Issues In Prison Overcrowding

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Overcrowding in prisons should not be considered cruel and unusual because they are not being harmfully affected enough for it to violate the legal standard of cruel and unusual punishment. It should not be considered cruel and unusual, because being in prison is a punishment and “Punishment is justice for the unjust.”-Saint Augustine
The general Supreme Court definition of cruel and unusual punishment is “Such punishment as would amount to torture or barbarity, any cruel and degrading punishment not known to the Common Law, or any fine, penalty, confinement, or treatment that is so disproportionate to the offense as to shock the moral sense of the community.” Let’s look between the lines of this definition. Torture of Barbarity is inflicting
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However, do people believe people are mentally damaged when sent to things such as church camps, or have big families? They are usually packed into rooms with multiple people and limited privacy. If parents still send their kids to camp and they return just fine how are the prisoners any different? There is no scientifically proven proof that the reason some of the prisoners are mentally unstable is due to overcrowding. It could be remorse, stress, or even just loneliness. “Expert Frank Porporino summarized some of the literature on prison affects stating ‘the evidence indicates that imprisonment is not generally or uniformly devastating’.” When even experts think that prison overcrowding is not devastating the prisoners that shows a lot. This means that not only is it not cruel and unusual, it isn’t going to change them any more than a smaller populated prison…show more content…
This plan consists of 10 unique and “effective” ways to decrease prison size. The 10 steps are “1. Collect and use data to inform a rational, humane and cost-effective use of prison, 2. Review and reform the criminal justice process as a whole from arrest to release and invest in crime prevention and reduction, 3.Divert minor cases out of the criminal justice system, 4. Improve access to justice and case management during pre-trial detention, 5.Develop and implement constructive non-custodial measures and sentences, 6. Make special arrangements for children and young Offenders, 7. Consider alternative arrangements for parents with dependent children, particularly mothers with Babies, 8. Identify mental illness and drug addiction and divert those affected to appropriate medical, or other care, 9. Reduce sentence lengths and ensure consistent sentencing Practice, and 10. Develop opportunities for parole or other forms of early release and assist prisoners on release to prevent their return to prison.” Some of these steps are already being fulfilled by the court case called “proposition 47”. This proposition “reduces certain drug possession felonies to misdemeanors.” This is allowing certain drug charges to be paid off instead of serving prison
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