The Purpose of the Prison System

A recent commentary piece aired on St. Louis Public Radio addresses a hot button issue of the day – What is the Point of Prison? During a time where more attention is being given to our country's jail and prison systems, it has become clear that prison populations have become too large and unmanageable. For many, harsh sentencing policies are also outdated. As a result, state and federal officials are championing prison reform, including a transition that focuses on treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment alone.

The commentary piece addresses problems within the Missouri criminal justice system and questions the point of punishing people with prison. The article cites studies on recidivism – or a convicted individual's return to prison – and states bluntly that sending people to prison often does little to make them better. Missouri had the highest re-offense rate in the nation, according to a study from the Pew Center.

At The Hammer Law Firm, our St. Louis criminal defense lawyers have seen the state's criminal justice system in action, and have noticed how many become lost in the system. According to our own Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti, "the prison system should not be used as a punishment tool for non-violent offenders who pose little or no risk to public safety." This is a belief that has already sparked changes to sentencing guidelines across the country.

Attorney Chiravollatti adds that "prisons should be used for the sole purpose of protecting society. We should be investing in job training, counseling, drug treatment, and life skills for non-violent offenders instead of sending them to a place that will make them more of a danger to society by re-offending or becoming violent."

For those who are faced with criminal allegations today, working with compassionate attorneys who work to protect clients' futures is crucial. At The Hammer Law Firm, our legal team makes the effort to protect our clients' freedoms and futures. If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a criminal offense in St. Louis or any of the surrounding communities of Missouri, call 314-334-3807 for a free consultation.

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