History Of Prison Overcrowding

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Prison Overcrowding

Prison overcrowding is a current issue that the United States is trying to resolve since prison population has dramatically increased starting from the 1980s. Prison overcrowding is when the prison population exceeds the prison’s capacity which then can create many problems for the prisoners and the society. Some of the problems related to the overcrowding can be related to the inmate’s health, reentry, and control. Only felons with sentences longer than a year are the ones serving time in prisons. Some of the felons are being released earlier than their mandatory time because there is not sufficient space in prison for them to serve their time. We will examine the history of prison overcrowding, current cases relating
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According the textbook, American Corrections, the Federal Bureau was first established in the 1930s. Approximately 14 prison had been built at the end of the 1930s sheltering roughly 13,000 inmates. Between the years of 1940 through late 1970s, prison population was steady hosting about 24,000 inmates. Soon after, New York legislated a law in the 1970 that incarcerated any non-violent first time drug offender and they were given a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. After the law was executed, the prison population increased tremendously in the years after. Prison population exploded until the 1980s all due to the war on drugs. Drug offenders constituted more than half of the prisons population and the majority were American citizen white males. The Sentencing Reform Act was another major factor that contributed to the prison overcrowding. The Sentencing Reform Act gave offenders determinate sentencing which was a period of incarceration that the convicted had to serve and it was ordered by the court. Another thing that the Sentencing Reform Act did was abolish parole which…show more content…
It becomes a challenge for the doctors to treat thousands of prisoners. When the ratio of staff is lower than the number of inmates, it’s hard to give an excellent quality medical treatment to each inmate. Exceeding the prison’s capacity over 100% can increase the spread of disease among inmates and they can also develop psychiatric disorders. Many prisons around the world have professional medical care staff with good medical treatment, however, there will be no progression on inmates’ health conditions if overcrowding continues. Many inmates experience mental disorders when they get sentence to long period of time in an overcrowded prison. Prison population keeps increasing not equaling to the space provided to the inmates. According to the article, Prison Health Aare and The Extent of Prison Overcrowding, about 70% of prisons around the globe are surpassing the prison’s capacity. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, recommends for each inmate in prison to have at least 4 meters of space, but 14 prisons in Europe give inmates only 2 to 3.5 meters of space. They get very limited space making it easier to pass infections or diseases along each individual in the cell. The reason why there is a congestion in prisons is because to construct a cell is very expensive. Each cell in prisons cost about $75,000 to construct. According
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