Prison Overcrowding Essay

2278 Words10 Pages
Prison Overcrowding Angela Thompson Trident Technical College Prison Overcrowding Introduction Discussions of overcrowding frequently merge concerns about state and federal prisons together with municipal and county jails, which in states such as Pennsylvania, are confusingly referred to as county prisons. With the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and a small number of north-eastern states that operate integrated jail/prison systems, state and federal prisons or penitentiaries house exclusively sentenced felons, usually committed for a minimum of one year. Jails typically holds varying proportions of felons and misdemeanants sentenced to less than one year. However, they also house pre-trial detainees who have not yet been convicted but are held pending prosecution and disposition of their cases, usually because they have not been able to secure pretrial release by posting bail. Because the extent of crowding, along with the reasons, consequences, and potential remedies can vary considerably depending upon whether the focus is on prisons versus jails, it is important to separate the two. In this discussion, focus will be primarily on the issue as it involves state and federal prisons. Research and Discussion Overcrowding Versus Over Imprisonment Much of the literature on prison crowding focuses on the overall size and growth of inmate populations and correctional facilities as indicators that the United States builds prisons and incarcerates at far higher rates than most other countries. Data on prisons and prison populations to support such conclusions are usually drawn from two general sources. The most complete picture is found in the annual reports and on the Websites of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and many individual state departments of corrections (Hough,Solomon,2008). On a national level, data is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice,

More about Prison Overcrowding Essay

Open Document