More people get incarcerated for non-violent crimes and crimes caused by mental illnesses or drug abuse (Webb, 2009) and because these people get put in regular prisons, instead of in mental health facilities or facilities to help against drug addiction, where they could be treated to further prevent crimes driven by their illness (Webb, 2009), the prisons get overfilled and cannot hold the more ‘important’ prisoners that needed to be locked away from the public.
With all of the issues the government must worry about, prison overcrowding should not be one of them. The lazy and effortless attempts of the justice system that resulted in the outstanding number of people inside prisons is overbearing. There needs to be a change. Mandatory sentencing laws, lack of awareness and inhumane treatment of prisoners is unjust. For society to progress, new laws must be passed, recognition must happen, and action needs to take place. Prison overcrowding must come to an end.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
The numbers of people with mental illnesses are rising at a high rate within jails and prisons. The United States has the highest per capita rate of people incarcerated in the world. Statistically people who have some sort of mental illness have a greater risk of being incarcerated than those without. Why is this? Over the last ten to twelve years, a large amount of treatment facilities have shut down due to funding (What source?). By shutting these facilities down, it has forced those with mental illness on the streets of America, where law enforcement has had to learn to interact, and be able to deal with them. This puts a great strain on law enforcement manpower by having to get them evaluated, which could tie the officer up for many hours and keeping them from doing their duties; this is a huge strain on the smaller agencies who may only have two to three officers on duty.
This preconceived notion could not be farther from the truth. In reality, these reform movements are idiotically placing a bandaid over the tremendous issue that the prison system is. An imbalance of reforms between women and men, unrestrained sexual abuse in women’s prisons, and tyrannical gender roles are just three of countless examples of how prison reform movements only create more misfortune and fail to provide any real solution to worsening prison conditions. Perhaps instead of conjuring up additional ideas on how to reform prisons, America’s so-called democratic society should agree upon abolishing prisons as a whole. This being said, it is crucial to identify ongoing issues in today’s society, understand how they contribute to unlawful behavior, and seek a solution. For instance, tackling issues such as health care and education, which provide severe inequality and adversity, would create an equal and safer society that would thus reject any need for criminal behavior, Davis herself suggests, “Rather, positing decarceration as our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment-demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all…” (Davis 107). It is clear that prisons and
Thesis: It is very important for the sake of Americans tax dollars that we change the way that prisons are run and increase the productivity of inmates so when they are released from jail they are ready to be a productive member in society and have the confidence to achieve new goals.
Something will always need to be fixed in society because society is a reflection of us, and we are not perfect. Recently, there’s been many issues that have caught the attention of people living all across the world. Things such as police brutality, sexual assault in the workplace, and immigration law, just to name a few, but there’s also been an underlying issue that people are becoming more informed about, and that I believe matters - prison reform. Prison reform matters because in many instances, prisoners are treated inhumanely when they are locked up, and aren’t treated as humans when they have served their time. I believe we can bring about change in the prison system by changing the way we punish people who do commit crimes and focusing more on actual rehabilitation.
Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences.
There are so many mentally ill people in correctional facilities because most families do not know how to help their loves ones who suffer from a mental illness, so the call the police for help. Majority of the police officers do not know what to do or how to handle people with a mental illness disease. Police officers who are not trained to deal with the mentally ill often do not recognize that person is ill. Some police officers do not recognize if the individual should or not go to jail or a treatment center or medical facility. The impact of law enforcement and the judicial system dealing with people with a mental illness is to assist the inmates with the help they need. Also, the correctional facilities help inmates with mental illness
Today there are more mentally ill people in prisons and jails in the United States than any hospital or psych facility in this country. Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois is the largest mental health institution in the country. When a mentally ill person gets arrested for a violent crime they stay three to four times longer than a regular violent offender. “One third of those incarnated in cook county jail suffers from psychological disorders.” According to a 2006 Justice Department study, more than half of prisoners in the United States Suffer from some sort of mental health problem. The study also says that among female inmates one third of them have some type of mental disorder. In prisons and jails, prisoners sit in their cells majority
A major issue is with our justice system is either ignoring or don’t recognize convicts with mental health issues, which leads to lengthier convictions and higher rates of recidivism. Ignoring or not recognizing the convict’s mental health issues just gets them incarcerated for a longer time and they never receive the right treatment to get better. Due to our country’s prison not having the right or proper treatment for the mentally ill will make it harder for them to adjust when the release back into society. One of the main reasons why our prisons don’t have the correct treatment centers for the mentally ill is because it just not affordable to have non-prison facilities on the prison campus. One solution that has been tried is to create a “supermax” prison, which is facility that known for segregation, lockdown, or solitary confinement. Research has proven that solitary confinement is not healthy for anyone who is suffering from mental illness. There needs to be a better solution or way to help these
It is known that the United States holds the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. The United States consists of about 5 percent of the world’s population while it holds around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. 1 out of every 100 adults is incarcerated in the United States. 1 out of every 35 citizens are under some sort of correctional supervision. I study a lot of information regarding prisons as a criminal justice major, and to my knowledge, over 7.1 million Americans are incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. There is a rough estimate of around 60 percent of incarcerated individuals that are diagnosed with mental illnesses. This is due to what could be called the criminalization of the mentally ill. Mass incarceration has been America’s response to poverty and mental illness. An estimated 40 percent of the mentally ill Americans end up in the criminal justice system. Around 2 million people with mental illness go to jail every year, that’s ten times more people in jail than in state funding psychiatric treatment. This makes jails/prisons the nation’s largest provider of mental healthcare. Many of the mentally ill Americans do not receive the proper care that they need or are receiving no treatment at all for diagnosed mental health and substance abuse
The most prevalent problem in the juvenile justice system is the presence of mental disorders. Studies show that more than two–thirds of juveniles in the juvenile justice system experience mental disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association estimated in 2000 that one in five prisoners were seriously mentally ill, with up to 5 percent actively psychotic at any given moment. In 1999, the statistical arm of the Justice Department estimated that 16 percent of state and federal prisoners and inmates in jails were suffering from mental illness. These illnesses included schizophrenia, manic depression (or bipolar disorder) and major depression.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines a mental illness as a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood which may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. The number of individuals with serious mental illness in jails is disproportionately large and growing rapidly. According to some estimates, as much as 50% of the U.S. prison population suffers from some form of mental illness (!!!!). Mental health courts are up-and-coming in communities across the country to address these individuals and the issues they bring to the courts. Mental health courts only handle cases which involve offenders with mental disorders. According to Watson, Hanrahan, Luchins, & Lurigio the judge, prosecutor,