonviolent crimes?
What’s more shocking, is that our prison population has reached an ominous milestone over the past few years. The number of Americans who were in jail and prison, or on probation and parole, was 7 million people by 2009. When you include former inmates who have since left our prison system, you wind up with 19 million people as of 2010. This number exceeds the 18 million people who endured the Soviet Gulag system, between 1929 and 1953.
While the conditions in the gulags were far worse than American prisons, our facilities still utilize slavelabor and torture techniques like solitary confinement to keep their inmates in line. And with a per capitaincarceration rate that might only be exceeded by countries like North Korea and Cuba, there’s no reason to believe that the United States is still among the free nations of the world.