Prison Overcrowding In Prisons

Better Essays
Overcrowding in prisons across the United States has been a controversial issue that needs to be more of a concern for the criminal justice system. In essence, prison overcrowding is a common social phenomenon in modern times- a phenomenon that occurs if and when the demand for prisoner space in prisons in a particular jurisdiction exceeds the capacity that the jurisdiction can provide to hold the prisoners. Prison overcrowding is felt more when the number of prisoners being incarcerated and admitted into prisons exceeds the number of prisoners being released or die- this would free up some prison space to cater for incoming prisoners. One of the major reasons as to why prisons are overcrowded is the tyranny in the judicial systems…show more content…
Arguably, prison overcrowding may be the only biggest problem that prisons face all over the world and the consequences of this problem can be life-threatening at worst whereas at best they may prevent most prison systems from properly fulfilling their functions. In more than 114 countries in the world, the number of prisoners is more than the official prison capacity in these countries (Schwarzenegger, 2006). Contrary to popular opinion, the problem of overcrowded prisons is not a matter of increased crime rates but a problem of the policies in the criminal justice systems. The problem undermines the ability of prison systems to meet the basic needs for the prisoners such as accommodation, health care, and food. In addition, overcrowded prisons undermine the ability of prison systems to offer effective recreational facilities, rehabilitation programs as well as education and vocation training- which is essential for prisoners in the rehabilitation process that is the main objective of the system after all. This paper will explore the causes of overcrowding, the risks of overcrowded prisons, and the probable solutions to curbing the issue of overcrowded…show more content…
There have been instances of repeat offenders always serving time for similar, related, or different crimes. Judgment on repeat offenders is a bit harsh than first time offenders and most of the former group end up serving time if caught and charged again or if they possess a record with the criminal justice system- it is pure psychology and matter of perception. Also, even when the judgment is not harsh as such, some offenders are just not willing to rehabilitate and change, or may end up finding themselves going back to criminal ways in the near future. Their frequent incarceration, even for smaller periods than capital criminals, increases the number of prisoners significantly. For instance, a capital offender may be sentenced or ten years at the same time as ten other petty offenders who are to serve for a year. By the time the capital offender is done with his ten years, the other ten petty offenders may have all served in the same prison at least twice for shorter periods or so (Drago et al,
Get Access