Home Confinement is the Solution to Prison Overcrowding Essay

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Home Confinement is the Solution to Prison Overcrowding

Prison overcrowding is one of the largest problems facing the American criminal justice system today. Many people may think this issue does not affect them, but the problem becomes important when overcrowding forces prisoners to be granted early release. "In cases of extreme brutality, the sentence served by criminals can be short. Because prison space in the city is tight, each offender can be accommodated only briefly" ("Punishment"). Prison overcrowding causes a controversy of positive and negative views concerning the construction of more prisons. Supporters claim that building more prisons is the only solution, while opponents argue that alternative methods
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In the article "Prison Staff Feel Effects of 'Horrendous Overcrowding,'" Jilly Welch states that, "Many prisons are employing only the minimum number of officers to meet health and safety standards." Arguments have been made that if prison overcrowding is not properly managed, the security of prisons will be endangered, placing staff and inmates in unsafe, life threatening conditions, and jeopardizing public safety. Supporters claim that more prisons need to be built to accommodate offenders as well as to ensure the safety of staff members.

"The number of inmates in the nation's jails and prisons rose again last year, to a record 1.8 million, though crime rates have dropped for seven consecutive years" (Welch). Supporters of building prisons argue that without the growth of prisons, crime rates would have risen dramatically. Therefore advocates claim that building more prisons will help to continue decreasing the rate of crime while facilitating the needs of prison overcrowding. They say that prisons need to be designed to facilitate inmate supervision by staff in the most cost-effective manner. If they are not designed correctly, the cost of extra personnel can be extremely high, outweighing any initial advantage in construction cost that a more staff-intensive design might have had (Tipp 114). Therefore, supporters claim that although the construction of prisons may be expensive, if they

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