January 31, 2013
Policy Development on reducing prison population paper
In this paper, research will be made on reducing prison population and how policy affects and restores how the system works. In the research of how to reduce prison population will include statistics, facts, and public opinion history information which will support the policies claims. This topic has always been controversial and the following research will indentify the stakeholders and their opinions as they relate to the proposed policies and how politics will have an impact in its implementation of these policies. Finally the author will provide policy recommendation and the justification for these policies. In the last several years, this country has gone through many changes in the criminal justice system and one of the major changes is prison overcrowding and the unwarranted prison costs that come with it. This problem not only affects one area of the nation’s prisons, it is practically a problem in every state of the United States. One major question that policymakers should be addressing is whether is it worth having these expenses just to have low-level drug using criminals in jail that are consuming an estimated 65 billion a year? There have got to be a better way to deal with these types of low-level criminals which do not have any business in the prisons whatsoever. These drug offenders need help with rehabilitation and getting their drug problems handled not throwing them in prisons where they are only going to learn more criminal behaviors from the other violent inmates. Two major factors that contribute to the overcrowding of the prison population are: the technical violations those individuals brake like probation and parole, not showing up to court, and just following simple instructions that the parole or probation officers give the offenders and they break those rules. The second factor is that prisons have their policies and if inmates do not follow them and break them they will be punished and serve more time, another reason is that policies change often and for that reason inmates have their sentences increased all the time. In order to reduce the prison overcrowding and maybe have some hope of sinking the recidivism rates, the criminal justice system needs to make some changes and try different alternatives to prison. With the implementation of community-based programs, reminiscent of drug rehabilitation programs, electronic monitoring and house arrest, there can be better results for individual who are trying to better their lives instead of throwing them to the prison system and having them learn new criminal skills from real violent criminals. To prevent overcrowding in the prison system, there are alternatives that the system can use instead of throwing everyone into prison and having to spend much more money for people that clearly do not belong in the prisons. One way to decrease the prison population is to evaluate the prisoners and really study the individuals who are ready to be rehabilitated and serve time in productive manner and this way the prisons can decrease costs at the same time (Heroux, 2011). There are people in this country that may have very extreme views about prisons, they feel that in a modern society, prisons should not exist and everyone has the right to be free (Heroux, 2011). In ones opinion, views like that have no place in this country or any country at all, because it is necessary to have prisons to have control over people that are really aggressive and violent who cannot live freely in our society or else they would cause nothing but chaos in the streets and citizens would not be safe. Society may feel that if policies get tougher with our criminals, the results will be lower crime rates. Unfortunately it does not matter if policies and laws get tougher because not only in this country, but in...