It is now becoming evident, through research, that the impact of long term prison sentences is a destructive force in our communities. Poverty levels increase, illness, depression and dysfunction rise and the community becomes weaker...not stronger...as a result of long term incarceration. The cost of defense, the cost of prison to family members, the loss of income, the disruption in routine and the breaking of family ties through families into poverty and despair. Compound that with the lack of support or compassion for these families and you have a recipe for poverty and hopelessness.
We, who advocate for prison reform, have watched this for years. The point of prison is to arrest the behavior, remove the offender from their destructive influences and then re-direct the offender and give them the opportunity to create a better life. That SHOULD be the intention given that we call these facilities Department of CORRECTION. The last few decades we have moved away from a reform model and opted for punishment. Now we reap the consequences. The link below is for an article that gives clear research on the impact and the need for change. Read on. Prison and The Poverty Trap