Criminal Justice Overview
October 20, 2014Roy Diaz
Prison and County Correctional Faculties Overcrowding
The subject of prison overcrowding has been an issue for many years. It is not just the prisons that are overcrowded but also the county correctional facilities. In the U.S.A. today 1 in nearly 100 Americans are currently incarcerated ("Alec", 2014). The reasons that the numbers are so high are due to the many different laws and strategies that have been put into place to try and stop crime. Laws such as “The three strikes law” that California implemented calls for mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders and New York’s “Broken window” stagey that calls for all crimes big or small to be prosecuted. These are good in theory but can also cause the prison system to be over loaded with offenders. In an effort to provide an example of overcrowding I chose the state of Tennessee to look at their inmate numbers and how the lack of space causes the overcrowding. There are 14 prisons in the state of Tennessee, 11 of them are run by the Department of Corrections and three are run by private companies. Each facility is up to 90% capacity and currently there are 20,476 people incarcerated in Tennessee prisons ("Alec", 2014). There are 759 correction officer employed though out these prisons, and as you can see by the number there is an abundance of inmates compared to the amount of officers able to patrol this beat. In looking at the statistics one must not just look at current offenders that are serving time, also the offenders that are out on parole and probation. In the state of Tennessee alone there are 13,546 people on parole and 57,234 people on probation ("Alec", 2014). There are only 759 officers for all these offenders. This number is where a lot of the influx of inmates comes from. The offenders that become inmates are not just due to fresh crimes. They are more often than not offenders that have reoffended or violated...
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