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Prison Crowding

In an in-depth research paper on Prison Crowding, begin by discussing how the populations increase has caused problems in prisons such as putting all types of prisoners together and many others.

In the last two decades prison crowding has become a serious problem at local, state, and federal levels. Prison crowding is directly associated with get tough polices that led to mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent and violent offenders alike. The overcrowding problem is one faced by facilities that house all types of prisoners, including women and juveniles. In recent years a variety of programs have been devised to solve the problem of prison crowding. Prison CrowdingThese solutions include building new public and private prisons, early release programs for prisoners, and alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. Despite these measures the United States continues to face major problems with crowding in prison facilities. Moreover, crowding has led to additional problems which include increases in inmate-on-inmate and guard-on-inmate violence; a lack of resources to meet the basic needs of those incarcerated, and public backlash when prisoners released early commit new crimes.

Overcrowding in prison and jail facilities has been a major problem in the U.S. for over two decades. In 2003 the prison population in the United States topped two million. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics stated local jails increased in population by 5.4 percent; state prisons by 1 percent, and the federal inmate population increased by 2.8 percent during the preceding year. As of June 30, 2002 the total number of incarcerated individuals in the U.S. was 2,015,475. By the year 1995 the number of incarcerated prisoners was triple that of 1980 figures. The prison population reached its highest level ever in the new century despite a 33.4 percent reduction in the violent crime rate and a 25.4 percent decrease in property crime rates.

The United States continues to have the highest rate of incarcerated individuals in the world. Currently there are 702 prisons for every 100,000 residents. Approximately 4.8 percent of all African American males are incarcerated, as are 1.7 percent of the Hispanic population and 0.6 percent of whites.

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