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

Factors in ***** Overcrowd*****g:

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

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

Challenges as a Result of Prison Overcrowding:

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

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

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

This has ***** resulted in deadly


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