Overcrowding in Prisons as a Significant Problem

Overcrowding in Prisons

Overcrowding in prisons is a problem. It is a problem because prisoners do not have the minimum space required. Inmates to staff ratio are terrible in overcrowded. Staff to inmate ratio isn’t proportionate. Mental health issues be increased due to being in an overcrowded prison. Mental health issues be increased due to being in an overcrowded prison. Overcrowding in prisons could increase self-harm and suicide. It is a problem because prison conditions are poor. It is a problem because the rates of infectious diseases are higher in prison. With overcrowding being in prisons and its many issues, there are solutions to those problems.

Overcrowding in prisons is a problem because it has led to poor living conditions for inmates. Along with the living conditions being poor, the infectious disease rate is increasing rapidly. Inmate to inmate violence seems to be closely related to the intolerable living conditions. An overcrowded prison does not lend itself to a productive environment for inmates. Mental issues are becoming an issue due to overcrowding, inmates are not receiving proper treatment for those struggling with mental issues. The treatment that the inmates do receive is not adequate. Overcrowding has led to prisons operating past the maximum capacity.

Plan to offer early release through parole. After planning to offer early release through parole, offer inmates the option of being redirected rehabilitation programs. Weigh the pros and cons of offering early release. Categorize the inmates by crime and see which one has the largest number of convictions. Find a solution to the problem. Stop over sentencing and giving jail time to people who really need guidance. Offer different levels of punishment for crimes that does not involve prison time. If it is a violent crime that is not murder offer some sort of counseling to understand the problem. Instead of giving jail time for people who are caught with drugs offer rehabilitation. Get rid of statute of limitations. People being prisoned due to crimes that they committed in their past and it is adding to the overcrowding of those who have recently committed a crime. Some of those who are being made to serve time for an old crime are older people. Living conditions in prison are not up to par and it is just rude and borderline inhumane to have them serve time for a crime that they committed when they were young. A substitute to imprisonment would be day to day fines.

One way would be to consider the harshness of the crime. The more severe the crime the greater the fine will be. Second, you need to look at the income of the offender in order to configure what the fine should be. Probation is one of the most common uses of punishment that are offered but it should be pushed more than jail time. Plan to release inmates to halfway houses six to twelve months before their scheduled date. Before, inmates would have to serve out their sentence which leads to overcrowding in prisons. After a plan has been advised, the system will know the protocol of early release to halfway houses. Though sentencing varies depending upon the crime, there will be a plan in place to prevent overcrowding. Seeing as vast majority of the individuals going through the system are young males uneducated with majority being minorities, there should be levels of help to prevent them from ever being sent to prison instead offer self-improvement program such as vocational, academic, and employment programs to them to send them back into society and not prison.

Most of these programs are paid via our tax payers to aid in shaping them into productive individuals so when they are freed they have work experience and an education such as a G.E.D. The government should do more to make sure prisons are not overcrowding. The government knows that people will break the law, but there should be several solutions or other forms of punishment outside of prison. The sentencing practices need to be re- evaluated seeing as the number of inmates that are incarcerated is increasing. The daily costs of housing an inmate needs to be carefully reviewed. Then we will look at answers for decreasing prison populations which consist of rehabilitation and the discharge of elderly offenders and prisoners with petty offenses.

One approach to minimize or stop the increase in our prison populations comes from the sentencing phase. It is imperative to know the diverse goals of sentencing. Which is to disable, revenge, discouragement, rehabilitation, justification, and punishment. To disable, the system is sentencing the offender to a prison with the goal of not letting them to commit additional crimes. In vengeance, the goal is to seek revenge against the offender. It is almost like this is the eye for an eye mentality. Discouragement is a means to stopping criminal behavior. Rehabilitation is a means to alter one’s behavior, so that they will no longer commit criminal acts. Vindication refers to the making and enforcing of the law and punishment that goes along with a criminal act. Finally, punishment is the punishment of an offender justly and correspondingly. The penalties of the punishment for the offender are not taken into consideration. There should also be rules when defining who should be sentenced to prison and for how long. Overcrowding in prisons can be avoided.

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