Even if you're sentenced to death, you're probably not going to get executed. That's why it's not a deterrent,”(Horn). People don't even see the death penalty as a punishment so people aren't afraid of commiting crimes. With how dangerous prisons are with overcrowding they are just costing more money for providing the medical attention the inmates need. ” There have been any number of reports about overcrowded and dangerous prisons, and while the Commission presented its conclusions and recommendations to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, it's not clear what - if anything - will come of that,”(Horn).
In 1971, 1 out of 12 Americans were incarcerated. Since that time, the prisoner ratio has exponentially increased; today, that ratio is 1 out of 51. With that number continuing to rise, many problems result out of it. Prison overcrowding is a growing problem in the United States. The number of people being taken in has regressive effects on the purpose behind imprisonment.
As I mentioned above, since the War on Drugs era, the prison population has increased at an alarming rate. Overcriminalization has most of the responsibility for this problem. Along with the overcrowding of prisons, the obstacle of overcriminalization also brings sentencing reform to the table. It puts citizens that had no criminal intent in their actions and non-violent offenders in prison for unjust lengths of time. Serving
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. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
Being on death row often prolongs the pain for the inmate. They spend their time in prison fearing the inevitable which for them is death. Today, we live in a society that is very divided on this issue. There are many in support of the death penalty, suggesting that it acts as a positive deterrent against future crime. There are also many
“‘Death sentences represent less than one-tenth of 1% of prison sentences in the United States…,’” (Von Drehle, 9). Furthermore, death row is just a small fraction of the criminal justice system and can not be based on that alone. For instance, what many don't take into account is the justice systems allows for many states, such as the populous state of New York, to ban the death penalty. (state laws, p1)
Prison Overcrowding in America In our country today, we account for roughly five percent of the world’s population, yet we hold over twenty-five percent of the globe’s inmate population. According to John Irwin, we currently imprison more people for lesser crimes than any other country in the world. In 1987 alone, our prison population rested steadily at just 500,000 incarcerated inmates in the U.S. Although in the past twenty-seven years, the American prison population has actually quadruped to almost 2.4 million (Pratt, 2009).
Not only does overpopulation violate prisoners rights and leads to high tension with prisoners but it also increases the need for supplies. There would be a need for food and other resources, therefore it would raise the value of taxes. Death penalty is not only more sufficient and causes less cases of overpopulation, but it can also lead to deterating homicide
70 percent of people who in local jails are not convicted of any crime. What drives mass incarceration is state policy, as the number of people incarcerated by state prisons is over 1,250,000. People in local jails are about 750,000, and people in federal prisons are less than 250,000. The War on Drugs also contributed massively to high incarceration rates. New York, who has mostly ended their War on Drugs, have seen incarceration numbers plummet.
Does it make sense to lock up 2.4 million people on any given day, giving the U.S the highest incarceration rate in the world. More people are going to jail, this implies that people are taken to prison everyday for many facilities and many go for no reason. People go to jail and get treated the worst way as possible. This is a reason why the prison system needs to be changed. Inmates need to be treated better. The government treats prisoners as if they are nothing in this world. The U.S prison system needs to be reformed by building new and better prisons and making it more humane and fair.
According to a statistic by the U.S. Department of Justice and their collaborators, the number of prisoners in the U.S. has grown by over 700 percent since the 1970s. This extreme increase in incarcerations means that people disregard the law and constantly commit crimes. But these crimes are not all equal. Crimes range everywhere from murder to simple drug use. Law enforcement punishes almost all of them equally.
However, crimes are committed whilst in prison, such as drugs and assaults. Some critics say the ‘three strikes and you are out’ law where repeat offenders get a longer sentence are wrong, as the third strike could be a lesser crime such as public disorder. Nevertheless, if just incapacitation and no rehabilitation some critics say will be costlier to society as they will go out and reoffend and, they are not employed and pay taxes. Rehabilitation is also a punishment which should improve the offender's behaviour and stop them committing crimes. Advocates of rehabilitation state prison does not work; however, critics of rehabilitation state prison does work as the criminal cannot commit a crime against the public while incarcerated (Cavadino, 2007 p 36/56).
The death penalty is a sentence that has no use. The process has become too slow over the years to the point where some people die before they get executed. Similar to the case of Max Soffar who may have been innocent, but died of cancer before he had the chance to fight for the freedom he may have deserved(Houston Press). This also shows that the death penalty has taken and ruined the lives of innocent people. A study shows that 4% of defendants sentenced to death penalty are innocent(The Guardian).The second reason is the high number of botched executions that happen in the USA.
According to Department of corrections and rehabilitation there is approximately 2.3 million adult offenders currently detained and which consist of 316,229 prisoners which are overseen by correctional officers on an ongoing basis costing on an average of $49 per prisoner, additionally their current budget is approximately $11 billion, which is distributed between 33 state prisons, 40 camps, as well as 12 community correctional facilities.