The Problem Of Prison Population

1536 Words Jun 6th, 2016 7 Pages
After decades trying to prevent it, prison population continued to increase. Mandatory minimum sentences and the privatization created more prisoners, rather than cutting down on the amount incarcerations. Since the 1980’s, the prison population has quadrupled and today one in every one hundred adults are in prison (Mandatory Minimums (HBO)). Infact, America leads the world in prisoners with 20% of the earth’s prison population (The Prison Crisis). In a study done by The American Prospect, charts and graphs provide information about the overpopulation crisis. The data from the charts show that while the crime rate has decreased, the rate of incarceration has been on a steady incline since 1990 (Waldman). America also leads the world in the number of prisoners- 760 prisoners per 100,000 population (Waldman). Not only does America have more prisoners than developed countries, like Russia, the united states beats undeveloped countries as well. Rwanda, which has the highest amount of prisoners in Africa, has 595 prisoners per 100,000 population (Waldman). The overpopulation of prisons in America creates poor conditions for the inmates and with each prisoner, more money has to go into the prison system, hurting the economy.
When a person convicted of a crime cannot pay the set bail, they are forced to stay in prison while their trial goes on. This means that a person could be completely innocent but would still have to face the same punishments that an actual criminal would…
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