Societal Benefits of the Prison System

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The necessity of prison systems are self-evident. They exist first and foremost as a means of enforcing adherence to laws; the general knowledge of said laws, and the prison sentence for breaking them, act as a general deterrent to keep the general population from breaking these laws.


Therefore imprisonment is based upon reprimanding violators of what society deems acceptable; it likewise protects society from being injured by those who would act against it, be that individual violence or widespread harm (such as embezzlement, terrorism, and so forth). Yet few people think beyond these simple tenets to realize the overall benefits of prisons to the community.
There are mixed opinions in the public about the benefits of prison placement. Proponents argue that prisons provide a boon to the economy, namely through construction, or security, food or medical employment within the prison itself. Opponents argue that these benefits fail to meet the original estimates: they claim the jobs never materialize and that the prison location can drop real estate value. The validity of both sides is difficult to prove and varies from case to case. What is proven is that the location of a prison invariably does improve local economy, even if the effects are slow to build and seemingly indirect. For the location of the prison community has become a concentrated surplus population that is now included in the federal census. Federal funds are allocated based directly on the results of this census, which means the more people in a given community, the more money available to the local government. ...
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