Causes Of Overcrowded Prisons

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The incarceration rates in the United States are at an all-time high. Prisons throughout the United States are severely overcrowded. When prisons become overcrowded like they are, this leads to many other serious issues for the inmates and within the correctional facilities. The issues that inmates are faced with when they are living in an overcrowded facility can start with high-blood pressure and extend all the way to suicide. There are many major factors and causes that contribute to the overcrowding of prisons throughout the United States. Some of the factors that contribute to overcrowded prisons include policy change, the war on drugs, and the spike in crime throughout the United States within the past several years. The high prison…show more content…
The war on drugs has had a huge impact on prison population. For the most part, the drug offenders that make up such a big percentage of prisons, are non-violent drug offenders. The non-violent drug offenders make up around 25 percent of the population of inmates that are incarcerated. Many tax payers believe that some of the alternatives to incarceration should be taken advantage of by these non-violent, drug offenders, such as sending these people to drug rehab center. This also goes for the inmates that have been deemed to be mentally ill. These inmates should be placed in mental hospitals instead of being sentenced to prisons. This would allow drug abusers and the mentally ill to receive the proper care that they need, while also helping to reduce the prison population. The Center of Economic Policy Research stated that in 2012 only 8.5 percent of inmates that were incarcerated in federal prison systems were violent offenders (Kamrany, Boyd, 2012). Some believe that the main cause of overcrowded prisons are because of the unreasonable amount of crime that has been occurring throughout the united states for the past several years (Revercomb, 1985). Research has shown that prisons house more non-violent offenders rather than violent offenders (Kamrany, Boyd, 2012). There are many issues that result from overcrowded prisons. Overcrowded prisons have been proven to be the reason that inmates become mentally ill. Correctional facilities that have large dormitories tend to have higher rates of assault among the inmates. Correctional facilities that have large open dormitories are more likely to have inmates that develop high blood pressure (Gaes,

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