Prison Overcrowding Causes and Solutions

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Research Paper 5 149 1962 6 103321

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...... These differing incentives also help to explain one of the major discrepancies between federal and state prisons, because although both systems suffer from overcrowding, overcrowding in state prisons is much more dramatic, and state prisons are consistently rated lower in terms of inmate and officer safety (Specter, 2010, p. 194). Of course, the degree of overcrowding and a lack of safety go hand in hand, because overcrowding increases the likelihood of violence and disease, especially since overcrowding connotes a lack of adequate resources (Camp et. al., 2003, p. 529, Davies, 2004, p. 378, Specter, 2010, p. 194). This danger of increased violence affects not only inmates, who are more likely to attack each other when kept in overcrowded conditions, but also corrections officers themselves, because overcrowded prisons increase the ratio of inmates to guards to the point that it may be difficult for officers to adequately protect themselves (Specter, 2010, p. 194-195)
To see how overcrowding negatively affects the prison system, one may examine a few dramatic examples from the California prison system, which is the largest in the United States and the third largest in the world as a whole, incarcerating roughly 155, 500 individuals (Specter, 2010, p.…

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