Prison Overcrowding Essay

2380 words - 10 pages

In the 1970s and 1980s, a massive amount of inmates began fillin up the United States prison systems. This huge rate of growth in this short amount of time, has greatly contributed to the prison overcrowding that the United States faces today. In fact, the prisons are still filled to the seams. This enormous flood of inmates has made it practically impossible for prison officials to keep up with their facilities and supervise their inmates. One of the main reasons why many prisons have become overcrowded is because of states’ harsh criminal laws and parole practices (Cohen). “One in every 100 American adults is behind bars, the highest incarceration rate in the world” (Cohen). The amount of inmates in corrections systems, throughout the nation, sky-rocketed to 708 percent between 1972 and 2008. Today, there are about 145,000 inmates occupying areas only designed for 80,000 (Posner). Peter Mosko, “an assistant professor of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice” (Frazier) stated, “America, with 2.3 million people behind bars, has more prisoners than soldiers” (Frazier). There have been studies that have shown “there are more men and women in prison than ever before. The number of inmates grew by an average of 1,600 a week. The U. S. has the highest rate of crime in the world” (Clark). Because of this influx in inmates, many prisoners’ rights groups have filed lawsuits charging that “overcrowded prisons violate the Constitution’s 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment” (Clark). It is clear that the United States corrections system needs to be reformed in order to eliminate this problem. Prison overcrowding is a serious issue in society due to the fact it affects prison organizational stability, inmate health and behavior, and the housing space and resources available.
Prison overcrowding has affected numerous subjects in the corrections system. One major problem of prison overcrowding is the effect it has on prison organizational stability. The more prisoners and people put in jail have made it harder for prison guards and staff to monitor and control them. The entire prison system must make enormous changes in order to accommodate for the number of inmates versus the number of prison guards (O’Leary). This often results in a misclassification of offenders. Many who come through the system are classified based on the amount of space available instead of on the security level and programs that would be most suitable for them (Howard). “It is not uncommon to find inmates, classified as medium security, incarcerated in maximum security institutions, while other inmates are in medium security who were previously considered candidates for maximum security” (Howard). Misclassifying offenders often leads to “slow progress through the corrections system as well as a slow exit” (Howard). This in turn only prolongs and increases the overcrowding problem (Howard). The corrections programs...

Find Another Essay On Prison Overcrowding

Overcrowding in the united states prison

1858 words - 8 pages People are constantly hearing on the news the many crimes that are occurring in our nation, everything ranging from burglary, to assault, to even murder. But what we don’t hear about is what goes on after the arrest. Most people assume that once a criminal is detained, they are put in jail and are released only after their sentence is completed. It turns out, this is not always the case. This is due to prison overcrowding, which is when the

Better Ways to End Prison Overcrowding

1168 words - 5 pages The U.S is only 5% of the world’s population and houses a quarter of its prison inmates; well over 2 million people. In the past decade the war on drugs has filled many state and federal prisons with a numerous amount of inmates. Building new prisons is not the answer to tackling the prison overcrowding dilemma. The U.S doesn’t have the money due to economic strains, and it will not solve this issue head on as needed. “California may be forced

Overcrowding in Americas Prison system analysis

1184 words - 5 pages Prison OvercrowdingOvercrowding in Americas prison system is a relatively new phenomenon. It has been in its current, problematic state since the 1970's. The problem of prison overcrowding has not come from higher crime rates. The majority of the changes have come from new policies on who to lock and for what. The attitude of locking up criminals because they are "bad" is what spawned this. Because of this attitude the prison system in America

War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding

712 words - 3 pages University of Phoenix Criminal Justice Administration CJA 453 Juan Campos February 5, 2009War on Drugs and Prison Overcrowding Prison overcrowding is a major problem1in our criminal justice system and it continues to bea hotly debated topic as to how we should address the problem. One of the main reasons our prison systems have a problem with overcrowding is drugs. More specifically, the "war on drugs" started by President Reagan in 1982 brought

Home Confinement is the Solution to Prison Overcrowding

1406 words - 6 pages Home Confinement is the Solution to Prison Overcrowding        Prison overcrowding is one of the largest problems facing the American criminal justice system today. Many people may think this issue does not affect them, but the problem becomes important when overcrowding forces prisoners to be granted early release. "In cases of extreme brutality, the sentence served by criminals can be short. Because prison space in the city is tight

Prison Overcrowding: Causes and Solutions to Fix the Problem

2472 words - 10 pages Prison overcrowding is a major problem in our criminal justice system and it continues to be a hotly debated topic as to how we should address the problem. One of the main reasons our prison systems have a problem with overcrowding is drugs. More specifically, the "war on drugs" started by President Reagan in 1982 brought a dramatic increase to the number of people put behind bars for drug offences. Mandatory minimum sentencing and truth in

Changing Drug Laws to Reduce Prison Overcrowding - LCC, ENGL 2 - Comp 2 Essay

1230 words - 5 pages Grant 1 Maia Grant Prof. Dan Holt Eng 122 Sep.22.2017 Changing Drug Laws to Reduce Prison Overcrowding Prison overcrowding has been an issue that the US has been trying to resolve. The case Rhodes v. Chapman, deemed that prison overcrowding is not unconstitutional, but is cruel and unusual punishment ( Some of the problems that overcrowding can cause are, negative effects on the mental psyche, inmate dynamics, and prison violence

The Punishment of Probation- A Proposed Solution to the Prison Overcrowding Problem in England

877 words - 4 pages Since 1993 the population within prison is increasing leading to majority of prison overcrowding this meaning there is now a higher percentage of people in prison here in England than any other country in Western Europe (Howard League 2006). This is leading to re-offending as offenders are not able to receive individual rehabilitation because there are too many offenders to rehabilitate. As this becomes more of a problem in today’s society the

Prison System

1288 words - 5 pages WRA 10October 30, 2014The Prison system is groaning under the weight of offenders, and if steps aren't taken to increase capacity the prison system could face a real crisis. Many of our prisons are operating at more than twice the allotted space for inmates. Overcrowding of prisons obviously has a detrimental effect on conditions within a prison. With more inmates there is less money for each individual, and standards in prisons suffer. Some

American Intervention: Prisons in the United States

785 words - 4 pages America does a lot to help countries in need, however we could use some outside help of our own concerning our prisons. First, we could use help with overcrowding. Next, minor flaws in our justice system that contribute to overcrowding. Finally, the condition of some of our prisons don’t make them seem like they are not prisons at all. In the United States, prison overcrowding is caused by many issues. These include not enough room in

The Overcrowding of Prisons

1771 words - 7 pages According to Mark Early, president of the Prison Fellowship International, the Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows that there are 19 states that have prisons operating at 100 percent capacity and another 20 are falling right behind them. There is no wonder why the overcrowding of prisons is being discussed everywhere. Not to mention how serious this predicament is and how serious it can get. Many of the United States citizens don’t

Similar Essays

Prison Overcrowding Essay

1780 words - 8 pages Prison overcrowding is caused by a variety of issues, such as such as not enough room in prisons, fluctuating crime rates, changes to laws and improvements to law enforcement tactics (Prison overcrowding is a growing concern in the U.S. web.). I chose this topic because I just could not grasp as to why and for how long has our prisons been overcrowded, so then I narrowed down my search in three main topics to help me and maybe others to

Prison Overcrowding Essay

1040 words - 5 pages In my opinion, the most critical issue facing the United States criminal justice system is prison overcrowding. The criminal justice system needs to address this because of the harmful consequences that arise for prisoners, which include reduced standards of living, increased levels of violence, and prisoners’ inability to assimilate into society. There are a few solutions for to address the issue, which include reducing prison sentences and

Prison Overcrowding Essay

1434 words - 6 pages Prison overcrowding is one of the largest problems facing the American criminal justice system today. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, more than two million men and women are now behind bars in the United States (Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003). The exploding prison population has been propelled by public policy changes that have increased the use of prison sentences as well as

Is Prison Overcrowding Fixable? Essay

2098 words - 8 pages justice system to include options other than prison for non-violent offenders. The process will be slow, but the ___(prison officials/head people?)_____ need to be aware that this process is essential to helping resolve the problem of overcrowding. This course of action, no matter how slow and painstaking, will allow there to be space available for those who actually need to be in prison. The sluggishness of this process may also be attributable