- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: Rice University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 7
The prison population has risen exponentially in the last three decades. This created the problem of overcrowding that carries a number of co-occurring problems such as violence and sexual abuse within prisons and long-term physical and psychological impact on prisoners. These negate the corrective or rehabilitative purpose of prisons. Overcrowding occurred due to the lack of significant difference in the manner that jails were used in the past when compared to the present. The boom in jail population that occurred during the 1970s up to the 1980s had jail management confounded on how to handle the growing pace of jail population (Haney, 2009). Jail management was unable to keep track of jail inmates and rehabilitative programs were unable to keep up with the rising jail population leading to the breakdown in the probation and parole systems.
Many inmates released on probation returned to prison for recidivism or even crime progression (Smith, 2006). Now, the same problems of prison and prisoner management exist. The result is the worsening issue of jail overcrowding. Relieving the present overcrowding of jails and preventing overcrowding in the future involves system-wide change.
The solution to jail overcrowding involves going to the root of the problem, which is the failure of the prison management system to develop in order to address the changing needs of the rising jail population (Moore, 2009). Jails need to establish a means of keeping track of prisoners which could be through information and communications technology (ICT), to facilitate the efficient handling of cases in the parole system to ease prison overcrowding and prevent discontent among prisoners waiting years for the processing of their case. At the same time, rehabilitative programs need updating, by focusing on individual needs, to ensure that prisoners released on probation would not go back to crime. (Smith, 2006) Prison overcrowding is a multi-dimensional problem so that the long-term solution lies at the very core of our society, the manner that the government handles the issues of poverty and social welfare and the attitudes of communities. Nevertheless, on the part of the prison system, changing the management of jails and prisoners is part of the solution.ReferencesHaney, C. (2009).
Prison overcrowding: Harmful consequences and dysfunctional reactions. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.prisoncommission.org/statements/haney_craig.pdfMoore, S. (2009, February 10). The prison overcrowding fix.
The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/us/11prisons.html?_r=1Smith, R.
(2006). Prison conditions: Overcrowding, disease, violence, and abuse. Broomall, PA: Mason Crest Publishers.