Some measures have been put in place to help mitigate the problem. The federal government through the department of justice gives billions of dollars for the establishment of both existing and new prisons (Muradyan, 2008). These provisions have helped to cater for the needs of the inmates through expanding of accommodation facilities, provision of food and healthcare among other basics. The allocations to corrections department have been increased to cater for the increasing number of prisoners. This is a comprehensive prison reform that seeks to reduce the number of inmates detained in prison. The corrections department has been funded to facilitate and make its services more efficient, rehabilitating the behaviors of the inmates and reducing their stay behind bars. With more efficient corrective measures, inmates will have a limited stay in jail. Hence the number of prisoners will likely decrease with time.
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Most of the prisons have raised the concern on expanding their facilities. Titan prisons have proposed to construct three new American style jails, each with a carrying capacity of 2500 inmates. The government has announced its plans of constructing more prisons to create additional capacity to the prison department. The expansion of the current prison building program will see a significant improvement within the prison department, where new facilities will be created to accommodate the rising number of inmates. The prison department has also taken the initiative to relocate inmates from overcrowded prisons to less populated jails (Clear, Reisig, & Cole, 2018).
The government initiative to undertake reforms in the prison systems and create new facilities is a significant move towards curbing prison overcrowding. However, these initiatives have been faced with numerous controversies which undermine their implementation. There are better and cheaper approaches that can be employed to mitigate the situation. The sentencing process has been met with high inflation. This calls for the need to create judicial reforms. Among these reforms are sufficient court systems. The duration which a suspect should be detained awaiting court trial should be limited to reduce the number of people on remand. This requires close coordination between the court and investigation department, where evidence should be availed with immediate effect and the suspect be judged accordingly. The sentencing should provide reasonable alternatives for mundane crimes. Suspects found guilty of petty cases should be given alternative punishments such as fines, correction measures, home detention, monitoring and mentoring among other forms of sanctions. The penalties should also be reasonable and affordable by the defendants.
These reforms will reduce the unnecessary use of custodial remand, which has increased the prison population by 95%. The government should invest in community penalties and help transform the criminals of lesser offences outside the bars. A transparent court system should be established to ensure that no innocent people are victimized and detained for crimes they have not committed. Elimination of bias court ruling is likely to reduce the number of inmates been booked in for offences. It is ironical that the 11% decrease in the crime rates within the United States has witnessed a drastic increase in the population in the prisons. These statistics give a clear picture of the bias nature of the court systems. The proposed reforms will help reduce the number of people was detained in jail, hence or otherwise alleviate overcrowding in the prisons.
Prison systems are paramount to administrative policies and enforcement of law and order. The prison department complements the policing and judicial activities; hence its operations should not be undermined. The three are inter-related, and failure in one system is likely to affect the actions of the prison department. A failure in the judicial system, poor decision and mismanagement has led to overcrowding in the prisons. This is a significant threat that has undermined the operation of the prison systems, compromising the rights of the inmates and execution of services such as rehabilitation and correction by the prison departments. It is the responsibility of the government, which is overall in charge of the policing, judicial and prison departments to enhance coordination and strategies in various ways of reducing overcrowding within the jails.
The federal government is trying its best to expand the available facilities to cater for the rising number of inmates. However, this seems to be a wrong approach to the issue. Expanding the facilities to increase the carrying capacity of the prisons will have created for more room to accommodate new inmates instead of reducing the problem of overcrowding. The key, among other causal agents, seems to be the judicial system, which needs reforms to affect the sentencing process and accommodate for alternative punishments for lesser criminal cases. Through this, the number of inmates been booked will drastically decline and hence help reduce overcrowding in the prisons.
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