International standards Prison overcrowding is one of the key contributing factors to poor prison conditions around the world. It is also arguably the biggest single problem facing prison systems and its consequences can at worst be life-threatening at best prevent prisons from fulfilling their proper function.
United States[ edit ] At the end ofUnited States state and federal correctional facilities housed over 1. Nineteen states in total are operating above maximum capacity.
InCalifornia declared a "state of emergency" with regard to overcrowded prisons. Possible problems caused by prison overcrowding include: This includes the construction of new prisons, and the conversion of space within existing facilities that has been used for other purposes into prison space.
Alternate forms of sentencing are used, including probationcommunity servicerestitutiondiversion programsand house arrest. Additionally, inmates may become eligible for early release from parole and other credits. Technology for tracking criminals outside of prison with smart bracelets continues to evolve and improve.
One technology involves using GPS to create a geo-fence to monitor criminals to keep them within a designated area at certain times. This enables criminals to go to work, school, and return home in a controlled manner.
The final solution is to shorten prison sentences.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statisticsif prison sentences are revamped to be shorter and more accurate to the crime, prison population will decrease tenfold. This decrease will help eliminate overcrowding. It will also allow for more rehabilitation opportunities. The average tax payer will be paying less with this option, as well.
With inmates spending shorter amounts of time in prison, they are costing the taxpayers less money. Also, since the study was done proving that more inmates are willing to attend rehabilitation clinics when they are in comfortable situations, it will also call for less repeat offenders. These repeat offenders generally hold longer sentences due to past convictions; however, with less repeat offenders, less taxpayer money will go into caring for inmates.
Drug treatment studies for in-prison populations find that when programs are well-designed, carefully implemented, and utilize effective practices they reduce relapse, reduce criminality, reduce recidivism, reduce inmate misconduct, increase the level of the offender's stake in societal norms, increase levels of education and employment upon return to the community, improve health and mental health symptoms and conditions, and improve relationships.Overcrowded prisons are quite common across many states.
States like Alabama, for example, have extended prisons far beyond their capacity for years, while California remains subject to a federal. California has been given two more years to fix its long-running prison overcrowding problem.
After years of keeping the Brown administration’s feet to . The California Department of Corrections decided to convert the facility to a men’s prison to reduce overcrowding elsewhere.
The remaining inmates at Valley State Prison were then transferred to the state’s two remaining women’s prisons.
For more information on mass incarceration, corrections and reentry, prison overcrowding and criminal justice visit the American Legislative Exchange Council’s updated Prison Overcrowding Initiative. Footnotes.
Wagner, Peter . California Prison Reformers: Release Elderly Prisoners To Ease Overcrowded Facilities By Saki Knafo Advocates for prison reform say that the state could exceed that goal if it expands the number.
Placencia is just one of thousands of people to be released from prison in California since as the state pursued an aggressive set of policies to relieve overcrowding and handle the work of.