Increased Population of Prisons

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Overcrowded prisons and improper punishment systems are enormous social issues for our government. The United States has seen steady growth in its prisons. A projected increment in seen due to “get-tough” policies that locks up offenders for longer sentences (Ohlemacher, 2007, para. 1). The correction system had been through various phases of transformation, and the government had been tough on crime; this approach had resulted in rising prison populations. There are many factors that cause overcrowding prisons in the United States. As a result, prisoners, physically and mentally, suffer the negative effects of it, and growing prison punishments that led to congested prisons and jails have shown that tax payers, as well as the government, had paid a heavily cost for it. The United States is the world leader in the increasing prison rate, in both as a percentage of population and raw figures. The United States’ population is less than 5% of the world’s population, yet they have the highest rate of the world’s prison population of 23.4% (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report, the incarceration rate for the United States at the end of 2008 was 754 inmates per 100,000 residents with a total of 2,304,115 incarcerated in prison or jails. The report also shows that over 7.3 million people were either in prison or jail, on parole, or on probation; a rate of one among every 31 adults. As one of the contributing factors to these high numbers of the growing population of prisoners is the “get-tough” polices. Instead of the “get-tough” polices, rather government should push for the different policies, which will slow the growth by alternative forms of punishment (Ohlema... ... middle of paper ... ...fenders committed the crimes due to poverty and many other related factors. Furthermore, having more prisoners than a facility can accommodate have proven to have physical and mental effects on prisoners. Overcrowding prisons also affect tax payers and government, who have to pay for the cost of holding them, which have shown to cost more than having a child in college; a big problem that the government and tax payers has to bear and one of the many problems that currently confront American corrections. The biggest challenge is to reduce the inmate population either through rehabilitation or other means. This will save the tax amount on prison and will allow the nation to invest that money in some other appropriate works. The government of each nation should put their best efforts in finding the best solutions and implementing them to cope with this social issue.
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