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

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Overcrowding in the Prison System


Overcrowd*****g in the prison system is a serious problem faced in nations around the globe. Both developed and developing ***** are experiencing *****s that are filled to up to 300 percent of *****ir capacity. In the United States the prison population more than quadrupled between the years of 1978 and 2001 (Marciniak 10). As a result of this overcrowding, there is increased incidents of violence, a r*****mpant spread of disease in ***** out of the *****, 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 experienc*****g an overcrowding ***** their prison systems. This trend is the result of a variety of factors. These include: tougher criminal policies ***** view imprisonment as a primary means of punishing *****s. Included in this is "a trend toward longer sentences reflecting a reaffirmation of the value ***** punishment and a movement ***** ***** determin*****te sentences and restrictions on early release, thereby reducing the ability of pris***** administrations to deal with ***** problems" (Giertz & Nardulli 71) In addition, there is a reduced use of bail ***** a failure ***** fully implement early ***** programs, an increase in crime rates in many countries, and an overburdened, ********** criminal justice system ("Addressing Prison").

Compounding the problem is ***** ***** in the number ***** parole violators. Between the years 1980 and 2000, the number of parole 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 ***** prison overcrowding is simply the inhumanity of the situation. Overcrowded ********** have seen more ***** the designed ***** inmates crowded in***** these conf*****ed spaces. Th***** inhumane treatment only serves to perpetuate a wide variety of social ills that plague communities in general ("***** *****").

***** addition, overcrowded prison systems often lead to ***** health consequences. Due to overcrowding, prisoners are often forced ***** share beds, bedding ***** personal space. *****ese close living quarters contribute to the spread of a v*****riety of communicable dise*****es, including Tuberculosis. And, it's not just the inmates that suffer ***** ***** ***** ***** disease, disease spread can affect those outside the prison system as well. As an example, the recent outbreaks of ***** in Russia and o*****r former Soviet Union countries have been directly linked to outbreaks in the local prison population, which was exacerbated by ***** overcrowding of the system ("Addressing Prison").

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

This has sometimes resulted in deadly


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