Prisons make criminals worse, and should be abolished The modern prison system was developed in the 19th century. The system had three basic aims: to isolate, punish and reform the inmates. However, in the last twenty years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of prisoners and prisons have come to be commonly criticized for being “universities of crime”. This essay attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of prisons, whether they actually make criminals worse, or whether they offer a chance at betterment. This part of the essay deals with the advantages of the prison system. There are three apparent beneﬁts to putting convicts into prisons. First, they provide punishment by deprivation of their freedom. Second, the offenders are segregated from the rest of the society and so cannot re-offend. And third, they are given the possibility to take part in various training programmes, which gives them the chance to reform.
However, there are a number of drawbacks as well. First of all, prisons appear to be failing in the 21st century. Secondly, the prison population is rising steadily in many countries and at the same time many prisoners return to prison. Thirdly, few prisons are actually able to offer effective reform programmes. And ﬁnally, prison conditions are often brutal and degrading. To sum up, even though there are all these serious disadvantages in the whole system, the pros outweigh the cons, as it would seem unimaginable living in a society in which people with criminal record mingle with those who do not have it, and are thus in direct danger of encountering the convicts.
It would appear that the solution to the problem is not the question of whether prisons should be abolished or should be here to stay, but rather how to make the whole system more effective. One such way could be the attempt to come up with ideas that would directly improve the current state of things for instance thinking about where and how to obtain more money to spend on the training systems, or run prevention projects that are targeted not at prisoners themselves, but at people who live in problematic areas and are thus at risk of becoming criminals.