Prison Overcrowding Essay

1367 words - 6 pages

Benefits of Reducing Prison Overcrowding
Laura Macella
AIU Online

This paper is going to discuss the benefits of why reducing the overcrowding of prisons with help the inmates, employees, as well as the citizens of the state. It will show that crime within the prison walls will go down, the stress of the inmates and employees will reduce, as well as showing that we can save taxpayers millions of dollars a year. Lastly, this paper will look at programs that the inmates can be sentenced to for minor petty crimes that they are incarcerated for. As a result of all of this the overcrowding of prisons may come to a halt and may not be as stressful as many people think.

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Also the new gangs that are being started in the prison and the territory issues will also help stop murder, drug trafficking, and many more crimes that are being done in the prison walls. It is believed, that the less overcrowding the more control the employees of the prison will have and the less crime they will have to deal with.

Secondly, in many ways people do not think about this, but by reducing prison overcrowding, it will have save the taxpayers millions of dollars. Levitt (1996) states, “The marginal costs of incarceration are roughly $30,000 per prisoner a year.” People sometimes do not realize this, but this coming out of our hard earned money to pay for the inmate to be in prison. We are paying for criminals to be in person. What sense does this make? When you think about the “Big Picture” the state spends about $29 billion on prisoners and the federal government pays $4.3 billion for inmates a year (Useem & Piehl, p.6). If you think about this it is a lot of money. So by sending fewer people to jail for drug crimes or minor offenses, we can maybe sentence them to house arrest or to a rehab center. At this point they can get the help that they will need. Also for the elderly prisoners that have basically served their time, maybe release them a little bit earlier. This can cut the costs down on our taxes every year. When you think about it spending $30,000 for one person is almost a whole person’s check that makes minimum wage. The money that we can save from this will help fund schools, government and state needs, and many more things. The fewer people we send to prison for petty crimes, the lower our costs will be and will go to a better cause.
Lastly, reducing overpopulation in the prisons will help relieve some stress that the employees and the inmates are receiving. Staff has limited time to deal with bad behavior, fewer resources to tackle crime and violence within the prison and less chance to potentially dangerous inmates (“Effects of Prison Overcrowding”, 2012). Also the stress on the inmates with double and triple bunking, waiting lists for education and drug treatment programs inside the facilities, and limited meaningful work within the prison are all leading factors to the stress of the inmates (Bureau of Prisons, 2012). Like said before, the ratio for inmate to corrections officer is there
are more inmates than there are officers, so if there is an outbreak in the jail, the staff has to be where the crime is being committed, however, when another pod catches wind of that outbreak, they will start their own. The stress of the employees is probably through the roof. It basically puts them in a stressful situation every day. Also you are putting inmates together that do not get along. There will more than likely...

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