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The Overcrowding Of Prisons Essay

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 understand why this is such a serious matter due to the fact that some of them believe it’s not their problem. Therefore they just don’t care about it. Also, some Americans may say that they don’t care about what could happen to the inmates due to repercussions of overcrowding, because it’s their own fault. In order to cure this growing problem people have to start caring about what’s going on, even if it’s to people who might deserve it.

The problem is that the people who are being incarcerated don’t need to be incarcerated. Instead of trying to do what is best for the offenders and help them we are just throwing them in prisons for so many years and hoping it will help. Yes, this idea is working in some cases, but in other cases throwing the person in for many years is actually making it worse. They are not getting the help or treatment they need. I spoke with a man who was in prison for many years and he said getting drugs in prison is so much easier than getting them outside of prison. He also said that most drug offenders go back to prison, because they do not get help with their addictions. They are being put into a place that is just making their addictions worse.

People may say that the problem with overcrowding of prisons does not affect them, but if you’re a taxpayer this problem is affecting you. In Michael Frantz’s article that he posted on the Press Release Distribution (PRLOG) website, he tells us that just 2 years ago the United States taxpayers were paying over $65 billion dollars a year on prison and incarceration cost. That was two years ago and the prison population have continued to grow since then, so can you imagine what it is now? Now, think of what the prisoners have to go through. Andrea Caumont shared some of the problems prisoners are having, because of prison overcrowding. She says that in California the United States Supreme Court told the state to reduce its prison population, because overcrowded conditions are amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. Can you imagine what must be happening for the Supreme Court to rule it as cruel and unusual punishment? Not only are they being punished cruelly, the prisoners are also losing their opportunities to participate in the prisons self-improvement programs and the vocational training, because there is less of everything to go around. Therefore all resources, even food, are being stretched to the max. (John Howard goes into more detail on this issue in his paper The Effects of Prison Overcrowding on the P.A.T.R.I.C.K Crusade...

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