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Shawn Griffith spent over 23 years in various Florida prisons for an armed robbery he committed in 1992 at the age of 21. He has just recently been conditionally released from prison. He documents in elaborate and exacting detail what is wrong with the corrections system in the U. S and provides a host of solutions about how to improve it and save the taxpayers millions of dollars, while making our streets safer at the same time. "Facing the U.S. Prison Problem 2.3 Million Strong" is written by someone from inside "the belly of the beast," who knows from years of personal experience what works and what doesn't. Ironically, most prisons today are not set up to rehabilitate prisoners but to do the opposite --simply to warehouse ever-increasing numbers of them until their eventual release with little or no practical training to succeed on the outside. Shawn advocates that the real purpose of prison, in addition to punishment, should be to enable the 90 percent who will eventually be released to cope on the outside and not return to prison within the first three years, as now just under half of all released prisoners do. Shawn shows how tough-on-crime politicians, supported by guard unions and private prison corporations, have a vested interest in keeping the recidivism rate high. Instead of fostering in-prison drug rehab, job training, impulse control, and close family ties, prisons continually slash these critical programs to hire more guards and build more prisons. In California, 70 percent of the prison budget goes to pay the 31,000 guards it employs and only 5 percent to vocational programs to reduce recidivism. Until taxpayers grasp how counterproductive this approach truly is in providing public safety, there will be no chance for meaningful prison reform. FACING THE U.S. PRISON PROBLEM 2.3 MILLION STRONG-Shawn Griffith
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