Violence In Overcrowded Prisons

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In addition to physical health, there is a concern for increased inmate misconduct and violence in overcrowded prisons. Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted to examine the effects of crowding on humans in general. These studies have shown that overcrowding can result in increased stress, pathological behavior, cognitive decline, and social withdrawal (7). Outside of prison walls, these effects can be easily controlled by perceived cooperation among those who share living space, social support and self-control. On the other hand, the situation of overcrowding is extremely different for those who are incarcerated. However, establishing a relationship between overcrowding and increased inmate violence has proven challenging (4).…show more content…
Although a recent survey found more than half of all inmates had some form of mental illness (4), they had developed that mental illness before incarceration. On the other hand, I did find a bit of information regarding the effects of overcrowding on mentally ill inmates. Because many overcrowded prisons are understaffed in medical personal, inmates who are mentally ill often go untreated. Scholars and mental health practitioners have suggested that the combination of adverse prison conditions and the lack of adequate and effective treatment resources may result in some prisoners with preexisting mental health conditions suffering an exacerbation of symptoms (4). Nonetheless, overcrowding is a direct violation of inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights; prohibition of cruel and unusual…show more content…
However, the cost of imprisonment for taxpayers reaches far beyond these numbers. When a state sentences an individual to prison, the corrections department budget only accounts for a portion of the financial obligation (8). In 2011, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections and Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit developed a survey on prison cost. After extensive research and data collection from 40 states for the fiscal year 2010, the Vera staff found that the price of prisons fall into three categories; the first being the number of prison costs that are outside the corrections budgets. In total, there are 11 types of prison cost that aren’t included in the corrections budget (8). These costs are broken up into three categories: (1) costs budgeted centrally for administrative purposes, which include employee benefits and taxes, pension contribution, retiree health care contributions, capital cost, legal judgements and claims, statewide administrative costs, and private prisons; (2) inmate services funded through other agencies, which include hospital care and education and training programs; and (3) underfunded contributions for retirement benefits, which include underfunded pension benefits and retiree health care benefits (8). The second category of prison costs is the total taxpayer cost of prisons. According to Vera, the full price

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