What is a “zero tolerance” policy and how did it lead to these people being locked up?

Reflection Paper – “Prison State”

“Prison State” is a powerful film about the overuse and misuse of the prison system in modern-day America. It follows four inmates. Two are minors who are being treated as adults. One is a man with a major mental illness. The fourth is a Veteran with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This paper asks you to reflect on their situations, including whether prison is the appropriate place for them and what changes should be made. The paper should follow these guidelines and answer the questions below:

Be 3-4 pages in length
Follow APA style
Be written in an organized and coherent style
Have at least 2 outside article references besides the film

Contains your own thoughts as well and answer the following questions:

  1. Which of the four main prisoners featured had the greatest effect on you and why?
  2. State the main problem that each of these 4 prisoners had (This involves listing 4 separate problems since each person had a different problem). Were their problems legal problems?
  3. Do you think prison was the appropriate place for any of these four people? Why or why not?
  4. What is a “zero tolerance” policy and how did it lead to these people being locked up?
  5. What are the ethical and practical challenges with treating children and adolescents as adults?
  6. What is the effect on our society of having so many people in prison? Is this approach working for anyone?
  7. What are some better ways of approaching the problems presented by these four prisoners?
  8. What would it take to solve these problems differently? How could you help with this?
  9. Two of the people featured had better outcomes than the other two after release and were not readmitted to jail. What made the difference for the ones who did better?

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