Repetition of Crime
Whenever something tragic or bad happens, the mind's natural response is to defend; but in some cases after defending themselves, their next step is to retort back. This may be in verbal forms, or physical, where their aim is to bring back their personal "justice". In terms of prison, 46% of adults recommit crimes in the first year after being released from prison. This is a method of defense and getting their revenge and payback against the time they spent confined in a small space. The fact that almost half of the people released become reoffenders suggests that there is a lack in the rehabilitation sector. Sitting confined or picking up roadside trash is not a method of reforming. Understandably, it puts away the threat from society but that threat is simply delayed and in some cases worsened.
When prison is thought of, it is associated with the purpose of reforming and protecting, but in reality, it is simply prolonging the offender's time before he or she enters back into their crime ring. For those crimes such as theft and fraud, prison and being locked up can be somewhat effective, but to an extent that is only satisfying. However for the crimes that are more psycologically based, such as drugs, psycopathic murders, alcoholic and repetitional crimes, being locked away and isolated provides no real sense of reformation or getting rid of the original problem, because they need treatment that isn't answered from being thrown into a cell with limited communication. While yes, essentially mental and rehabilitation institutes are the same, they allow for actual treatment from specialists who can identify problems, but with the increasing costs, they are becoming harder to provide, resulting in how there is no actual work being done for the people in jail.
Protection in Society
Prisons do however allow for protection towards the citizens of a country. It is a right for any human to feel protected and prison do mean that you do not have to worry (for a limited period of time) that you are in threat, but there is still the chance of new crimes rising. Prisons do remove a threat and do offer reassurance but if there are chances of reoffences, then that suggests that there are problems behind those gates taht contibute to how prisons do not work.
Not enough for society
The paradox of imprisonment lies in society's expectations; the community wants retribution, as well as rehabilitation. What is interesting, is that for many sending people to prison is not enough; They feel that prison is soft and not a place where offenders suffer or are made to pay for what they have done. However only somebody who has never been to prison would believe that jails are "soft" places, because the truth is that the harsher a prisoner feels himself to have been treated, the less obligated he feels to abide by society's rules and to live up to their expectations purely becasue of their visits to jail. There is also the fact that they are more likely new victims will be created after his release. More than half of prisoners reoffend within two years of being released.
Inside of Prison
Whether it be over crowding or lack of reformation techniques, there is something that can create a further need to expel that anger. While some really do feel like they have done the time for their crimes, many feel as if they are being treated without justice and therefore they operate inside of prison. Over crowding can trigger many unwanted responses that can further anger and isolate a criminal because they are targetted mentally or physically. Even though the actual punishment had worked, words from others could have driven them to a breaking point that encourages the offender to recommit.