Corruption can be defined as misuse of power and authority in order to get personal favors and benefits. In the United States prisons, corruption cases rages from those involving criminal investigating departments giving faulty forensic evidence which favor the prosecutor, jailing of poor in favor of the rich, illegal jailing of kids in adult collection facilities, bribing of law makers in order for them to come up with new crimes and many more. Prisons in United States At the beginning, putting criminals into prisons was aimed at improving or changing behaviors of these people in order for them to stay in peace with the general public.
It was one of the many options at the exposure of the judicial systems to observe behavior of a criminal (Rechal, 2014). During the 16th and 17th century, people who engaged in petty criminal activities were shamed in the public. The idea of law enforcers was to ensure that the rest who were planning to engage in such activities can learn from the others and therefore desist from such activities. During this time, people were put to prisons to wait for their prosecution or punishment.
During these years, prison were places where people would dread to be in because of rampant cases of diseases coupled with poor standards of living and those with major offences were put to death. It was during the 18th Century that corporal punishment was brought to an end. It was under the rule of British colonies in America that saw the birth of the prison of today. In this new court, criminal cases were categorized by their severity. For the most severe case, the criminal was to be killed, for the medium cases, corporal punishment was given and for minor cases fines was the sentences.
The pioneer children’s prison was opened in America in 1825 in an effort to imitate what was being done in Britain. The introduction of America to humane judicial system was made in the mid 18th C (Harry, 1921). In United States today, a person can be put into prison just because of owing another person some money. Today, United States is ranked at the top on the list of countries in the world with the highest number of prisoners. This number accounts for adult prisoners, children prisoners and people who have been put in jail for illegally immigrating to America.
Nowadays, it has become the order of the day for the United States prison to hold those people who are drug and substance addict, insane people and mentally retarded people if they cannot raise the money to set themselves free (Timothy, 2015). The great rise of this population of people behind the bars came in as result of tough laws that were introduced by the US government in 1980s. These laws targets those people with minor offences and do not allow the offenders to be rehabilitated. It ensures that as many people as possible are put into prison without any leniency.
By 1841, American prisons were among the most brutal prisons in the world although this was brought to an end by the human right activists before it again resumed in 1980s. Fighting the drug menace in the American population has been the main focus of the government which has seen many people put into prison. Laws and policies should be revised in order to bring this number down since majority of prisoners today in America are not there because of any criminal activity but because laws are not in their favor. Causes of corruption in United States prison system
Corruption in the United States prison system stems from the grave idea of Federal state outsourcing private prisons to do the correction on behalf of them. This was aimed at reducing the amount of money spent to cater for this by the federal government (David, 2013; John, 2012). This has resulted to mass recruitments of criminals into jail through the collaboration of the judicial system and the private business people to ensure the prisons are full. In return, the private partners are reaping a huge profit from this.
The corrupt deals are resulting into two different corruption opportunities created by the American Government; once in prison, the prisoner’s rights are not considered by these private prisons. This is ensured through congesting the prisoners in small holdings ensuring such housing are the cheapest, and having as many numbers of prisoners as possible (David, 2013; John, 2012). For instance, a cooperation by the name Corrections Corps of America (CCA) and GEO group had proposed to the government to manage all prisons in 48 states of US at a much reduced cost.
On the other side, and this is the genesis of the corruption, this company was to run a prison of 1000 bed capacity and government was to ensure that 90% of this capacity is maintained. The government agreed to these terms by ensuring that there are more tough laws for ensuring maximum prosecution. It also ensured that the minimum imprisonment will be 25 years even for minor cases like smoking marijuana. On the other hand, to ensure maximum profit, some few prisons like the newly build Karnes County in Texas has the prisoners life improved (David, 2013; John, 2012).
In here, prisoners are not congested and they are free to walk around the prison confinement and even play descent game. To ensure this is maintained the government has to impose more taxes to its citizens. This is a two way deal; the government makes more money and the profit for the private partners doubles. One of the widely publicized corruption deals as a result of privatization of prisons came in 2009 in Luzerne County of Pennsylvania. The deal is known as the “kids for cash”.
During this year, a judge was bribed by a private company to have 5,000 kids jailed and taken to adult private prisons for offences such trespassing and stealing DVDs from supermarkets (John, 2012). As a result of this privatization, immigrants, kids, drug users are faced with tough laws which could see them spend better parts of their life in private prisons which is in favor of this money making corporations. To my conclusion, the root course of corrupt prison system can be traced to the days when the government allowed the privatization of its correctional facilities.
This has allowed introduction of laws that criminalize activities which in non corrupt system cannot make any person be jailed. Case analysis of American corrupt judicial systems It has been revealed by legal experts that American judicial system is one of the most corrupt in the western world (David, 2011). To ensure that these corruptions are not revealed to the public and the outside world, it has either prohibited the media from reporting such cases or the media company is state owned. In the confinement of the US territory any one can be criminalized with little defense from the government coming for help.
The system has become so corrupt that even a lawyer who is supposed to defend you is the one who can fleece all the money from your account with no step being taken by the law. The law in America is so severe that no one would dare speak or raise an alarm when the judicial and prison systems are violating the human rights in all possible ways. All these happen because corruption has infiltrated in the US legal system with a lot of force.
Fake courts has been created and are used as an avenue to carry out corruption eals mostly on the minority races in America such as the American blacks whose population in prison is very large where the ratio of imprisoning them is now 1:36. US judges manipulate the lawyers to make sure that the victims loose all the court battles (David, 2011). It has been put into record that in case you engage a lawyer to represent you in a law suit, he will ensure that all the money you have is finished and then dump you. In case you try to report him to the judge through another lawyer, it won’t work in America since no lawyer will agree to engage his fellow corrupt lawyer.
Even the judge will take advantage of that case so that he/she can get his share (Les, 2011). All manner of brutality are found in the American prisons. Prisoners are sometimes beaten to death, raped, forced to have sex with each other by prison wardens and even killed without judicial system coming to rescue and put things in order (les, 2011). Prisoners are left at the mercy of the prison wardens. This kind of Prisoner mistreatments in America has extended to other territories of the world where American run jails have been reported to have a massive human rights violation by the world media.
A good example is the former prison of Guantanamo bay in Cuba where international prisoners were mercilessly mistreated and killed (les, 2011). Another case study of American corrupt prison system can be seen in the Iraqi’s Abu Ghraib jail which is run by the America. The violation of prisoner’s rights which takes place in this jail is similar to what happens to the prisoners in the American soil. From the analysis above, American prison system disregards human rights in all ways possible. To ensure this is done to the letter, there is a massive cover up by the media and the judicial system. Types of corruption in prison systems
Despite many ways in how the prison corruption can take place, all these form of corruption can be grouped in to 3 main groups; Misfeasance corruption: This is intentional wrong action taken by the prison officials either for their own benefit or to the benefit of another interested party (Sam, 2009). For instance, the government of the United States has intentionally allowed private companies to take over the running of its prisons in return of profit for the two parties. Malfeasance corruption: This is a type of corruption that an officer responsible for protecting the violation of laws intentionally violates the same laws (Sam, 2009).
For instance, when a judge colludes with a lawyer to ensure that a person is wrongfully incriminated and put to jail is a form of malfeasance corruption. This form of corruption has led to so many innocent people be put to prison in America. Nonfeasance corruption: This is a form of corruption that occurs when an officer fails to act accordingly (Sam, 2009). This is the most brutal thing which has seen death of many prisoners in America. In most of the cases, the calls from desperate prisoner for rescue either from the hands of a rapist fellow inmates or another brutal prison warden falls on a deaf year.
The above three form of corruption combined has seen the people who lives, travel and pass through American soil to be at a risk of being put into prison. It has made the American constitution to have no power to guard the welfare of its citizens since the people engaging in these corruptions are the same people who should ensure its full implementation. Controlling of corruption in United States prison system It is possible for the American government to ensure that the prison system is free of corruption. To do this, several actions need to be taken to both judicial system and prison system.
However, the government should lead this by an example. The first thing, America needs to abolish all the private prisons and take the overall responsibility of running its prisons. In this way, there will be no prison which will be run with the aim of getting more money which is translated to more people being put into prisons. Another crucial thing would be for all relevant government officials to do their duties in a more professional manner (Sam, 2009). This is key to ensuring the oaths taken by these officers to be honesty, faithful, and transparent when they are assuming their respective offices do not fail at all times.