Prison overcrowding also triggers the indulgence in illegal or criminal activities in the prisons. (John Baker et al). Some prison staff may collude with inmates to undertake drug trafficking within the prisons. It can also trigger loss of life when some inmates result to suicide as a solution to their frustrations and confusion in the prisons. Overcrowding in prisons is also associated with increased pressure or strain on medical supplies. It is linked with poor hygiene and sanitation that precipitates the spread of diseases.
(John Baker et al). Prison overcrowding has an indirect effect on the society which spends her finances on an ineffective system through taxation. The society is also subjected to the heinous acts committed by the criminals through recidivism. Various factors have been highlighted as causes of overcrowding in the American prisons. Increased length of sentences imposed is one of the major factors highlighted. The drug problem and its effect on crime rates are also blamed for more people being sent to prisons.
(Pollock 54). The Americans’ need to adopt harsh approaches to crime and the positive response by the legislative measures adapted to these demands also led to increased numbers of people sent to prisons. Other factors raised include increased efficiency on the part of the law enforcement as well as the procedures and techniques applied. (Pollock 54). California is among the prisons that have embraced the construction of more and larger prisons. Through its plan approximately $8. 3 billion would be spent.
The money was to be from the local as well as the federal government and since its largest source is taxation then Americans would be financing the plan. This is a better approach than the use of less punitive or lenient approaches like the application of less sentences and parole. There are incidences where people on parole committed crimes on early release. (Pollock 71). It would be advisable to have the country invest on the construction of more prisons to enhance the effectiveness of correctional facilities than to jeopardize the security of citizens as a way of evading the costs involved.
It would not make sense to reduce the sentencing terms so as to evade the economic costs of creating on larger facilities. Expansion programs like the use of available space compromises on the effectiveness of the correctional programs. Reduction of the flow of inmates in the prisons would also be a form of injustice to the society. Works cited: Professor Craig Haney. Prison overcrowding: Harmful consequences and dysfunctional reactions. University of California. Santa Cruz. Steinhauer Jennifer.
California to Address Prison Overcrowding With Giant Building Program. 2007. Retrieved 20th April 2009 from http://www. nytimes. com/2007/04/27/us/27prisons. html? _r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin John Baker et al. A solution to prison overcrowding and recidivism. Global positioning system location of paroles and probation. 2002. Retrieved 20th April 2009 from http://www. gemstone. umd. edu/Teams/documents/innovative. pdf. Pollock Joycelyn M. Prisons: today and tomorrow. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 1997. 57-90