Prison Overcrowding

The prison population quadrupled from 1970 to 1990 (Clark). Prison overcrowding is quickly becoming a major financial and controversial problem in the United States. The prison population is increasing rapidly, length of sentences must be reconsidered and drug offenders should go through rehabilitation programs. Prison overcrowding has become a major concern in the United States. The war on drugs has caused a devastating increase in the population of prisons across the country (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Overcrowding of both the state and federal prison system has become a serious problem (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). The incarceration rate has exceeded two million and the federal prisons are operating at 31% over capacity (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Supporters of prison construction for the growing criminal population believe that more prisons will help in keeping a low national crime rate (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). They also believe that tough sentencing will discourage criminal activity. Nonviolent drug offenders are a major reason for the current strain on national prisons (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Critics of building more prisons say that the nonviolent drug offenders should be sent through rehabilitation centers and treatment programs, instead of
being put behind bars (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Opponents also believe that prisons only expose inmates to violent and harsh actions increasing the risk of
criminal behavior when their sentences expire (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Alternatives of incarceration and prison construction must be improved and proposed (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). Tax money should be used for drug rehabilitation centers and treatment programs, rather than building more prisons (Overcrowding, Issues & Controversies). House arrest programs could be proposed, in order to ease the criminals back into the ...

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