The Growing Problems Of The Prison System

1334 words - 6 pages

Mr. Governor, there are many ways to reduce the current problem of prison overcrowding; unfortunately many of them are not popular as they are seen as being soft on crime and as we both know that is not favorably looked upon. Some of the options would provide a temporary decongestion of the prisons while others would be a more long term reduction in inmate populations. After reviewing I believe that there are a few that we could possibly accomplish and still portray an acceptable persona to the public. These few include reviewing the mandatory sentencing laws, education opportunities, good time credits earning, conditional release of elderly inmates, foreign national occupation and after ...view middle of the document...

Education is an effective way to reduce the re-incarceration of inmates as they are released. There are various educational programs include: high school equivalency or GED programs, adult basic education, vocational training programs and postsecondary education or college programs. With participation in these correctional education programs showing that participants were up to 43 percent less likely of reoffending than those who did not participate. By implementing correctional education programs you increase the chance of finding employment in society upon release from prison. While the findings did not show that there was a significant difference between the various types of educational programming they did show to all improve employment opportunities. Further study of the correctional education programs would be advised to determine what features are most influential to the reduction of recidivism (Davis, Bozick, Steele, Saunders & Miles, 2013 ).
By looking at and potentially expanding the “good time credit” opportunities of the inmates there is more incentive for the inmate to behave appropriately while incarcerated. Also by having part of the sentence be in the community but still supervised reduces the amount of resources the actual prison needs. Now it would have to be handled delicately as to just who is being allowed the good time, violent and serious offenders would still require careful consideration. Furthermore it would have to be watched that it does not appear that those who are released is merely to “clear beds.” For those approaching and just after release a more comprehensive series of halfway homes, and other supervised accommodations could supplement the reintegration into society and aid in the prevention of reoffending and being returned to prison. This would tie into the employment opportunities mentioned later ("Ten-point plan to," 2012).
The number of inmates age 50 and over accounts for around 16% of the national prison population. Yet correctional experts, criminologists and the national institute of corrections are in agreement that individuals who are elderly are at a reduced risk as a result of lack of appropriate healthcare and the stress of living in prison exasperates the problems that come with age. Many of these elderly are in prison for nonviolent offenses and research illustrates that with age comes a reduction in reoffending. There is strong evidence that the majority of these elderly inmates are a result of the longer terms mandated by mandatory and drug sentencing laws. A review and implantation of conditional release of elderly inmates who pose little safety risk would reduce both the costs of incarceration and the number of inmates within the prisons ("At America’s expense:," 2012).
Around a quarter of the inmates within the prisons are not U.S. citizens and nearly 18% of the prison population are Mexican citizens (US Department of Justice). Many of these inmates are a result of...

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