Behind BarsIt’s quite possible for both sides of the debate about prison reform to never reach an accord. Those who want the ruling to stay the same have excellent points to defend their stand, as do those who want to move prison laws in the United States into the modern times. But for the general public, only one thing matters: try not to go to jail. As far as they’re concerned, it’s up to the politicians they elect to worry about changes to the system.

This concept is all the more real in communities where serving a prison sentence seems more like a common occurrence than an isolated incident; the rule rather than the exception. Black or white, everyone gets a bad deal when they go to jail in the US. That’s because the system works to keep people in rather than to rehabilitate them – this reality makes for a great argument for those in favor of prison reform. On the other hand, many others are in favor of retaining the heavy, and often unfair, sentences so offenders realize the gravity of their actions. To them, it makes sense to keep those who have the propensity to offend from committing more crimes.

The debate seems unending, with each side making a strong case. There’s a common denominator somewhere in there, however, and it’s about the effects of prison on a person’s life.

Quick Actions, Mild Repercussions

Prison has a way of affecting everyone who encounters it, and the effect is comparable to getting a black ink stain on a piece of white cloth. First-time offenders may not feel the full weight of the prison system, just yet, but spending a few nights in a city jail is unnerving enough. Repeat offenders, on the other hand, are playing a dangerous game of chance, and gambling with their freedom. In any case, if bail is available, it should be the highest priority. Raleigh Bail bond agents are your buffer against the prison system and its negative consequences.

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For one thing, bail helps you avoid prison trauma and the violence that happens within the system. It is not unheard of that some inmates take pride in pushing other inmates to commit terrible acts to prove themselves. For another, prison time can also affect the mental health of people who have preexisting conditions.

But, on a more practical level, posting bail means a prisoner will be able to consider a good line of defense. When there’s reasonable doubt about the intent of the arrest, there’s space to fight back. Posting bail doesn’t mean freedom, but it does buy some time to gather thoughts and organize a defense.

 Justice SystemShort-sighted Justice, Far-Reaching Impact

Can anyone honestly say justice is fair? A case hinges on so many things: witnesses, evidence and the jury’s verdict, among others. It’s no secret that many people try to avoid the justice system if they can, because history has shown that the process does not always result in justice. Moreover, going to jail is like a sickness on a number of levels. On an individual level, there are studies that show incarceration becomes the root of bad things in one’s life – decreased life expectancy, poverty and poor access to opportunities, to name a few ill-effects. It’s like a black mark, and unfortunately, too many people bear the sign. On the other hand, there is a particularly bad macro-effect of jail. Christel, a subject of a PBS documentary, said that it set the tone for his entire family. Most of the males he looks up to, namely, his dad and all his uncles, have been to jail. In a way, a man’s life is predetermined because his predecessors have all been in jail.

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The bail system is there, not as a profit avenue for the government, but to give incarcerated individuals a chance to stay out of the system. The prison system has its own place, serves its own purpose, and is, in most cases, fair. But, in the end, it’s best to uphold and live by the age-old saying: if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

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