Contemporary Problems in Criminal

Topics: Prison, Penology, Corrections Pages: 2 (705 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Phase 3 Individual Project


What contemporary problems exist within the U.S. corrections system? Some of the major issues that exist in the corrections system are overcrowding, violence, and gangs. There are over two million people in the United States corrections system, with almost all facilities at 97 to 108 percent capacity. Overcrowding in these facilities cause understaffing which leads to a lack of inmate supervision. Many programs that are in place to rehab inmates are overburden which greatly reduces the success of reintegration into society. Disease and illness are also problems that exist, many facilities in the corrections system lack adequate health care to prevent and care for the spread of disease. Gang ties that inmates had prior to incarceration are carried over into prisons and jails. Gangs produce many problems in the correctional facilities, violence being the major problem. Without being able to separate gang members in prison or jail members who may have a chance to rehabilitate and rid themselves of pervious gang ties are less likely too. Drug and alcohol addicts who are nonviolent often get mixed in with violent offenders and suffer from not getting proper treatment. Inmates with mental health problems often are not identified and do not receive the treatment that they would need to rehabilitate.

Drug laws that carry a mandatory minimum sentence have the most significant impact on the correction system. Mandatory minimum drug sentences play a major role in overcrowding keeping many low level offenders in correctional facilities longer. Many of the harsh drug laws were created to punish higher level offenders have had the opposite effect. Lower level offenders do not have access to information and legal counsel that higher lever drug offenders are able to access.

There are many issues that exist with regard to staff members and the stressful environments of correctional facilities. Correctional officers face...

References: Territo, Leonard, James Halsted, and Max Bromley. "11,12&15." Crime and Justice in America: A Human Perspective. N.p.: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.
Drug Policy Alliance. Retrieved January 27, 2013, from
EHow | How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the expert in you. | Problems with the Prison System | Retrieved January 27, 2013, from
Free News, Magazines, Newspapers, Journals, Reference Articles and Classic Books - Free Online Library. Stressors and burnout among correctional staff. - Free Online Library. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from
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