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 in nations around the globe. Both developed and developing ***** are experiencing pr*****ons 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 ***** 2001 (Marciniak 10). As a result of this overcrowding, there is increased incidents of violence, a r*****mpant spread of disease in and out of the *****, poorer security in place than if appropriate inmate levels were maintained, higher rates ***** recidivism, and unhygienic living conditions for inmates. With resources stretched beyond capacity, important resocialization ***** reintegration programs become a low priority in the system ("Address*****g *****").

Factors in Prison Overcrowding:

As noted, almost every country in the world is ***** an overcrowd*****g 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 reaffirmation of the value of punishment and a movement toward more determinate sentences and restrictions on early release, *****by 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 ***** fully implement early ***** programs, an increase in crime rates in many countries, and an overburdened, ********** criminal justice system ("Addressing Prison").

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

Challenges as a Result ***** Prison Overcrowding:

***** of the primary challenges with prison 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 of social ills that plague communities in general ("***** Prison").

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

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

This has ***** resulted in deadly


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