Criminal Justice 300
One of the nation’s largest challenges in present times concerns the criminal justice system. Overcrowding in today’s prisons has become a daunting problem with no apparent easy solution (Greene, 2008). In the last few decades, the number of adult offenders brought into the court system has nearly doubled. From 1980 to 1995, the collective population of those on probation, parole, and in jail grew as quickly as the population of inmates in prisons (Austin & Coventry, 2001). In 1995, an excess of 5.4 million adults were involved in some type of correctional supervision. Today, the United States prison population is continuing to rise. The financial burden placed on prison administrators as well as federal, state, and local jurisdictions because of the institutional confinement of so many inmates is overwhelming and troublesome (Benson,1998). As the number of inmates rises, a corresponding rise in spending by prisons has also taken place. Adding to the problems involving lack of prison space and adequate funding is the issue of public dissatisfaction with the quality of federal, state, and municipal government correctional services (Greene, 2008). Both policymakers and the public have lost confidence in the penal system because of a lack of rehabilitation of offenders and rising recidivism rates. Over time, the belief has spread that government is simply not capable of meeting the challenges associated with modern institutional confinement issues (Greene, 2008). In the 1980’s the public’s perceived failure of the prison system to provide additional funding for correctional institutions and to rehabilitate prisoners caused what some policymakers deemed a national crisis (Benson,1998). These failures, added to the already demanding issue of prison overcrowding, meant changes needed to be implemented. To facilitate change, a solution was created with the...