Prison Crisis Essay

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Figures on the British survey state that there are 87,561 thousand people in Britain and Wales prisons today (Ministry Of Justice, 2010). This massive population in prisons has been rising sharply since 1993 and increased from 42,000 to today's unprecedented levels (Cavadino and Dignan , 2007 ).The prison population rate places England and Wales one of the highest in Western Europe with 153 people per 100,000 (Ministry Of Justice, 2010). This Essay is going to discuss and evaluate the claim that the prison system is ‘in crisis’. In order to do this, the essay will first look at the reasons for the huge rising prison population – financial, prudential and moral. Secondly overcrowded prisons have an impact on rehabilitation programmes which potentially could be a reason for the high rate of reoffending in the UK. Finally the essay will discuss the crisis of the whole criminal justice system as the high volume of prisoners could be an indication of a wider crisis in The Criminal Justice System in England and Wales. At present it is estimated that crime and criminality costs UK society approximately £35 billion per year and currently the government spends approximately half of it on police services 2009/10 and fifth on courts dealing with the issue, of this money only £4.6 billion is spent on prisons (Ministry Of Justice, 2010). As the prison population is rise one of the main reasons for the crisis is the lack of availability of space. It has been argued that the penal system in England and Wales needs to become less punitive, more tolerant and successful (Scott , 2008) . A reduction in the use of prison as a punishment form and reinvestment in to modern penal system is necessary to protect the society from further failure (Easton and Piper, 2008). Historically in 1777, John Howard described early prison conditions as poor standards of sanitation which helped spread
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