Effect of the Police on the Prison Population Essays

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Effect of the Police on the Prison Population

Because of the increase in crime in America, the public has demanded an increase in the amount of protection received from police. This increase in police protection has increased the incarceration level by numerous amounts within the last ten years. The number of inmates incarcerated in America is a direct cause of the policing that is going on in the streets of American cities. The method of policing has a tremendous impact on the outcome of the situation, meaning the type of policing determines the amount of arrests mad and the amount of inmates incarcerated. The historical pattern of prison sentencing has always shown that the offenders almost always served a much shorter sentence than
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Experiments done on the effectiveness of police during the 1970's showed that traditional methods of policing were not effective in decreasing the amount of crime on the streets. Until the early 1970's most states used the indeterminate sentencing method which allowed parole boards the authority to allow offenders to be released early. The idea of indeterminate sentencing came about in the mid-1800's and was preferred over determinate sentencing because determinate sentencing allowed no room for reform. Because of the dissatisfaction with indeterminate sentencing and the pressure for longer sentencing, there was a policy implemented in the 1980's which made it mandatory to have a guide for the minimum amount of time served as well as new sentencing guidelines. This method caused inmates to serve more time and because of this, there became a problem with overcrowding. To alleviate the overcrowding, inmates were then available to get sentence reduction because of good behavior and also with certain work programs they could be released early by the building up of earned time credit. In 1984 the first truth in sentencing laws were in acted. These laws required that prisoners serve a substantial portion of their sentence. To ensure that offenders served the majority of their sentence, the violent crime control and law enforcement act of 1994 were passed. This act allowed additional…