Choose a topic that addresses an issue within corrections
Paper should be in APA style:
Title Page (does not count towards page count)
Abstract (does not count towards page count)
Introduction (approximately 1-2 pages)
Literature Review and Discussion, which varies by topic (approximately 6-8 pages. can include a one page interview of CJ faculty or professional for this section.
Conclusion (approximately 1-2 pages)
10 References .
Prison overcrowding has become an increasing problem since the early nineteenth century. The issue is depressing, especially where the issue is constantly a top correctional issue. In 2012, the overcrowding issue was discussed in an editorial highlighting its impacts, although very little change has been reported ever since (Lugo, and Wooldredge, 2017). Overcrowding has been a challenge to prison improvement, especially improving living conditions, such as a healthy environment. Various reforms have been made, such as the prison reform trust of 2017, ad the penal reform international of 2018. According to research, Overcrowding in prison is the leading cause of inmates’ mental health issues and contraction of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis. The paper discusses the prison overcrowding issue, beginning with the causes of Overcrowding, the impacts of Overcrowding, and how to manage prison overcrowding (Haney, 2015). The paper will review several scholarly written articles that discuss the top correctional issue. On the other hand, the paper will also include an interview of CJ faculty or professional about prison overcrowding and how the issue impacts prison professionals, such as probation officers, and other correctional police officers, such as effects on inmates’ management, monitoring, and surveillance.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 as an infectious disease has affected most prisons, and jails leading to deaths (Simpson, and Butler, 2020). According to the world health organization, the typhus pandemic in the sixteenth century has many deaths. Prison health is considered public health, where failure to provide a clean and disease-free environment would lead to a contraction of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, in 1997 and 2001 (Guetzkow, and Schoon, 2015). Establishing health policies, such as prevention, risk management, information sharing, treatment, and control, is a challenge, especially with the high number of inmates and insufficient space and health facilities. Prison cell special density has been the main method used to measure prison population over total population floor areas per person. Countries like Iran have realized eight-five thousand prisoners, while countries such as the US and the UK prefer treating those infected (Haney, 2015). Overcrowding in prison has been the cause of prison violence, unsanitary, and mental issues among prisoners and staff. The paper is a discussion of overcrowding in prison/jail as a top correctional issue.
Haney (2015), Is a book that discusses prison overcrowding by examining the societal, psychological, economic, and social impacts. The author begins by providing a vivid description of Overcrowding concerning the prison environment. On the other hand, the authors discuss the top impact of prison overcrowding, such as prison inability to function properly and address crimes. The book explains that Overcrowding interferes with policy-making, ad implementation, where due to the population, correctional and treatment policies cannot work swiftly due to insufficient resources and Overcrowding. Overcrowding has been an issue in providing fully reformed prisoners back to society due to a lack of full treatment and attention from various programs. On the other hand, according to the article (Haney, 2015). For instance, Overcrowding limits accessibility and availability of rehabilitation centers and medical treatment, such as treatment for mental health issues and physical health treatment, such as infections. The book also s Provides various policies in dealing with the issue, such as the use of corrective alternatives to incarceration, such as community-based correction, probation, and parole.
van Ginneken, Sutherland, and Molleman (2017) article that abuts impacts of Overcrowding on self-harm, especially in offenders put in pre-trial for long periods. According to the authors, self-harm is a common problem for inmates. Also, suicide attempts and successful suicide has been an issue, which rises due to the impacts of Overcrowding. The research was carried out among the largest prisons in Geneva, known as the swiss prison. According to the study, the prison is a pre-trial prison, that lock offender for a long time while waiting for court proceedings. However, the study was collected between 2011-2017, which considers various types of self-harm and suicide attempts, for instance, self-hanging. According to the estimates, self-harm was twenty-six percent, where the increased rate of prison increases the number of self-harms. On the other hand, the research studies provide that t overcrowding plays a major impact on degrading human rights, such as damaging inmates’ health and mental status (Haney, 2015). Mostly the vulnerable population is at a high risk of self-harm, such as women and mentally ill inmates. The article provides alternatives and various care treatment methods that would reduce self-harm cases and suicide cases. The author uses a bar graph to display the estimated yearly Overcrowding. Also, van Ginneken, Sutherland, and Mollema reviews various articles, such as an article from the vulnerable population center, life course, and inequality research center, and information from the division of prison health in Geneva and Switzerland.
Simpson and Butler (2020) is a recent article that discusses prison overcrowding and the release of inmates in the COVID-IA pandemic. The pandemic being a global emergency case has affected the prison system globally, especially in California and states with a high inmate population. The article discusses the impact of Overcrowding on the transmission of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and coronavirus infection (Simpson, and Butler, 2020). According to the research, the author provided that factors such as cell allocation, duration of incarceration, intravenous drugs, environmental ventilation, and risky behaviors contribute to the contraction of infectious diseases (Haney, 2015). The author proposes various measures that would reduce and prevent the contraction of covid-19 in prisons. For instance, screening, testing, isolation, release, and hygiene are effective methods that would reduce the contraction of covid-19 in prisons. According to the united nations, releasing a reasonable number of prisoners to the community would reduce the number of deaths due to Overcrowding. The release policy focus on vulnerable inmates, such as the aged and those with chronic diseases (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). The article urges the prison administration to embrace the policies, where prevention is considered cheaper than treatment or controlling an already ongoing outbreak. The released prisoners can, however, be monitored and supervised through assistance on social and economic services.
The paper discusses prison overcrowding limitations and the impacts of the US prison litigation on prison overcrowding. The article further uses the available information from various united states cased since the nineteenth century (Simpson, and Butler, 2020). Additionally, the paper provides the impacts of prison litigation, especially on spending, and the incarceration rate increase. On the other hand, the author uses the endogeneity of law theory, which attempts to explain the aspect of politics on prison construction and prison litigation. For instance, the article explains prison privatization’s impact on prison overcrowding and covid-19 on the united states’ correctional facilities. The paper uses various articles, such as Lauren and Edelman’s article of 2019, that discusses the impact and abolishment of mass incarceration in Prisons (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). The author also uses an article from Camilo Olaya, Juliana Gomez-Quintero, and Andrea Catalina that explains the impacts of criminal punishment in prison overcrowding (Grujić, and Milić, 2016).
Nanjing et al. (2018) is an article that discusses the impact of tuberculosis as an infectious disease in prison and various control intervention methods in countering tuber causes in overcrowded prisons. Tuberculosis is the most infectious and contracted disease in prison, Overcrowding in the main cause of tuberculosis contraction, and lack of ventilation and airflow into correctional rooms (Haney, 2015). The author discusses the impacts of various mitigation strategies that prevent contraction and treatment strategies for tuberculosis patients. For instance, the author advocates prison administrations to promote cleanliness and hygiene, which can be achieved by improving inmates’ environmental conditions (Simpson, and Butler, 2020). The author studied the impacts of the treatment in active TB and latent TB infection. According to the results and fins dings, tuberculosis is a common health problem in prisons/jails that might increase tremendously to eight percent. Reducing Overcrowding from six to four through the development of other alternatives would reduce the contraction. Also, through increasing ventilation in the cell, from two to twelve contraction of infectious diseases would reduce but for prisons with at least less population.
Lofstrom and Martin (2015) are an article concerning the California public policy known as public safety realignment impacts. The realignment policy was proposed at the beginning of the twentieth century due to the high rate of California’s prison population (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). However, the realignment policy has brought several impacts to the California corrections facilities, such as jails and prisons. According to Lofstrom and Martin, the policy has reduced the number of people in prisons and those in local jails, A dramatic change in recidivism rate, and reduced penalties for minor offenses, such as drug offenses. Also, reform has made community correctional facilities, such as community housing and probation facilities, become more active, reducing the incarceration rate. Although the policy has led to a high rate of spending, more funds are being invested in community correction, treatment, and referrals, which are expressive, especially mental health counseling services. The realignment policy focused on non-violent, non-sexual, and minor offenders who should be managed by paroles.
Causes of prison overcrowding
Overcrowding is a devastating issue that has been there for the past thirty years. Various alternatives have been developed to reduce the population, but to date, Overcrowding is still a major issue. Some of the overcrowded prison/ jails include Wales, and England prisons, where the demand for prison space is higher than the available spaces and resources. Overcrowding has been a hot topic globally. According to t research conducted in 2012stem, the prison could save only thirty-three thousand in Illinois prison systems, but the prison had forty-nine thousand prison inmates.
On the other hand, according to the united states research, the prisons use unusual punishment on offenders, which is prohibited according to the fourteenth and eight amendments. Also, in lowa prisons, there are twenty-five percent more inmates in the facilities. Mostly the cause of Overcrowding has been an issue between the prison system and the state. Tough sentences on minor offenses, such as three-strike punishment, are a major cause of prison overcrowding (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). Offenders receive long sentences for petty offenses that could be taken to community-based correction. On the other hand, Life imprisonment and long years in prison make inmates stay long in prison, hence no proving space for newly arrested offenders. Denying prisoners an option for parole has made prison systems have more inmates than it can hold.
Various policies, such as the war on drugs, have led to prison overcrowding. For instance, more people are jailed for possession and use of drugs in most states serving long periods in jail. The drug policy has been the main cause of Overcrowding in prisons, especially when addressing the use of drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and opium. Drug offenses have increased over the years, making the criminal justice system develop tougher policies, such as long-term sentences, like ten to twenty years in prison (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). On the other hand, drug users’ arrest and incarceration took effect after programs such as drug abuse resistance education (DARE). And gang resistance education and training (GREAT) failed to change and address the issue of drugs.
Over-criminalization is another issue that has increased the prison/jail population, hence causing Overcrowding. Over-criminalization involves the increased rate of criminal activities in the community, for instance, drug crimes, white-collar crimes, and terrorism (Lugo,and Wooldredge, 2017). The increased rate of crimes in the community has made the law enforcement department and the judicial system come up with new strategies, such as discretion and police weaponization. Police weaponization and unlawful use of discretion have led to a high prison rate in prison in efforts to address the rising crimes. For instance, police weaponization concentrate on addressing terrorism hence ends up arresting more people.
Insufficient funds and resources to construct more prisons and jail systems have been a cause of prison overcrowding. Overcrowding involves a lack of enough space to accommodate the newly arrested offenders from the community. Most prisons were built during the colonial period, where t date, less effort has been made to develop another prison and jail systems. More facilities are required, an upgrade of the old prisoners to modernized prisons, and prison services. Delay in the administration of justice has been another cause of Overcrowding in prisons, where the number of inmates in pre-trial increases the overall population (Guetzkow, and Schoon, 2015). . Also, prisoners still ongoing investigation encounter a delay of justice from the administration, leading to a higher population.
Most prison administration officials are less committed, while others lazy to perform their duties; for instance, in California, the delay of pre-trail is among the primary cause of Overcrowding in the population. Some of the factors that course delays in the administration of justice include change of magistrates, illiteracy, incompetent secretarial, and human resource staff, an overload of adjournment that has led to prisoners’ misplacements of books, and cases of forgery. Corruption and embezzlement of funds have also been a major cause of prison overcrowding. Prison and jail systems embezzle funds from the government and other international organizations that help improve prison facilities and construct more prisons and jails. The correction administration system requires funds to improve its status, which would cater to the growing population.
Impacts of prison overcrowding.
According to (Haney 2015). Prison overcrowding is a serious issue that has affected correctional facility administration and inmates. Most studies focus on the impact of corrections facilities n inmates. The issue affects staff and the administration, especially in looking for ways to cater to the rising population. Overcrowding in prison leads to infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and covid-19, a recent global issue. Overcrowding condition in orison is a health issue and human rights issue that the government need to address. The spread of HIV has been reported in most prisons, where inmates contract HIV from other inmates through unhygienic conditions and careless sexual behaviors (Guetzkow, and Schoon, 2015).
Mental problems are another impact of Overcrowding in prisons, where the issue encourages violence among inmates (Guetzkow, and Schoon, 2015). Lack of space, poor hygienic conditions, and overall poor experience lead to stress and depression, which leads to violence. Most people have been killed in prions, and others commit suicide due to mental health issues, such as schizophrenia and anxiety. On the other hand, mental health issues affect how inmates reason and decisions when faced with issues (Goomany, and Dickinson, 2015).
Also, Overcrowding in prisons/jails causes poor prison conditions, especially where personal space allocated to inmates is not enough for everyone (Haney, 2015). Poor prison conditions involve molestation, the strain of resources, such as sanitary resources among women, and the lack of basic needs such as food and clothes (Horne, and Newman, 2015). Overcrowding limit inmates from accessing resources that are essential for survival, such as food and treatment. Additionally, prison overcrowding makes it challenging for inmates to access programmers due to lack of funds and transportation challenges. Transporting inmates from one location to another is hectic, especially where the prison system does not have enough vehicles (Guetzkow, and Schoon, 2015). Most inmates who require to see a doctor, counselors, or attend a community training project may find it difficult to access the place, hence ending up not getting the services. The overall cost of prison resources and services is a burden to the state, wherein in most cases, the state has to chip in assisting the system with basic needs, such as food and medical attention. Lastly, due to lack of enough services, such as medical services, insufficient food, unhygienic conditions, and high rate of violence, the inmates may lose their lives, leading to prison deaths, such as during the covid-19 pandemic.
Due to Overcrowding and the high rate of the prison population, the government and most prison agencies have alternatives to incarceration, such as community service sentencing. Managing prisons and jail is quite expensive, especially where inmates require medical attention and counseling services (Horne, and Newman, 2015). Providing necessities, such as food, clothing, and any other services that promote survival, are expensive and mostly not enough to cater to the large population. Community correction services are easier to manage since they do not require most services offered in prisons. Community services involve authorizing an inmate to conduct unpaid work in the community, such as cleaning, hospitals, schools, planting flowers, and planting tree planting.
Another method to reduce prison overcrowding is to reduce recidivism through various programs, such as holding community drug awareness and crime awareness day. The criminal justice system should focus on enlightening the public on morality and ways to avoid crime. On the other hand, focusing on reformation, such as rehabilitation, reduces the crime rate compared to incarceration. Also, inmates chares with petty cases can be released from prison/jail through mass-forgiveness programs. For instance, the California prison system uses the California mass forgiveness program to reduce crime and Overcrowding (Horne, and Newman, 2015).
On the other hand, the states and the federal government should collaborate with the prison administration to build more prison and jail spaces to mitigate the issues caused by prison overcrowding. The system can implement mental illness and drug programs to treat mentally ill and drug-addicted offenders, hence releasing them to the community but under supervision (Simpson, and Butler, 2020). The method can help reduce the high population, especially inmates who require treatment to recover from criminal behaviors. after the reformation, the criminal justice system can decide to reduce sentences and punishment after monitoring the offender’s behavior after treatment. On the other hand, awarding offenders for good behaviors is an important part of reducing prison overcrowding. For instance, the non-violent inmates who have served a reasonable time in prison (Goomany, and Dickinson, 2015).
Overcrowding is a key issue that impacts correctional facilities, especially in states like California, England, and Wales. The issue has remained constant over the years due to the increased rate of crime in society. Also, the poor relationship between law enforcement and the public has resulted in more arrests, use of discretion, racism, and use of force. Overcrowding is very impactful and stuffs an inmate’s health and wellbeing, where the high population leads to mental and physical illnesses. On the other hand, Overcrowding leads to violence, deaths, and resource strain. The demand and supply in prison have been the biggest issue, considering prison management is very costly, especially in the provision of basic needs, such as food, medical services, and clothing. Overcrowding can be reduced by the development of prison spaces that could accommodate the high population. The government can also build, and the criminal justice system can advocate for other correction methods apart from incarceration. For instance, the department can opt for community correction, which is cost-effective and promotes reformation, reducing recidivism, compared to incarceration.
Goomany, A., & Dickinson, T. (2015). The influence of prison climate on the mental health of adult prisoners: a literature review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 22(6), 413-422.
Grujić, Z., & Milić, I. (2016). Prison Overcrowding–Mitigating the Consequences. In D. Kolarić,„Dani Arčibalda Rajsa ““Archibald Reiss Days”. Thematic Conference Proceedings of International Significance (Vol. 1, pp. 286-295).
Guetzkow, J., & Schoon, E. (2015). If you build it, they will fill it: The consequences of prison overcrowding litigation. Law & Society Review, 49(2), 401-432.
Haney, C. (2015). Prison overcrowding. American Psychological Association.
Horne, C., & Newman, W. J. (2015). Updates since Brown v. Plata: alternative solutions for prison overcrowding in California. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 43(1), 87-92.
Lofstrom, M., & Martin, B. (2015). Public safety realignment: Impacts so far. Public Policy Institute of California.
Lugo, M. A., & Wooldredge, J. (2017). Overcrowding in Prisons. The Encyclopedia of Corrections, 1-8.
Naning, H., Al-Darraji, H. A. A., McDonald, S., Ismail, N. A., & Kamarulzaman, A. (2018). Modelling the impact of different tuberculosis control interventions on the prevalence of tuberculosis in an overcrowded prison. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 30(3), 235-243.
Simpson, P. L., & Butler, T. G. (2020). Covid-19, prison crowding, and release policies.
van Ginneken, E. F., Sutherland, A., & Molleman, T. (2017). An ecological analysis of prison overcrowding and suicide rates in England and Wales, 2000–2014. International journal of law and psychiatry, 50, 76-82.