Bryant & Stratton College
November 22, 2011
The United States is considered the most punitive country in the world, has the world’s highest incarceration rate holding more than 2.3 million people and overcrowding has become a major problem for the prison system (Parole Reform, 2010, ¶ 2). There are 748 people inmates per 100,000 population and rising (Parole Reform, 2010, ¶ 10). There are reasons such as the three strike law, the economy, and the war on drugs. We are going to glance at these reasons and the problems that raise concern for overcrowded prisons.
The three strike law that many states have adopted affects the prison population, giving repetitive offenders mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years to life for the third conviction of a felony offense. The three strike law that holds this harsh penalty will continue to cause prison overcrowding in years to come. There are some states prisons are operating at almost twice their designed capacity rate. The belief behind the law was that getting career criminals off the streets was good public policy, but many in many cases we may argue that this is cruel and unusual punishment.
The downward spiral of the economy also affects the prison population. There are limited jobs to people in society, especially to people that have been convicted with serious crimes. People that have been incarcerated for various offences and they have re-entered back into society that is economically suffering end up in the judicial system again and again due to the lack of employment. Many of the parolees that have been re-incarcerated for minor violations also have contributed to prison overcrowding. Parolees re-enter into society with a criminal record which makes it that more difficult to find a legitimate job. If there...