10 Reasons Why The American Justice System Is Failing

The Constitution of the United States of America was a document written on September 17th, 1787 and later signed and made legally binding on June 21st, 1788. This document protects the citizens of the United States from the justice system itself if it were to fail. Some rights laid down in this legislation that universally cover its citizens include a right to a fair trial, offers specific protection to the freedom and justice of the people, restricts the power of the government, and ensures the right to fair treatment by law enforcement officers.

Important additions or changes to the Constitution – called amendments – further reflect the protection of the people of the United States. One such amendment is known as the Eighth amendment, and protects prisoners from “cruel and unusual punishment”, as well as allowing the bail to reflect the socio-economic status of the prisoners. This ensures that not only the super rich and powerful are allowed out on bail. Here are ten reasons why the justice system in America is failing.

Compassionate Release

In the prison system in the United States, compassionate release of prisoners is based on a case by case basis where each prison has an individual set of rules. Some will release a prisoner with 6 months left to live while some will release a prisoner with a year left to live.

Under the Eighth Amendment relating to cruel and unusual punishment, some may consider not releasing an inmate with late stage cancer or someone who has suffered a stroke to be cruel. Unfortunately some inmates die while waiting for a decision to be made. Making this system even worse is the case where an inmate cannot fight the ruling of the Bureau of Prisons in a court of law, causing some to think of the system as unconstitutional.

Healthcare System

Healthcare risks of being placed in prison include a 90% increased risk of heart attacks, as well as a 55% increased chance of diabetes compared to non-incarcerated people. Even though a $1.4 billion contract between the Bureau of Prisons and Wexford Health Sources was meant to ensure healthcare for prisoners under the Eighth Amendment, roughly 20% of prisoners attest to not being able to obtain appropriate care for persisting health related issues.

Despite this highly flawed system, one homeless man proceeded to rob a bank in 2013 for only $1 to ensure his incarceration. When questioned about his theft, the 50-year old man commented saying that the prison system was the only way for him to obtain healthcare. This indicates a flaw with the healthcare system as a whole, not just the one in the prison system.