Essay - Overcrowding in the Prison System Introduction: Overcrowding in the Prison...

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Overcrowding in the Prison System


Overcrowding in the prison system is a serious problem faced ***** nations around the globe. Both developed and developing ***** are experiencing *****s that are filled to up to 300 percent of their capacity. In the United States the pr*****on population more than quadr*****led between the years of 1978 ***** 2001 (Marciniak 10). As a result ***** this overcrowding, ********** is increased incidents of violence, a rampant spread ***** disease in and out of the prison, poorer security in place than if appropriate inmate levels were maintained, higher rates of recidivism, and unhygienic living conditions for *****s. With resources stretched beyond *****, important resocialization ***** reintegration programs become a low priority in the system ("Addressing Prison").

Factors in Prison Overcrowd*****g:

***** noted, almost every country in the world is ***** an overcrowd*****g ***** their ***** **********. This trend is the result of a variety ***** factors. These include: tougher criminal policies ***** view imprisonment as a prim*****ry means of punishing *****s. Included in ***** is "a trend tow*****rd longer sentences reflecting a reaffirmation of ***** value of punishment and a movement tow*****rd more determinate sentences and restrictions on early release, thereby reducing the ability of prison administrations to deal with overcrowding problems" (Giertz & Nardulli 71) In addition, there is a reduced use of bail and a failure to fully implement early release programs, an increase in crime rates in many countries, ***** an overburdened, ********** criminal justice system ("Addressing Prison").

Compounding the problem is an ***** in the number of parole violators. Between the years 1980 and 2000, the number of ***** violators that ***** sent back to prison ***** from 27,000 to more than 200,000 (Travis).

Challenges as a Result of Prison Overcrowding:

One of ***** primary challenges ***** ***** overcrowding is simply the inhumanity of the situation. Overcrowded pr*****ons have seen more than the designed ***** inmates crowded into these confined spaces. This inhumane treatment only serves to perpetuate a wide variety ***** social ills that plague communities in general ("***** Prison").

***** *****, overcrowded prison systems often lead to serious health consequences. Due to overcrowd*****g, prisoners are often forced to share beds, bedding ***** personal space. These close living quarters contribute to the spread of a variety of communicable **********, including Tuberculosis. And, it's not just the ***** that suffer from this spread of dise*****e, disease spread can affect those outside the prison system as well. As an example, ***** recent outbreaks of ***** in Russia *****d other former Soviet Union countries have been directly linked ***** outbreaks in the local prison population, which was exacerbated by ***** overcrowding of the ***** ("Addressing Prison").

In addition to the spread ***** *****, overcrowding has also ***** positively associated with increased tension and violence in prisons. With more ***** ***** ***** system was designed to accommodate, it is ***** difficult, and sometimes impossible, for prison authorities to prevent *****, let alone gain control once it's occurring.

This has sometimes resulted in deadly


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