Problem of Overcrowding of Male Prisons

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 Prison overcrowding has a number of sources.  The high rates of habitual relapse into crime are the most important source.  Among the many aches and pains for the Department of Corrections, among other problems, is prison overcrowding.  It is of my opinion that prison overcrowding is almost like a form of sickness that needs to be restored back to health, but in order for any illness to be healed the study of what causes the illness has to be of utmost importance.  In order to establish the cause of prison overcrowding, one has to look, by close scrutiny, at the foundational motives as to why crimes are committed.

The function of correctional services is not to punish but to deal with the behavior and attitude using different programs for treatment while indirectly dealing with prison overcrowding and violence.  When trying to create a reduction in the number of offenders the aim should not be to inflict punishment, but rather look at the factors that may have played a role in the offender committing that particular crime. Which would put him or her at risk for committing future crimes.

The inmates that would most likely have a previous criminal record are the ones who has little or no education, has never been married or are either divorced, are unemployed, and poor and came from broken households.  Which may cause these individuals to attach themselve to other deviant people such as gangs, drug opperations,armed robborys, ect. Researchers believe that the social backgrounds from which the offender came, has some connection to why he or she commits crimes. The Lack of  reform and rehabilitative programs used by the Department of Corrections need to be revisited again because,  in order to decrease re-offenders the Department of Correctons must provide the resources in order for the inmate to become a better citizans. They also half to make rehilibitation plans that fit each and every individual offender situation.  If these programs are in synch with the different offender profiles then the Department of Corrections will be able to improve those individuals who are in charge of its care.

        The hidden issues that contribute to prison overcrowding one will come to the realization that there is a substantial amount of ex-prisoners who have reverted back to the commission of crimes.  Researchers would like to see the situation changed where correctional facilities do not get so overcrowded, and they would also like to see less ex-prisoners return only to be readmitted to the prison system. So many faucilities offer education programs, work trades, and cetificate programs.  Many offenders take advantage of the prison system in the United States and would like to have an impact on such change in this particular field, so that tax payers can get their money' worth.  But do that make these offender better citizens and abide by the law? In my opinion no because a lot of jobs may not take a ex-convicted, and a person can not get financial aid to pursue a higher education to get a better job. Because they are charged with a non violent drug charges. Citizens who abide by the law on the other hand will be persuaded to continue doing so, and criminals will continue to be discouraged from committing criminal acts.  Our correctional facilities in the United States should be looked at as schools where offenders graduate as citizens who are law abiding and who have also learned to live a lifestyle free of crime making them socially acceptable.

        When the surroundings in prison gets excessively distressing, it also begin to get harmful, and once inmates are released from prison, they transmit the effects or results of that harm straight back into the  free  world.   It is not only unpleasing and or awkward in correctional facilities that are bad, but these prisons can also be unhelpful and destructive.   Secondly, the single greatest significant influence that assist in explaining the present catastrophe in correctional facilities in the United States is the deficiency of treatments and programs that are effective. The determination of unsafe and poor conditions of imprisonment, and the use of vigorous, intense, and possibly harmful techniques of control in the institution. 

          If this issue had been tackled in an effective manner in earlier years overcroweding would not of beenas out of control as it is now.   The United States Supreme Court first confronted  the issue back then where they came up with the double-celling act in 1979,  which saw unparallel boosts in the use of imprisonment. In current history of corrections  this act is no longer working because now facilities are putting up to four people in a cell. making it harder for everyone to get there needs met and to keep themin a healthy facility.

        Two cases, Plata v. Schwarzenegger and Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, brought against the state, allege cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Both are long running cases, with the Coleman case dating back to 1995 with 77 substantive orders issued in an effort to fix the mental health system in California prisons. In October of 2005, the Plata court ordered the California prison healthcare system into receivership to establish a constitutionally adequate medical system.  In November of 2006 the plaintiffs in both cases filed a motion to convene a three-judge panel to limit California's prison population as provided under the federal Prison Litigation Reform Act. On July 23, 2007, both the Plata court and the Coleman court issued orders to convene a three-judge panel in order to determine if a population cap should be placed on California prisons. Only one panel will be convened for both cases.

        Prison systems and county jails across the Deep South are nearly all either at or over capacity, resulting in people being forced to sleep on the floor or in the dayroom, often with little opportunity to go outdoors for exercise or fresh air. SCHR has represented hundreds of men and women in class action lawsuits challenging the consequences of severe overcrowding: violence, excessive use of force by corrections officers unable to keep order in the chaos created by overcrowding, poor medical care, and intolerable living conditions. In an effort to ease overcrowding, the Fulton County Jail has began sending hundreds of inmates to southwest Georgia. This move is  meant to help the problem-plagued jail meet conditions of a federal court order, will send inmates to Pelham and to Decatur County.


Fulton County illustrates the complex challenge when tracking inmate populations. The federal report showed a significant decline at Fulton's jail which is under a federal court order to alleviate overcrowding by transferring inmates to other jails. The DOJ said Fulton had 2,271 inmates last June 30. In Fulton County Jail's population are below the 2,250 mark, as stipulated in the court order.  By transfering inmates to other faucilities which will involve inmates who have been arraigned on felony charges and are awaiting trial. They will not include defendants facing a death penalty trial, such as courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols. Funding for a new jail may not be good political move; however, other local governing authorities calculate crime with regional population growth. Building or adding jail bed-space is common sense to avoid costly civil suits filed by litigious inmates. The old mindset of lock em' up and throw away the key might be good tough talk, but how much longer can this mindset continue with a proposed 17% increase in property taxes?

        Elapsed timing other than what is reasonably needed for trial preparation is the real ill of jail overcrowding. The United States Constitution and Georgia's Constitution are specific about delays of speedy trials. No matter how much the board of commissioners budget or how the Sheriff oversees day-to-day operations, the obligation of the next judge is to set an example by ensuring they enforce timeliness, accuracy and completenessof new and backlogged cases.

 Guarantee of a speedy trial is not only a fundamental liberty; it keeps defendants from sitting in jail for an indefinite period, at the tax payers expense. When there is a delay in cases, judges must resort to constitutional justice by demanding prosecutors and defense counsel to justify the reason for the length of delay. But that doese not mean that they do because as one case closes ten more come in. making it difficult to make sure that ever single person is being tkaing care of in accordence of the law without any rights being violated.

        Researchers expect that the study of prison overcrowding will among other things be awareness and clear perception into the occurrence of punishment. With an observation of such attainable knowledge the correctional justice must come up with a plan to help these inmates to make the right choice not to return.  There will also be set understanding of the present rehabilitation programs with a view to critique the validness in connection to their goal or purpose and ultimately make suggestions about programs that would better address rehabilitation and reform programs, which will in turn reduce prison overcrowding. 

        The idea that large prisons produce more aggression and violence than prisons that are smaller may well have been bought about by the failure to split the outcome of size from the outcome of other factors.  For example, researchers' found that U. S. populations that are larger have a tendency to be facilities that are maximum security and that security level had a close relation to the rate of homicide.  In addition, prisons that were larger had a tendency to be older with the ratio of inmate to staff being much higher, were more overcrowded, and were in urban areas.  In contrast to the assessment of prison offenses, a violence rate assessment comprised of a control for the types of offenders that were imprisoned in each facility.  The outcome of the study which consisted of 2,000 men who were tracked for a period of two years after they were released from prison illustrated that the size of the prison had no considerable correlation with the effectiveness of corrections.   In spite of this, there was an elevated relationship between rates of violence and overcrowding in prisons that proved to be negative.  Researchers were of the conclusion that a vital priority for government agencies should be to reduce prison overcrowding. 

Overcrowding in correctional facilities can also echo right back throughout our system of criminal justice, generating issues in local jails.  Officials in correctional facilities may respond to situations of prison overcrowding by trying to decrease the speed in which they are keen or even capable to take in new inmates.   In severe cases, some facilities may  decline to even accept them period.  But the overcrowding that occurs as inmates are backed up in the criminal justice system, waiting to get transferred to correctional facilities, is by itself damaging in its own right.   Take for example, huge populations in prison may give rise mathematically to an increased demand for services,   increasing demand for services, with the worsening of correctional facilities due to the speed of prison overcrowding and additionally challenging the capability of correctional facilities to supply for essential human necessities.  

Prison overcrowding seems to have particularly unfavorable effects on the conduct of younger inmates in the facility.  One study on the prison system in Texas noted that the larger the number of younger prison inmates in the facility then the rate of assaults and violations will be much more significant. Other research has shown some evidence for a collaboration outcome between the size of the prison and age.  Prisoners who are younger may be more vulnerable to the issues and control system in prisons that are huge than the inmates that are older or much more matured.  Another research study got almost the same results with general connections that showed a considerable relationship between how full the facility is, the number of total assaults, and prisoner assaults. The more inmates  overcrowding  prison, the more often the assaults will occur.  Inmates who are younger and inexperienced are likely to be more unstable ones. Unaware of their surroundings and the will to most likely respond in a hostile way to the stress, anxious enviorment will make keeping order in the jails impossible.and disagree PAGE 7ments that overcrowding and forms of incarceration.

Drugs are a major issue along with the strict laws on first time nonviolent drug offenders.   We are leaving these people in prison for way to long.   Which is  overcrowding our prisons with first time drug and nonviolent offenders. When there should be sentencing these men and women to rehabilitation centers and counseling.   This should be the first option for the justice system to be considering instead of just locking these men and women up for two to five years and overcrowding the prisons.   These first timers need more help to improve their life, and throwing them behind bars is just giving them more criminal activity to learn then they did on the outside.

The justice system should be taking severe nonviolent criminals with mental illness more seriously.   Instead of just locking them up and throwing away the key, there should be a lot more intense evaluations going on with mental illness with in these men and women.   This could solve a lot of the overcrowding if we could just take the time to place these men and women where they really need to be to receive some help.   This may be better than throwing them in prison where the violence and terror is even worse then on the outside for them.   These mental ill people with minor nonviolent offences can be dealt with in a much better way to help these individuals and the overcrowding issues.

Prison alternatives are on the rise to try to accommodate the rising rates of prison overpopulation. The first boot camps began in the United States in Georgia and Oklahoma in 1983. The intention was to maximize deterrence, to reduce prison crowding, to reduce the rising costs of prison housing and to reduce relapse. Boot camps are intended to be less restrictive than prison but harsher than probation. They stress vigorous physical activity, drill and ceremony, manual labor, and other activities that ensure that participants have little, if any, free time. Strict rules govern all aspects of conduct and appearance. Correctional officer's act as drill sargents,  using intense verbal tactics designed to break down inmates resistance and lead to constructive changes. Boot camps have three main goals: reducing recidivism, reducing prison populations, and reducing costs. As for two of the three goals the Boot Camps showed positive results, however, for reducing recidivism it had a 52% fail rate, mostly because of such short terms. The average term was 90 to 120 days which are definitely not long enough to show a change in the recidivism.

Electronic Monitoring is another popular alternative to prison which is also known as tagging. This is a device that is usually attached to the wrist or ankle of the violator. The device monitors the offender and the specified location where he or she is required to be present. The device transmits an electronic signal indicating whether the offender has had any unauthorized absences or has tampered with the device. In the United States, for example, only 826 offenders participated in electronic monitoring programs in 1987; by 1998, this number had increased to over 95,000.

The main aim of this study is to experimentally evaluate assess the relationship between violence and prison over-crowding. The goal is to test institution level, collective variables to decide which, if any, is violence related of different levels of severity.  The main focus of research in the past was inmate-level data, or it fell short of making sure that certain institutional factors of consequence was included.   In addition, information from jails and state correctional institutions, to the near exclusion had been used.

 By reserving the most severe penalties for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers, we can better promote public safety, deterrence and rehabilitation, while making our expenditures smarter and more productive.The overcrowding that has overwhelmed our Federal and State correctional facilities for almost thirty  years and it needs to be fixed.

In conclusion, many nations the number of inmates depends solely on the available resources, thus manipulating the inmates in order to accommodate them in prisons environment and programs being developed and modified to cater for the requirements of the inmates. The inmates are subjected to the available resources instead of the available resources being subjected to the inmates. The increased population in the prisons has lasted for more than twenty-five years in most of the nations and it need to have been solved. However, there has been reluctance in solving the problem thus denying the inmates their rights to have a better life in the prisons. The prisons have turned to be places of torture rather than places of correcting behaviors.

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Problem Of Overcrowding of Male Prisons. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved April 18, 2024 , from

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