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The Problem Of Prison Overcrowding In The United States

1101 words - 5 pages

The Problem of Prison Overcrowding in the United States

"The Land of the Free has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prisoners. In all, about 2.2m Americans fester behind bars: one in every 107 adults" (ALEC.Org).With that many Americans in prison, providing enough space for each individual in becoming quite a difficult situation. The amount of space that is available for each inmate, the amount of time each inmate is incarcerated for, and the living arrangements, as well as many other factors, are all involved with the problem of overcrowding.
Many people think that if a person commits a crime, then they should be locked up for good and the world would be a better place. ...view middle of the document...

It would not be advisable for inmates with behavior problems.
Many issues can arise with too many inmates and not enough space. With overpopulation, comes more conflict. Convicts may feel that others are invading their personal space, bumping into each other, which can cause a breakout in a matter of seconds. Not only does this cause controversy for the cons but it can create concern for the corrections officers as well. More hostages and less special areas can make for a stressful setting. Administering a penitentiary with such anxiety can motivate the officers to react in unprofessional ways when they have been so fed up at times, which will lead to many more problems for that individual to have to deal with. The stress may also transfer to their personal lives, affecting their family situations.
Overcrowding can be mentally exhausting not only for the officers, but for those who are locked up as well. There are those who want to just serve their time and be finished with their sentence and there are also those who continuously arouse dilemmas. With a mixture of the two different mind sets having to be closer with each other due to the lack of space, it is possible in some severe cases that some inmates will not be able to handle the pressure and may even go mentally insane.
There are many solutions that can assist with eliminating the trouble with prison overcrowding. In my opinion, alternatives to captivity for a few of the non-violent, or low-risk crimes can be an enormous benefit towards minimizing overcrowding. Alternatives such as using humiliation tactics for nonviolent drug users who have been convicted rather than being sent to prison can be used. A method of plastering a sticker, magnet, or sign on the back window of a convicted users vehicle for a certain period of time may make that individual humiliated of the choices he/she made and the fact that everyone who drives passed them are aware of the choices they have made as well. This can help them to make better decisions so they do not ever have to feel that type of embarrassment again. Another alternative to prison for drug useres that are not harmful is to send them...

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