Many theories argue the reason of overcrowding and possible solutions. It is not my intention to prove why the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and jails like Metropolitan Dentation Center (MDC) are overcrowded, but rather how the over populated facilities affect inmates, corrections officers, and the taxpayer. In New Mexico there is currently a suit known as the McClendon lawsuit. This lawsuit accuses the Bernalillo County Dentition Center, now known as the Metropolitan Dentition Center (MDC), of violations regarding inmate constitutional rights due to conditions of overcrowding and unsafe living conditions. This lawsuit was filed in 1995 and still remains in litigation today.
These seem like cut and dry functions, but as of late some believe that prisons in the United States have failed in their attempts to separate and rehabilitate. Not only do prisons separate the criminals from the innocent, to be effective, according to Lappin and Greene, they must also separate the criminals from the worse criminals. Convicts in prison for non-violent offenses are not supposed to be housed with violent offenders. “Unfortunately, our prisons are becoming more and more overcrowded maki... ... middle of paper ... ... abuse offender policy options. (The field works.).
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.
"Overcrowding In Federal Prisons Harms Inmates, Guards: GAO Report." The Huffington Post." TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Sept. 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Assessing the consequences of our country’s soaring imprison rates has less to do with the question of guilt versus innocence than it does with the question of who among us truly deserves to go to prison and face the restrictive and sometimes brutally repressive conditions found there. We are adding more than one thousand prisoners to our prison and jail systems every single week. The number of women in prisons and jails has reached a sad new milestone. As women become entangled with the war on drugs, the number in prison has increased if not double the rate of incarceration for men. The impact of their incarceration devastates thousands of children, who lose their primary caregiver when Mom goes to prison.
Peter Mosko, “an assistant professor of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice” (Frazier) stated, “America, with 2.3 million people behind bars, has more prisoners than soldiers” (Frazier). There have been studies that have shown “there are more men and women in prison than ever before. The number of inmates grew by an average of 1,600 a week. The U. S. has the highest rate of crime in the world” (Clark). Because of this influx in inmates, many prisoners’ rights groups have filed lawsuits charging that “overcrowded prisons violate the Constitution’s 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment” (Clark).
Prison is not a good and enjoyable place to be in a first place however, more people are going to prison. This issue is not only threatening our correctional system, it is also threatening our economy as well. Our criminal justice system has been dealing with this issue in number of ways including, privatization of prison and increasing the uses of paroles and probations. One of the things that I would try to do is to prevent repeat offenders from coming back to prisons. According to (Wikoff, Linhorst & Morani, 2012.
This law doubles sentences for second-time felons and gives life sentences for even non-violent third felony offenders. In March 2008, there were 41,284 prisoners serving time under this three-strikes law. In 2005, they estimated this law was costing the state $500 million each year. (Moore, 2009) Public Safety Concerns The biggest issue with public safety concerns is the public may be quick to overreact and not hear out the positive aspects of releasing certain offenders early on parole or probation. The public is quicker to want more prisons built, than to support programs that would rehabilitate those offenders who could be active parts of their communities without threat.