There is close to nothing right with the prison system in the United States. Our prison system is one that takes criminals off of the streets for too long, spending a fortune on them while they do nothing for years and years but hang out with other criminals, how is that going to fix what they have done? I understand the necessity of removing violent or sexual criminals from society where they could cause harm to people, but beyond that, incarcerating criminals for years is not effective. Say, for example, a man is arrested for dealing crack-cocaine, he is incarcerated for a number of years, where he sits in his jail cell and does a whole lot of nothing. Eventually, he is released and goes out in search of a job, but he is less employable than he was before, pushing him back to a career of drug dealing. The United States could remedy this problem by improving the effectiveness of our prison system.
Imagine a system career criminals enter into and emerge as productive citizens. If the United States focused its prison system on rehabilitation instead of punishment it would yield far better results. I have 2 solutions. The first: prisons as education centers. When prisoners enter into prison, they are given an extremely rigorous courseload focused on making them better citizens. The inmates would not be able to leave prison until they demonstrate proficiency in the courses.
Solution number 2, prisons as job training centers, essentially the same premise as my first idea but with this one, the prisoners face higher taxes upon being released from prison to offset the costs of their prison term.