Prison Boot Camps
The Alternative Solution to Decrease Prison Cost and Overcrowding
The rising costs, effectiveness, and implications of accommodating growing numbers of criminals have increasingly come under fire from both the government and public (TDOC, 2001). Prison overcrowding is one of the main problems facing the criminal justice system today. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, more than two million men and women are now incarcerated in the United States (Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003). Some studies show that overcrowding has three types of effects on the daily prison environment. The first effect is not enough space and resources to go around which are made to stretch even further (Rempel et al, 2002). The opportunities for inmates to participate in self-improvement and rehabilitative programs, such as education, employment and vocational training are shortened. The lack of prison employment or employment opportunities leads to inmate idleness, often reinforcing the saying that idleness brings up restlessness and disorderly behavior (Rempel et al, 2002). The second effect of overcrowding is the individual inmate’s behavior. Crowding creates stress and in combination with other factors in a prison setting, can intensify the adverse effects of crowding. Idleness, fear, the inability to maintain personal identity, or to turn off unwanted interaction and stimulation, such as noise, all add to the stress of crowding (Rempel et al, 2002). The third effect involves a combination of the correctional system’s inability to meet the increased demand for more space and the resulting harm to individual inmates (Rempel et al, 2002). Dr. Andrew Coyle, of the International Centre for Prison Studies, suggests that the prison in the new millennium should ensure that people in prison: •
should not be made worse by the experience of imprisonment, •
should be encouraged to face up to the...
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