The Pros And Cons Of The Penal System

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Over the past number of years, the population in prisons has continued to rise, causing stress on the penal system. It has led to overcrowded prisons, which often fail to meet the needs of detainees. Especially in the case of mental health issues, prisons are often unequipped to treat and rehabilitate prisoners with such issues. As a stark contrast to prisons in the late 1900’s, the prison populations are now far removed from being filled with sentenced individuals. Nearly half of the populace is made up of individuals in remand, people who are factually innocent and awaiting trial. In this paper, I will discuss how the penal system coerces offenders into pleading guilty, how it targets the accused for failure, and finally, the liberal perspective I am taking in this approach to the…show more content…
As was noted the Supreme Court decision of R. v. Hall (2002), “an accused placed in remand is often subjected to the worst aspects of our correctional system by being detained in dilapidated overcrowded cells without access to recreational or educational programs.” Not only are the cells crowded, windowless and often triple-bunked, but there is also the ever-present threat of violence. Detainees, like anyone else, can quickly become restless and anxious. It also does not help that they are very limited in their activities and have no access to programs because institutions do not want to admit them to programs before they are sentenced. Restrictions like this would be hard on anyone and as such, it is not hard to see that there are no benefits to serving pre-trial time. Under these conditions, the burden to plead guilty and get back to a somewhat normal life would be immense. It is supposed to be reserved for the worst offenders who cannot be trusted in society. However, it seems as though the standard has been lowered and more people are flooding into the system and set up to

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