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The Causes Of Prison Overcrowding Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 1758 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In this research report i have explained the causes of prison overcrowding and how to deal with them and what are the solution and reduction plan for prison over crowding. The health and safety issues of inmates, offenders as well as the general public.


Correctional Institution is a prison which means a place where the criminals are bieng kept in a limited and ristricted way. They are kept in a place where there is no freedom and there are different crime levels. Crime levels depends on what type of crime he or she has done and then they are transferred in a suitable place that is where do they deserve to spend there time in the prison, and are they in a condition to spend there time in a good way or in a restricted way that includes the facilities given by the Institutes. The facilities are those which is decided already by the government.Correctional Institutions involves a criminal justice system which makes the offenders detained and help them to improve themselves by facilities given by the institutions. Each country has its own way to the criminal justice system and uses its own correctional facilities in different methods. These institutions have 3 types of facilities which includes Jails, Prisons and Juvenile detention. The facilities also include a seprate buliding for male and female prisoners.If we look behind in the history, the criminals were kept in the jail and keeping them in a jail was not a punishment in itself, but it was rather a way to put them in restriction and limited levels until they could get a death penalty. Dungeons was known as a prison before and those prisoners which were left behind to die were usually sent to do salvery in which the prisoners can become Galley Slaves or facing Penal Transportation. For example, It was reported in france that they sent the convicts to devil’s Island and the UK colonies in America (Penal Transportation , 2012)

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Causes of Prison Overcrowding

Prison Overcrowding is causing due to the high rate of criminals and not taking care of it by using correct means and ways to reduce the crime rate. There are certain issues implemented by the government by which an individual can easily sentenced to prison by a harsher penality on simple offenses.There are some common needs of the citizens, to get those common needs the citizens in take a wrong way to fulfill the need because there is no other way to reach it, the thing they want is very difficult to be fulfilled so they implement or plan to do very offensive and dangerous techniques which can give harm to government as well as country’s value, so keeping in mind everything, country also should give some facilities to the citizen so they dont find a wrong way to do it.

There are some situations on which government gets very easy and does not keeps security in some levels where there should be high security and that gives an open chance to the criminals.Bieng tough on crime is also not good because goverment usually find no other way to solve the problem so they give punishment at the end of the day. The government should never be soft on crimes and as well as too much aggressive. These both things definetely gives the government a positive expectation of crime so it is better to implement such rules that gives a balanced situation of crime level.One of the causes that includes overcrowding is that there is very less number of facilities given to all of the offenders for example: Some offenders are given the facility and most of them are shifted back to the prisons that is out of state which increases the number, that causes overcrowding in prison. The main facility which is not given to the offenders are the high security prison beds. A offender that needs a high security should not be left on a place where there is almost no security and the population of offenders are increasing but the goverment is not implementing accurate facility to the institutes.There are some prisoners who have never done any crime but just because they have some personal incident happened in there life so the hospitals cant handle them they are also sent to prison staff just to get some punishment instead they need a care until and unless they are some special case in there health

Health Issues Overall

The Health issues of a human bieng includes everything which is related to him or her happening in everyday routine weather its a mental stress or physical stress, any kind of stress taking place in human bieng gives a result in which they would have some health issues end of the day.

Inmates and Prison Staff

When we have a look on inmates and prison staff with there health issues most of the prisoners have mental disabilities. As reported in 2005 half of all the prison and jail offenders have mental health problems and that includes the number of health problems find in a prison that is 705,600 in State Prisons, 78,800 in Federal Prisons and 479,900 in local jails. These figures were configured by a personal interview with the State and Federal prisoners in 2004 and local jail inmates in 2002 (Glaze, 14/12/2006)

As my research for prison staff, there were also female prisoners having mental health problems which were at a risk of abuse and at worst stage of mental illness. The women who doesnt have any mental issues can develope it by the enviroment given from the institutes which are very poor in condition, overcrowded, no safety and security and staff which were having to attiquates to deal with the females.

General Public

Health issues rising in general public is usually due to mental depression or stress which makes the human bieng aggressive and hyper and that causes many wrong things. As to my research violence is the main reason of public health problems. It was reported that violence and health were rarely used together 30 years ago (Services, 2009).

There were many diseases like yellow fever, poliomyelitis, typhus, diphtheria, and pertussis but the main leading diseases were Tuberculosis and pneumonia in 20th century. Nowadays the health issues taking place in public is homicide, suicide, cancer, heart diseases, stroke and AIDS. These all diseases are taking place because of loads of stress, depression, diet changing, way of living, less workout and bieng careless on personal lifestyle and hygiene.

Solutions and Precautions taken to resolve the issue

As we look on the conditions of prison staff because they are going through mental illness and health problems so the correctional institute should provide or implement a way which is very caring and problem solving that they can atleast have peace of mind and feel comfortable as compare to punish them or sending them out of state.There are places in prison where there is just a room and you have to stay there eating, drinking, sleeping and your bathroom services in the same place which can give more mental stress and more health problems because there would be no hygiene. There are very few correctional institutes which have good facilities for the prisoner but most of the institutes or jails have very inadequate services and doesn’t know how to deal with them.

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Keeping in my mind all these things a country should organize an institute which should have some levels and categories to deal with different type of prisoners keeping in mind some factors Medical, Psychological, environmental etc and approaching a treatment that is very medicated and cleaned with some good facilities provided. As it is very challenging to maintain a good correctional institute due to increase in large number of prisoners, lack of resources, poor organization and high rate of mental illness and facing them repeatedly. Correctional Institutes can be a educational centre also if they can be given a better prison to improve themselves doing many knowledgeable things given by the institute for example: painting, writing and playing in an open ground so that they could feel better and relaxed. These all things could be given to the prisoners who are in a balanced condition to deal with, by approaching this task the prisoners with low mental illness can come in a better situation.

Qualified Doctors are very less to work for the prison staff so the prison administration should make sure if the experts are dealing with the prisoners they should deal in a good way. Now as we come across the general public Most of the issues are solved are free to improve their health because they are not always alone dealing with themselves but they would have someone taking care or usually they have a family supporting them by which they get lots of help and care they needed until and unless they are on a situation where there health issue is accessed to the dangerous stage and that includes only suffering from a disease .

Steps taken to reduce prison overcrowding

As we look behind the circumstances and causes of the prison overcrowding the general steps should be taken first and to be started after having the positive reply of the public.

Long Term

It should be done in a that the government should banns the drugs in the country and charge fine whoever is using it. This way that the criminals should keep many things in mind. If they approach a new concept of giving warnings, fines, alerts then there will be a way of less criminals and less crowd in the prison.

Short Term

There are many countries which have very high crime rate and less organized correctional institute. Putting the criminals in jail only if they have done a big robbery or theft and then they can be handover to high authorities.

Reduction Plan

To reduce recidivism there should be a rapid plan, We can do it by increasing public safety by making sure to achieve a low rate of criminal behavior. We can give a service to the offenders and criminals in the prison by giving them a good chance to move back to their place but with a good attitude and with a safe environment. The community health centers can play a big role in solving this problem and implementing new law and order. For further details on reduction plan we can follow the FDC plan that is (A.McNeil, 2009-2014)


I would like to conclude my research on overcrowding by the interview given by Glen Whorton, who is the director of Ely state prison followed by the link (Whaley, 2007)


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