Overcrowding in American Prisons

Overcrowding in American Prisons
Max Perez
Assignment #2

Overcrowding in American Prisons
Prison crowding is an issue of concern within American prisons. It is a major contributor to poor health conditions in the prison system. According to research findings, over 18 countries exceed their maximum occupancy, of which about 11 national prison systems hold double their normal capacity. Overcrowding in prisons does not mean that the rate of crime commission is higher than it has been; however, the poor policy choices within the criminal justice system undermine the need for the system to meet basic human needs for the prisoners. Arguably, the prison system faces the harsh effects of overcrowding, whose impacts are life-threatening if not prevented at the earliest. This paper provides an annotated bibliography about overcrowding in American prisons.
Haney, C. (2006). The wages of prison overcrowding: Harmful psychological consequences and dysfunctional correctional reactions. Wash. UJL & Pol’y, 22, 265.
Prison overcrowding is an issue in the criminal justice system. According to the authors of this source, the wages of prison overcrowding include poor psychological conditions and dysfunctional correctional reactions. Prisons tend to shape and transform individual inmates. Therefore, any time the prison environment becomes unconducive for the wellbeing of the inmates, they become harmful to them in return. Therefore, prison overcrowding is unpleasant, uncomfortable, and destructive to the psychological health of the inmates. This article supports the fact that overcrowding is a danger to the health of prisoners.
Warmsley, R. (2005). Prison health care and the extent of prison overcrowding. International Journal of Prisoner Health.
According to the author of this article, prison overcrowding negatively impacts prisoners and affects their general health. Based on the international standard requirements, prisons need to have adequate space for prisoners; however, over 70% of prisons across the world are overcrowded. Thus, even if the number of prisoners increases, the prison system has never expanded the space to accommodate more prisoners. This hurts the prisoners’ physical and mental health. This source is essential in determining the healthcare conditions within prisons and the extent of overcrowding in these prisons.
Savitsky, D. (2012). Is plea bargaining a rational choice? Plea bargaining as an engine of racial stratification and overcrowding in the United States prison system. Rationality and Society, 24(2), 131-167.
According to this article, incarceration rates have steadily increased over the past decades while crime rates are dropping. However, even though crime rates are equal across races, it is evident that Blacks are incarcerated more than their white counterparts. Therefore, the author of this article claims that the highly increasing populations within prisons are attributed to plea bargains since it accounts for 95% of criminal dispositions in the criminal justice system. Plea bargains place defendants into dilemmas and reduce transactional costs allowing prosecutors to work on political wills of incarcerating more defendants within the prisons. More so, the Blacks have less faith in the system than the white; that is why they are on the worst side of the plea bargain. Thus, differential bargains lead to a stratified prison population.
Newman, W. J., & Scott, C. L. (2012). Brown v. Plata: prison overcrowding in California. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 40(4), 547-552.
Californian prisons are known for overcrowding. In 2011, the case between Brown and Plata led to adjustments in these prisons since, before then, the prisons were holding twice the required capacity. This article indicates that prison overcrowding has been an issue within American prisons.
Salins, L., & Simpson, S. (2012). Efforts to fix a broken system: Brown v. Plata and the prison overcrowding epidemic. Loy. U. Chi. LJ, 44, 1153.
According to this article, excessive incarceration is a national issue in America. Overcrowding has caused unconstitutional confinement conditions, making various states fail to rehabilitate inmates effectively. The prison system spends a large amount on correcting the failing prison system. This article argues that the system should use proactive reforms like early release and diversionary tactics to correct the current issues.
Steinberg, J. (2005). Prison overcrowding and the constitutional right to adequate accommodation in South Africa. Occasional Paper, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, University of Cape Town.
This article provides insights into prison overcrowding in South African prisons. It illustrates that SA prisons are overcrowded due to high incarceration rates, which violates the inmates’ constitutional rights. This article shows the extent of prison overcrowding across the globe.
Garcia-Guerrero, J., & Marco, A. (2012). Overcrowding in prisons and its impact on health. Revista espanola de sanidad penitenciaria, 14(3), 106-113.
The authors of this article argue that prison overcrowding is an issue across countries. If not countered, prison overcrowding can lead to self-harm and violent behaviors between inmates. Overcrowding leads to health issues for the inmates, the public, and the system itself. Research shows that overcrowding is a major cause of infectious and psychiatric disorders. This article delves into overcrowding within prisons, how to increase awareness to the public, and the key resources to addressing the health concerns associated with overcrowding.
MacDonald, M. (2018). Overcrowding and its impact on prison conditions and health. International journal of prisoner health.
According to this article, overcrowding has been an issue over the years; and little has been done to resolve it. The author of this article highlights that overcrowding is a major cause of health issues within prisons due to infectious diseases and mental health issues. Hence, the article offers prevention measures to resolve the issue of overcrowding in these prisons.


Prison Overcrowding in the United States

Perez, Max

2nd Assignment

Prison Overcrowding in the United States

Prison overcrowding is a serious problem in American prisons. It contributes significantly to the poor health conditions in the prison system. According to research findings, over 18 countries have exceeded their maximum occupancy, with approximately 11 national prison systems holding twice their normal capacity. Overcrowding in prisons does not imply that crime rates are higher than they have been; however, poor policy choices within the criminal justice system undermine the need for the system to meet prisoners’ basic human needs. Arguably, the prison system is suffering from the harsh effects of overcrowding, the consequences of which are life-threatening if not prevented as soon as possible. This paper includes an annotated bibliography.

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