One of the hardest challenges for the United States, in terms of the criminal justice system, is the overcrowding of prisons. In fact, the problem has become so big that the U.S. has more people in jail than any other country on earth – about 2.2 million people, to be exact. To deal with this growing issue, governments and correctional administrations began to invent creative alternatives and policies to handle the overcrowding and to reduce the cost. One of these alternatives has been the use of private prisons, where the individuals in charge of the ownership, operation, and responsibility shifts from the public sector (the government) to the private sector (a third party contracted by a government agency). In order to make profits, private
2. The Prison-Industrial Complex introduced by Eric Schlosser, is a theory that claims that the prison system is constructed by political pressures, economic requirements, and commercial demands. The prison system has been continuously growing in the last three decades, regardless of the actual need for it. The PIC is specifically harmful to the most vulnerable of people, such as homeless people, mentally ill, etc. The PIC does more harm, than good, therefore, it is a poor system all-around.
Those who find themselves sentenced to time in a penitentiary, jail, or prison are at risk of either being broken or strengthened by the time they spend behind bars. There is a great debate of whether or not the prison system in the United States is positive or negative. The following will briefly highlight the positives, negatives, and possible alternatives for our nation's prison system.
In the United States of America, there are many systems throughout the government. There is the Department of Health, Department of education, and many more to be listed. One system that often causes controversy is the Department of Correction, this department always raises the question; does our jail/correction system work? The correctional system has flaws and gives some result, however, there are more cases than not that prove the correctional system needs a great deal of improvement. Due to the living conditions and the activity inside of the United States prisons the prison system is looked at as dysfunctional. However, the United States has one of the best rehabilitation techniques and facilities in the world. Rehabilitation is the aspect of the United States correctional system that keeps it from being completely looked down on.
Private prisons were constructed as a response to the overcrowding in federal prisons during the 1980s; many people speculate whether or not private prisons are good or bad. Critics argue that private prisons like any business are driven by profit, and prisons profit from the amount of criminals they are able to contain which gives the private prisons and their shareholders incentive to keep the prison population high and expenses low. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency estimates that over the next ten years state and federal expenditures on prisons will amount to $351 billion6. These government subsidies along with the support of private prison shareholders allow the prison industrial complex to keep their power and influence
Incarceration refers to the constitutional deprivation of an offender the capacity to commit crimes by detaining them in prisons. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any free nation. The U.S incarcerates five times more people than the United Kingdom, nine times more than Germany and twelve times more than Japan (Collier, 2014, p.56). Incarceration has several objectives. One of these is to keep persons suspected of committing a crime under secure control before a court of competent jurisdiction determines whether they are guilty or innocent. Incarceration also punishes offenders by depriving them of their liberty once the court of law has convicted. Moreover, incarceration deters criminals from committing further crimes
The gist of this lawsuit is to provide healthcare for those in prison with mental disabilities. Not providing the right care violates the Eighth Amendment, fourteenth Amendment, and the Rehabilitation Act. The court 's are trying to fix this problem, Schwarzenegger announced that overcrowding prisoner increased the risk of illness and caused and environmental pollution.The court 's remedy was the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which was assembled by the three-judge court to issue an inmate 's release order, That was not the only remedy the court used to try to fix the problem they also tried to change the prison health care system.
V. PRISON REFORMS The main part of this research paper is the reforms for the conditions of prison and make prison a better place for prisoner and make an alternative for incarceration. The prison Reform for prevention of overcrowding in prisons: A ten-point method for reducing the overcrowding in the prisons all over the world, these points are1: 1. Collect and use data to inform a rational, humane and cost-effective use of prison.
In the developing world, incarceration goes beyond the idea of applying a just punishment upon the offender for committing a criminal action or following a destructive behavior that disturb the public interest and the stability of the community. Incarceration also holds the responsibility to prepare the offender to integrate with the community after he goes out. This rehabilitation should be done on healthy bases that assure the mental health of the offender.
In this day and age, There are five times as many people in jail as there were in the 1970s. Almost 5 percent of the population of the United States will go to prison at in point of their life. Conservatives believe that imprisonment reduces crime in two ways: it removes criminals from the public so they can not commit more crimes, and it also discourages people who would commit a crime as they consider the consequences. Unfortunately, neither of these outcomes have come to be true. In fact, mass incarceration and “tough on crime” laws have been extremely ineffective that instead of reducing crime, it increases it. There are several different ways to effectively reduce crime other than these two strategies, such as reforming certain policies
People may say that prisoners must pay an unreasonable amount for cost to go get supplies in prisons or how that maybe prisoners can’t help support their families or pay doctor fees. In contradiction to this, those prisoners are already being cared for and they get all the necessities to live such as a good shelter, food and clean water. Duwane Engler, a former prison inmate who worked at a goat cheese farm within the prison says “When you're in prison, you have to work anyways. If you're in a maximum facility, you're going to do work... These guys actually get out, they have a purpose, and they make more than 60 cents a day.".
California overcrowding prisons conditions has gain National attention. The U.S. Supreme court has found that California is in violation of the 8th Amendment. California has been required to reduce their prison inmates by 40,000 inmates. California has utilized many options to reduce the inmate population within the prison system. California has to two years to reduce the inmates count in the prison system.
III. Prison system affects poverty ● America 's prison system is increasing the poverty in The United states. According to “Out of prison and out of work: Jobs out of reach for former inmates” an article by published by CNN, written by Tanzina Vega the united states has 5 percent of the world 's population but 25 percent of its prison population. A large part of this is due to unemployment. As can be seen in an article published by VICE named “Why Is Getting a Job After Prison Still Such a Nightmare for Ex-Cons?”.
By the government allowing corporations to buy, and build new prisons gave that much more of an incentive to keep the prisons flowing with inmates. According to Vicky Pelaez “Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one.” (6) Once you get trapped inside this prison machine they can and will work for cents a day.
To determine success in the prison system, the considerable resolutions are reducing incarceration rates and reducing recidivism. Fewer prisoners means fewer crimes are being committed. Fewer returning prisoners means the prison system is effective. The value of the prison system is not in locking away citizens permanently, but instead to keep people out of prisons by creating the conditions for a law-abiding life. By both measures, the status quo is yielding questionable results.