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 ***** pr*****on population more than quadr*****led between the years ***** 1978 and 2001 (Marciniak 10). As a result of this overcrowding, there is increased incidents of violence, a rampant spread of disease in ***** out of the prison, 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 and 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 experiencing an overcrowding of their ***** **********. This trend is the ***** of a variety ***** factors. These include: tougher criminal policies that view imprisonment as a primary means of punishing *****s. Included in ***** is "a ***** tow*****rd longer sentences reflecting a re*****ffirmation of ***** value of punishment and a movement tow*****rd ***** determinate 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 and a failure ***** fully implement early release programs, an increase in crime rates in many countries, ***** an overburdened, inefficient criminal justice system ("Addressing Pr*****on").

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

Challenges as a Result of Prison Overcrowding:

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

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

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

***** has sometimes resulted in deadly


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