The Problem Of Prison Overcrowding

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Criminal Justice Overview Paper Introduction One the most pressing concerns facing the criminal justice system is prison overcrowding. To examine a nation’s soul, all one has to do is look inside of its prisons. Even though we have 5 percent of the world’s population we have 25 percent of the world’s prison population. The makeup of our prison population range from first time drug offenders to serial killers. Prisons serve a necessary function in society if used properly to keep the worst of the worst of the streets. In the last 40 years prisons has become a hammer where every problem appears to be a nail. This paper will address the root causes of prison overcrowding and what we can do to fix this blight facing our society. Root Causes Over the past 40 years our prisons’ population has steadily increased and some will say that is a good thing. Here is a snapshot of where are today. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics (2014),”More than 1.57 million inmates sat behind bars in federal, state, and county prisons and jails around the country as of December 31, 2013”. According to Richard Rosenfeld a noted criminologist federal prison population as increased by 790 percent since 1980(Flatow, 2013). Over half of those who have been sentenced has been due to drug related crimes. Additionally across the south and southwest of our country 1 percent of the male population is in prison at any given time. When an adult age male is incarcerated that means there is a broken home,

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