According to statistical data found in the Bureau for Justice Records, there are a number of problems that most prisons in the country face. The records indicate that the number of adult federal and state inmates increased from `139% in `1980 to 260% (Walker, 1999). As a natural default, the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This in itself brings about one of the major problems that are faced in modern incarceration which is overcrowding in most prison facilities. The number of offenders in the country has increased rapidly over time while the country prison system has not really been able to cope with this rapid increase. Prisons intended for one or two inmates are now crowded with more than fifty individuals. Because of this most prisons are overcrowded and most of the facilities available are unable to cater for the needs of all the prisoners (Siegel, 2009).
In the US, the number of incarcerated people in the prison systems cumulatively will form the fourth largest city in the US by population. This serves to underline the importance of addressing the issues that affect the prisoners and the other employees of these correctional services. The first issue that is affecting the success of the correctional services provided by the prison services is the congestion in the prisons. Most of the prisons in the United States were built a long time ago and with the increased population of imprisoned offenders, their capacity to handle prisoners has been greatly overstretched. An example of overstretched prison facilities is in the state of California where the state has been forced to transfer its prisoners
When envisioning a prison, one often conceptualizes a grisly scene of hardened rapists and murderers wandering aimlessly down the darkened halls of Alcatraz, as opposed to a pleasant facility catering to the needs of troubled souls. Prisons have long been a source of punishment for inmates in America and the debate continues as to whether or not an overhaul of the US prison system should occur. Such an overhaul would readjust the focuses of prison to rehabilitation and incarceration of inmates instead of the current focuses of punishment and incarceration. Altering the goal of the entire state and federal prison system for the purpose of rehabilitation is an unrealistic objective, however. Rehabilitation should not be the main purpose of
I have chosen to research the correctional system of the United States for many reasons. The first reason is that I believe this component of the legal system has the most problems facing it. Another reason is that this topic interests me and I would like to learn more about it.
As we all know – there are tons of social issues within the entire world that Criminal Justice Practitioners deal with, most likely, on a daily basis. One of the many social issues I’ve chosen is Prison Overcrowding.
One major problem of prison overcrowding is the effect it has on prison organizational stability. The more prisoners and people put in jail have made it harder for prison guards and staff to monitor and control them. The entire prison system must make enormous changes in order to accommodate for the number of inmates versus the number of prison guards (O’Leary). This often results in a misclassification of offenders. Many who come through the system are classified based on the amount of space available instead of on the security level and programs that would be most suitable for them (Howard). “It is not uncommon to find inmates, classified as medium security, incarcerated in maximum security institutions, while other inmates are in medium security who were previously considered candidates for maximum security” (Howard). Misclassifying offenders often leads to “slow progress through the corrections system as well as a slow exit” (Howard). This in turn only prolongs and increases the overcrowding problem (Howard). The corrections programs should be reformed to meet the needs of the inmates rather than the inmates having to adjust to meet the requirements of the system. Offenders need to be on specific rehabilitation programs that are customized to fit their needs, such as alcohol and drug abuse programs and so forth.
The United States has more than 2.3 million prisoners housed in approximately 1,800 state and federal prisons (Ingraham, 2015). Each one of these has their own formal summary or mission statement that lists the goals and values of that institution. These institutions offer several different programs for prisoners, to include educational services and vocational training that is meant to help them reintegrate back into society once their sentence is complete. I will look at four different adult correctional systems in the United States and discuss their mission statements and the programs they offer.
Prison overcrowding has become a serious problem within the United States. Despite the fact that the nation has opened or expanded almost three-hundred prisons in less than seven years, the average prison space available for inmates has dropped by over ten percent. Prison overcrowding has gotten worse. Especially as crime has become more violent. And drug related crimes have more often resulted in confinement.(Allen, Simonsen, Latessa 169) The overcrowding within the prisons has caused safety hazards and hazardous living conditions for the prisoners. Two different groups, such as Tough-Sentencing Supporters and Opponents are taking action to solve these problems at hand. Tough Sentencing Supporters say more prisons are needed to be built
Is keeping inmates by the hundreds in prison cafeterias instead of cells becoming the norm? This is what a documentary, Life In Prison: The Cost of Punishment, asks. It explores the lives of incarcerated peoples in three California state prisons, portraying the dire consequences of prison overcrowding. As of 2013, the total prison population in the United States was 2,217,000. This is nearly five times the total of 1980, 503,586. The United States has the largest number of incarcerated people in the world, and more than the next two countries combined (China and Russia). Its rate of incarceration is 698 per each 100,000. The issue of overcrowding in jails and prisons has become a growing problem nationally since the early 2000’s. It relates to the policy areas of Corrections and the Criminal Justice system, two very complex subjects. The criminal justice system has two distinct parts: federal and state, which only exacerbates the difficulty of addressing prison overcrowding. Here we will look at and try to understand the causes and effects of the overcrowding issue, as well as analyze what possible solutions are already out there. We will show that prison overcrowding is caused by ‘tough on crime’ policies as well as a shift in corrections models, combining many solutions, will allow this issue to be controlled.
Today’s jails offer a variety of problems and issues from overcrowding, physical health, mental health, substance abuse, staff shortage, and job stress. According to Wallenstein (2013) “what is now a matter of essential understanding is that jail systems book and release some 15 times the number of individuals are admitted and then released from prisons throughout the United States after the completion of sentence served. There are more than 2.3 million individuals found in an incarceration setting in this country. More than 1.6 million can be found in state or federal prisons, whereas approximately 735,000 can be found in county jails or local municipal jail settings.”
In the United States the word “prison” brings to mind images of dingy cells, violence, poor provisions, and overall suffering. Prisons are, by no means, made to be luxurious facilities with the inmate’s comfort at mind, but many prisons across the nation have issues that cannot be ignored. While inmates are incarcerated, they are still people with rights. Inmates should not be subjected to unethical practices and they should have their needs sufficiently met. It is up to these correctional facilities to provide, to the best of their abilities, an environment that is manageable and invokes rehabilitation. Prison is thought of as the place where bad people go to pay for their crimes. Due to this way of thinking, it can be easy to dismiss their
These measures were taken to ensure public safety but are now posing a problem for our correctional facilities. Overcrowding and budgets are among the problems brought about by these measures. Both the state and federal correctional population throughout the United States have steadily seen significant increases in their population, every year for the past decades. Based on the census found on the Bureau of Justice website, the data collected between June 30th 2000 to December 30th 2005 showed that prisoners held in custody between federal and state prisons increased by 10%. (“Bureau of Justice Statistics”, p.1 -2)
All through history the correctional framework has been seen as the vital method for managing culprits, however its capacity has changed all through time. It has served as a pit for confining suspected lawbreakers, a home for the vagrant, an organization for the crazy, a feared spot of notoriety, quarters for purging and restoration, and a multitude of listed charges. The trials and changes of history have created and molded the foundation that we perceive today. In a matter of seconds, the United States jail populace far surpasses that of some other nation on the planet. The political atmosphere, extreme on wrongdoing approaches, determinate sentencing, and expanding expense of detainment facilities have fundamentally expanded quantities of
It’s no surprise that the correctional system in the United States could use a bit of a makeover. First off, the major increase of incarcerating inmates has now caused the issue of overcrowding prisons all over the United States, some reaching as high as 98% capacity. Secondly, there are too few rehabilitate and educational programs to help current and former criminals from returning to the system, therefore the number of people who are incarcerated each year far surpasses the number of inmates who are let out. Lastly, due to the overcrowding of inmates, low pay, and just overall an extremely stressful job, Correctional Facilities all over the United States are experiencing a staff shortage. In some prisons there are only two correctional officers per a couple hundred inmates. These issues are not only current issues, but are also future issues if solutions are not made and put into action.
On any given day when the news come in, there is an individual who is been handcuffed to be shipped off to jail or prison. This paper is meant to unfold budgeting, safety (overcrowding), rehabilitation programs, recidivism and gender related issues the prison systems in America faces. One might ask “Why the prisons systems are become so overcrowded, why recidivism rate so high and what are the prison system officials is doing to help those who are incarcerated?” Due to prisons been under staff, overcrowding is taking a drastic toll on the prison systems. Since inmates killed a correctional officer during a riot at Delaware’s largest prison in February, more than 100 guards have quit or retired early, leaving staffing levels at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna dangerously low (Galvin, 2017). Correctional officers have to be on edge when at work, due to the unknown of when prisoners will strike. Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested. Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year. Property offenders were the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime (Recidivism, n.d.). It is evident that the prison system is in turmoil. Recidivism is getting worst, and with the little staffing that the prison system has, they are doing the best they can. The criminal justice