Home Confinement is the Solution to Prison Overcrowding

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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. Supporters claim that building more prisons is the only solution, while opponents argue that alternative methods could be used to solve the problem of prison overcrowding. The question becomes whether or not the cities and states should spend scarce resources to build more prisons since the inmate population will continue to grow. Opposing viewpoints to this question represent both the pros and cons of building more prisons in order to solve the problem of prison overcrowding. While an alternative approach to the controversy attempts to bring the opposing sides together.

Some people believe that building more prisons will solve the problem of prison overcrowding. Today's prisons are so full that "only one criminal is jailed for every one hundred violent crimes committed" ("Punishment"). Over half of America's currently convicted felons are not even sentenced to prison, partly because judges know that the prisons are full. The problem of prison overcrowding forces most violent prisoners to serve less than half their sentence ("Punishment"). Supporters believe that the only solution to ...

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... not only reduce the number of inmates in the prison system, but would also offer rehabilitation approaches for offenders, enabling them to change their lives. This alternative method gives both supporters and opponents of building more prisons a common ground upon which to stand. It is a solution that focuses on the main problem: punishing criminals.

Works Cited

"And Punishment: Crime." The Economist US 27 January 1996, v338 n7950. : 25. Online. Expanded Academic Index. 16 October 1999.

Tipp, Stacey. "How Can Prison Overcrowding Be Reduced?" America's Prisons Opposing Viewpoints. Ed. David L. Bender. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1991. 111-124.

Welch, Jilly. "Prison Staff Feel Effects of 'Horrendous Overcrowding.'" People Management 15 October 1998, v4 n20. : 9. Wilson Select. Online. First Search. 16 October 1999.
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