Prison Overcrowding

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This paper will discuss prison overcrowding and what type of numbers have come about over the years when it comes to inmates being imprisoned. It will discuss the cost of a prisoner annually as well as the decision to add verses build when it comes to new facilities. The overcrowding in one particular prison will be touched on as well as whose responsibility it is for upkeep. It will discuss how funding plays a role in overcrowding as well as the “three strikes” rule in California and how big of an impact it has made on the prison system. Lastly, society’s choice to vote will be touched on as how large of a determining factor it is in overcrowding prisons.

State and Federal Prisons housed approximately 1.3 million inmates in the year 2000, not to mention the jails had an estimate of 600,000 as well. Ten years previous the prisons housed 700,000 inmates and jails were at about 400,000. At that rate, the population of people being incarcerated almost doubled from 1.1 million to 1.9 million inmates. The last count in 2008 jumped again to an astonishing 2.3 million imprisoned within the country (Diiulio, Jr., J., 2010, March). Factors that contribute to prison and jail overcrowding is that so many people are incarcerated each year, funding, upkeep of a facility, the three strikes rule and tax payers are unwilling to pass levees. One of the largest reasons prisons are overcrowded today is that it is reported that one out of every 99.1 adults are currently in prison or jail. This is the largest number in nation’s history and seven times the inmate rate from 1973. Amazingly ninety-five percent of prisoners are released back into communities to continue living their lives. They are not thrown to the wolves; they are released “with a basic education, job training and preparation, improved pro-social pattern of thinking, adequate life/social skills, and a lowered risk for substance abuse, anger and self esteem issues” (Boehm, D. P., & Lampert,...
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