The Problem Of Prison Population

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Prison populations have grown substantially since the 70’s and there seems to be no slowing down this trend. State and local governments have become “tougher” on crime, examples include the three strikes and you’re out rule and the broken windows rule, which have lowered crime rates by increasing incarcerations. Many debates have gone on about the reasons of the overpopulation, the impacts on prisoners, the impacts on societies due to the prison overpopulation, and what the solution should be to reduce prison populations. There is a severe lack of information when it comes to understanding why there has been an increase in prison population. Any statistics that are collected from the prisons seem to give very little ideas as to the…show more content…
It becomes very easy to get into the world of drugs and crime when there is a lack of jobs, education, or counseling. These groups also have a very high recidivism (a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior, especially criminal behavior) because of the lack of other opportunities in their neighborhoods (Pillischer, 23). Running and maintaining prison is a costly business. Right now “the total annual expense of crime nationwide is $674,000,000,000, or more than double the yearly defense budget” (McCollum, n.p.). There is very little incentive to spend more on prisons and the prisoners when so much is already being spent. The prison’s healthcare options and security (for both prisoners and guards) fails to become high priority.
Space becomes obsolete in prisons with the increased number of prisoners. Beds are in huge demand to the point that the Eighth Amendment might constitute it as cruel and unusual punishment (Cunniff, 39). Prisoners are sleeping right on top of each other. Though some prisons provide minimal exercise equipment, such as weight lifting equipment and treadmills, time on these machines is limited with the number of inmates wanting to use them.
Healthcare is provided in prisons, but it may not always be as helpful as we would like to think. There are less staff members to provide the care that such a high population need. These people
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