Prison overcrowding in the United States - Essay Example

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This paper aims with the problem of prison overcrowding. Various states in the U.S are struggling with the issue of prison overcrowding owing to which these states are trying to pass legislations aimed at resolving the issue. Prison Overcrowding tends to refer to a situation where the demand for space in prisons keeps increasing at a high pace…
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Prison overcrowding in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, one of the biggest reasons for prison overcrowding in the U.S as pointed out by the researchers is acclaimed as the increase in the number of recidivists along with the drug offenders (Clark 1994). Since issues like Drug Abuse are becoming more common especially amongst the youth of America, such offenders are being jailed at a higher rate. Instead of incorporating the practices of rehabilitation for such offenders, they are being sent to prisons which directly imply that they are taking up space in the prisons. United States has long been targeted for charging the minor offenders for major crimes i.e. allocating a severe punitive action for even the minor offenders (Penal Affairs Consortium 1995). The system of the U.S law enforcement has become such that owing to legislation as well as the long years of practice being followed, the judges have a very limited scope of sentencing the offenders to the crime of their own choice. In fact, a list of punitive actions has already been assigned to the jury which limits their scope of action to a great extent. Thus, the flaw lies in treating criminal law more like common law however there is a difference when dealing with these two. The judges can be given the powers with regard to sentencing when it comes to specific problems so that this problem can be dealt with. After having pointed out the essential causes for prison overcrowding in the U.S, it is crucial to identify the necessary risks involved with the issue at hand, as it is only these issues which tend to justify the significance of overcrowding i.e. why should the issue be addressed on a priority basis. Firstly, when the number of prisoners is higher than the capacity, there will essentially be a stress...
The legislation clearly denotes that the problem of overcrowding in the prisons should be dealt with carefully as the prisoners also have a right to stay well. In regard to the problems mentioned above, overcrowding in the prisons can cause serious harm to the health of the prisoners and hence a solution to it becomes necessary for the relevant authorities. Overcrowding in the U.S prisons is caused by the lack of space in the prisons, and more importantly, by charging minor offenders with imprisonment. The issue must not be considered as a minor one, as the risks involved are quite serious ranging from management issues to violence amongst the prisoners. Thus, it`s high time that not only the capacity of these jails is expanded but also the prisoners are charged with felonies other than imprisonment, especially those who have committed minor and non-violent crimes. U.S jails are heavily being filled with drug abusers, however, they should rather be sent to rehabs where positive results can be reaped. Thus, in any case, the U.S government, its law enforcement agencies and the legislatures alike should take this issue rather seriously and tend to put forth some serious steps to control the situation before it becomes uncontrollable. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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