Problems With Incarceration In America
Incarcerated populations face enormous challenges in this country. Recent studies indicate that roughly one in three adults in America have experienced an arrest by the age of just 23. The majority of these arrests will involve poor men of color. Many of these arrests will result in incarceration, even though 80 percent of arrests are for non-violent offenses such as property crimes or drug crimes. If you have been charged with a crime and are facing the possibility of time behind bars, it can behoove you to have a determined local criminal defense attorney working on your behalf.
Prior to Arrest
We know that incarcerated individuals come to the criminal justice system with a number of issues impacting their lives long before an arrest is on the horizon:
- Substance dependence and abuse: Nearly seven in ten incarcerated individuals enter detention with drug or alcohol issues.
- Education Deficits: Nationwide, roughly sixty percent of detainees lack a high school diploma.
- Employment Issues: One-third of those behind bars were unemployed for the previous month or longer;
- Mental Illness: Nearly 20 percent of inmates struggle with some form of severe mental health challenge;
- Homelessness: A full 14 percent of those behind bars have been homeless for a portion of the previous year.
It seems clear that U.S. prisons are ill-equipped to address the problems inmates bring to the setting, not to mention they don’t address recidivism adequately, since over 60 percent of prisoners are re-imprisoned within three years of release. As the ACLU notes, incarceration here in Nevada is nothing short of a nightmare for many. In addition to the personal problems each individual brings to the situation, consider the following:
- Inmates suffer loneliness as they miss out on day-to-day interactions with loved ones, and miss milestones such as holidays and funerals;
- There is no privacy for anyone behind bars, except in solitary confinement (which has its own issues);
- Prison violence is a constant reality;
- Poor health care results in minor issues becoming severe;
- Poor sanitation, overcrowding, and COVID exacerbate all other issues.
The Consequences Continues After Release
Many ex-convicts are ill-prepared for the world they will be facing upon release. An array of barriers—some that last indefinitely—awaits:
- Public stigma limits one’s ability to build new healthy social connections;
- Changes in society, such as those related to technology, require huge adjustments;
- Underlying personal issues have often remained untreated and detonate in society;
- Restrictions on housing, employment, and federal benefits programs limit options for healthy, honest, independent living;
- Restrictions on the ability to serve on a jury, or to vote, limit active citizenship;
- The ability to own firearms is often denied.
At Lobo Law, our experienced criminal defense attorneys understand that every human life matters. Your future, your life, your goals— they are all important. If you are facing criminal charges, you can count on defense from a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who is passionate about justice. Contact our office to discuss your circumstances in a confidential consultation today.