Recommendation and rationale the idea of building prisons.

 An abstract is required. Recommendation and rationale the idea of building prisons I oppose the idea of building more prisons in the of Washington. This follows the minimal benefits derived from using prisons to curb crime in the state. Imprisonment leads to an increase in crime, if the prisoners do not get a chance to improve their skills, or behavior. Once these prisoners get released into the world, without a significant change in their well being, the possibility of committing crime still exists. This follows exposure to a criminal society, which includes fellow prisoners. The interactions of prisoners, while still in prison makes individual prisoners to harden, thus increasing their ability to commit further crimes. Therefore, crime cannot be reduced by more prisons. This follows the idea that one cannot produce behavior change by suppressing negative behavior with an intention of shaping good behavior (Gendreau, & Goggin 1999). In addition to this, exposing a criminal to severe punishment destroys the quality of life. The prisoner gets to draw from the society, but does not give back to society. Consequently, other techniques, which encourage criminals to lead a positive life, such as vocational training, should be emphasized. Potential criminals, who include at risk children, should be provided with quality education, which leads to better opportunities in the future, instead of criminal engagements.

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The ability of other methods to yield greater benefits to the entire state, as opposed to imprisonment justifies the position of not building more prisons. Adopting techniques, which reduce crime from an early age of an individual’s life, for example, benefits the society in a number of ways, which necessitates that legislators concentrate their efforts on establishing such mechanisms.

Quality early childhood education for all, for example, allows children to access education at a tender age. Subsequent access to such education allows the children to concentrate on building their professions, thus shifting their minds from criminal activities. On the other hand, children who do not access education at an early age get the opportunity to interact with criminals in their neighborhoods, thus increasing their possibility of engaging in crime. As the “economic opportunity institute” reports, 70 percent of the children who do not access quality early childhood education pose a higher probability of being arrested for a criminal activity by the time they reach 18 years, compared to those who access quality early childhood education. More to this, leaving out at-risk children from early childhood education multiplies their risk of becoming chronic lawbreakers by five times. This means that building more prisons does not serve to reduce crime. Instead, handling the root of the problem can bear better fruits, and give benefit the community a better return on investments made.

Other programs, such as cognitive-behavioral programs also reduce the prevalence of crime in society. They equip the criminals with a mentality that allows a significant number of these criminals to reform and lead a positive life. A 6.9 percent reduction in recidivism as explained by Drake, Aos, & Miller (2009), helps in combating crime, compared to the expense of building more prisons. In addition to this, providing existing criminals with an opportunity to gain vocational skills that can help them lead a better life after prison promotes their quality of life and well-being. This means that criminals need to be helped, through ways that yield economic benefits for the state, instead of methods that deprive the state of its resources, as well as a good number of people who can contribute to the prosperity of the state.


Drake, E., Aos, S. & Miller, M. (2009). Evidence-Based Public Policy Options to Reduce Crime and Criminal Justice Costs: Implications in Washington State. Victims and Offenders 4, 170-196.

Economic Opportunity Institute. (n.d). The Link between Early Childhood Education and Crime and Violence Reduction. Economic Opportunity Institute. Retrieved from:

Gendreau, P. & Goggin, C. (1999). The Effects of Prison Sentences on Recidivism. Ontario: Public Works and Government Services Canada.

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