Reducing The Number Of Overcrowding Essay

Reducing The Number Of Overcrowding Essay

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There are many pros and cons to trying to reducing the number of overcrowding of prisons in the United States. Many would be opposed to the early release of those who have committed even menial crimes without thought to the issue of overcrowding. The solution isn’t to keep building new prisons, but to have prisons, law makers and rehabilitative programs all work together for the main goal of public safety. In order to maintain public safety, certain measures need to be taken to make sure those who are being released are no threat and that those who would pose a risk, are kept behind bars. Between the costs that are associated with imprisonment, parole and probation and the programs needed to rehabilitate, the problem of prison overcrowding has been very much at a standstill.
The Reality of Prison Overcrowding
Alabama has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the nation. More than 32,000 are in some form of custody and more than 25,000 are in prisons that are not meant to hold as many as they do (Lockette, 2014). Overcrowding leads to violence and the spread of diseases.
In 2009, Alabama had more than 21,000 defendants receive felony sentences, but in 2013 it showed that number to be under 18,000 (Lockette, 2014).
"Until we get parole under control, we can 't get prison crowding under control," says Joan Petersilia, a law professor at Stanford University (Farrell, 2009). 60,000-70,000 parolees return to custody in California each year due to violations. These are mainly due to failed drug tests, they’ve gone missing or committed a new crime. (Farrell, 2009)
"California is the only state in the nation that paroles 98 percent of released inmates, even if they have completed their sentences. About 70,000 parolees return to pri...

... middle of paper ...

...rate it did in fiscal 2009, it would have released about 2,200 more inmates by now." This number wouldn 't have been enough to stop the overcrowding issue, but it would have helped ease some of it and show progress for the state. (Montgomery Advertiser, 2014)
There’s no gain from releasing inmates early without proper supervision, but unfortunately many things end up coming back to how much it costs. I believe that if the state’s put more effort towards the rehabilitative services and providing more parole or probation officers where needed, the prisons may start to see less people being sent to them and more room for those who truly need to be there. There isn’t one solution to cure prison overcrowding, but with the combined efforts of legislature, state representatives, prisons and after-prison programs, there might be a light at the end of this never ending cycle.

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