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Prisons Don’t Work

Right now in the United States of America murderers, rapists, and child molesters are being set free. Prisoners are watching T.V., eating a meal, and using exercise equipment while law abiding citizens are starving and living in the gutters. Prisoners even have their own periodical. Dangerous criminals are walking the streets and crime is a way of life to many Americans. In America, crime does pay because our nations prison system is not working.

The nations prison system must be changed because of major problems with the system such as overcrowding and the fact that early release programs do not work. Building more jails is expensive and does not solve anything. These problems can be solved by giving prisoners no chance for parole and imprisoning only violent offenders. The non-violent offenders should enter a work program for the duration of their sentence.

Since 1980, jail and prison populations have grown by 172 percent(United States 11 Sept. 1994). Overcrowding is both inhumane to the prisoner and dangerous to the prison staff. When you put a lot of people, especially criminals, in close quarters tensions rise and the chance of a riot increases. If a riot occurs both prisoners and guards are put in danger. In Texas the jails are full. There is an estimated backlog of 29,000 state prisoners who are incarcerated in county jails awaiting new cells.(Brida 24 Nov. 1994) Texas is not the only state with overcrowding problems. For example, Ohios prison system is operating at 180 percent of capacity.(Varnam 16) Also, the federal prison system is 37 percent over-capacity(Clark 4 Feb. 1994). Statistics like this are found across the country.

Prisons should have two objectives; 1) keep dangerous criminals off the streets …

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…ng more prisons cut the crime rate? The CQ Researcher 4 Feb. 1994URL:gopher:// gopher.

Cunniff, Mark A. and Patrick A. Langan. Recidivism of Felons on Probation, 1986-89. 24 Nov. 1994(found) URL:gopher://justice2.

Prison Inmates To Work In Wildlife Management Areas.Associated Press 24 Nov. 1994(found) URL:gopher:// gopher/e-serials/general/education/univ-newspapers/daily- texan/today/94041507.s03_Prison.gz.

Sanchez , Edward J. Look Beyond Capital Punishment. 26 Nov. 1994 (found) URL:?.

United States. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Probation And Parole Populations Reach New Highs. 11 Sept. 1994. URL:gopher://

Voters Get Tough On Criminals. The Associated Press 9 Nov. 1994. URL:?.

Foreign Aid Programs are Good Politics

Americans have historicly had many outlooks on foreign relations and the country’s proper place in them. On one extreme is the idea that the US government should use it’s power and influence as a globally acknowledged superpower to take a leading role in world affairs, to use it’s military strength to help promote peace and stability. The other side is that America is not the world’s policeman, that we must put our own interests as a nation first. The US Taxpayers Party, a recent addition to the list of nationally recognized political parties, leans clearly towards the second side. In their party platform, which can be found at, they call for US withdrawal from all foreign alliances and international agencies. The affects of many aspects of our current foreign policy make their stance partly understandable. But it would be unreasonable to adopt such an isolationist policy with the changing dynamics in the world as well as our own country.

The easiest argument to restrict our dealings with the international community can be summed up in one word: the Constitution. Many read the clauses dealing with treaties and alliances as providing a basis of foreign policy to serve the best interests of the nation (USTP Party Platform). Nowhere does the US Constitution imply that the government is obligated or even allowed to take on the problems of the world, or to use the nation’s resources to act in any way other than to directly further its interests. But the Constitution was written many years ago, when the nation was smaller, not nearly the global power it is today. The writers had no way of predicting how much it would change in o…

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… Jr. “Sino-American Relations: Back to Basics.” The

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Moffet, George. “US Foreign Policy Successes Brighten Clinton’s 1996

Bid.” The Christian Science Monitor. 1995

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Sopko, John F. “The Changing Proliferation Threat.” The Electronic

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Whitley, Darren. “Speaker calls for change in foreign policy.” Collegian.


(7 march 1997)

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