Prison is a job fair because there is a big difference in offenses.
See, you become who you are around.
And there is a world of disparity between a kid about to go off to college who gets caught with drugs for him and his friends, and someone who has spent a decade or two behind bars for a life of assault, robbery, and maybe murder.
Yet, we put two people like this in confined quarters for a few years, and then wonder why they turn out the same.
Time goes by, and the would have been college kid can’t get a job with “Prison” on his resume for the last three years, and now his new best friends are felons.
In the same way prison does not work for some, it might work for the drug cartels:
Penal reformers have long claimed that “prison doesn’t work.” This is only partly true: for drug cartels, prison works brilliantly. Jails provide a place to hire and train new members of staff, something that is normally extremely difficult for criminal organizations to do because of the constraints imposed by the illegality of their business. From kingpins such as Carlos Lehder to vulnerable young Dominicans looking for protection and employment, thousands of people every year are guided into a career in crime by a stint behind bars. How misguided it was to send low-level offenders to these universities of crime was apparent even to Richard Nixon, the first US president to declare a “war” on drugs. “To take somebody that’s smoked some of this stuff [cannabis], put him into a jail with a bunch of hardened criminals . . . that’s absurd. . . . There must be different ways than jail,” he said in a private conversation recorded in the Oval Office in 1971.
-Tom Wainwright, How To Run A Drug Cartel