Many people think that the current prison systems in America need a lot of work in some way or another. Some people think that the prisons are in need of a reform and others think that the inmates may have it too easy. There isn’t much that can be done to improve the prison systems, however the things that should be fixed are the lack of funds and overcrowding.
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One of the problems there are with prisons today is that there is a lack of funding. For example, Alabama spends $43 a day per inmate to house its prisoners, compared to a national average of more than $70 a day. That is not enough money to fund rehabilitation programs to help keep former prisoners from going to prison again. Some people may argue that the money actually being spent on prisons is ridiculous, but it is very important for the safety of the inmates, community and public. The proper funding to prisons can provide larger facilities which would be safer for both inmates and guards. In California, there were prisoners being released due to lack of both funds and space. Prisoners having to be released means more danger to the public and higher crime rates. Funding more money for prisons is completely necessary and can even be used for other causes such as education or health care for inmates, but most importantly, the proper funding will lead to less overcrowding in prisons.
Overcrowding has been a big problem in prisons these recent years. Overpopulation in prisons can lead to many problems like violence or disease outbreak. In overcrowded prisons, people will sometimes have to be mixed together regardless of how minor or major the crime. For example, someone who was arrested for simply selling illegal drugs could have to share space with killers or rapists. This could be extremely dangerous for obvious reasons. If the prisons actually had the proper funding, they could have separate wings dedicated to different levels of offense. Overcrowding, as well as related problems such as lack of privacy, can also cause or worsen mental health problems, and increase rates of violence, self-harm and suicide. Overcrowding is a consequence of criminal justice policy not of rising crime rates. It affects the ability of prison systems to meet basic human needs, such as healthcare, food, and enough room for them to properly function. It also affects the provision and effectiveness of rehabilitation programs, education, and recreational activities offered in prisons.
Some of the best ways to prevent overcrowding in prisons would be to invest in long-term strategies for crime prevention and reduction, make special arrangements for vulnerable groups, like children, mothers with dependent children and people with mental health issues and simply diverting minor cases out of the criminal justice system altogether. Fixing overcrowding would also fix the problem with the lack of funds because there would be less people that need to be taken care of.
Many people say today’s prison systems are in need of reform. There aren’t even that many problems with prisons but with the proper funds and sufficient space for all prisoners, crime rates can easily be reduced and prisoners, guards and the public would feel much safer. Just fixing these two problems would most likely fix any other problems there may be in prisons.
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