The state prison population in Texas has been estimated to have grown by 278 percent and increased the population by 35 percent. Most prisons in America hold more prisoners than the capacity they are supposed to hold. The overcrowding has resulted from increasing sentences for petty offenders in a bid to improve public security. The house corrections chairman of Texas jerry madden has estimated that 14000 prison beds will be added by 2010 to hold the increasing prisoners.
The population increase in prison is between 50000-80000 people yearly. The problem of overcrowding can have a negative impact on the inmates. These include the risk of being sexually assaulted resulting to transmission of Aids and Hepatitis c which are both deadly diseases (Howard, 2003). The overcrowding conditions are degrading and dehumanizing to the inmates contrary to they correctional reforms championing for the maximization of opportunities that are available to the inmates.
There is curtailing of the participation of rehabilitative programs e. g. vocational training, employment and academic due to overcrowding . there is always competition for basic resources such as wash rooms, recreational materials, library books, and seats in the television lounge extra leading to a lot of aggression and violence (Howard, 2003). Over crowding can lead to a lot of stress leading to a lot of antisocial behavior and mental anguish for the inmates. This can lead to depressions, withdraw and aggression.
The correctional system is not able to deal properly with the offenders as they end up misclassifying them due to lack of space. Classification is done on the basis of the availability of space and not according to the level of security needed as there are those offenders, who need minimum or maximum security. This leads to slow progression in the correctional system resulting into very slow exits. Often there are criminal warring gangs that put together leading into violent clashes and sometimes resulting to deaths.
All these problems associated with overcrowding are as a result of an influx in the prisons. Policies that have increased terms for offenders are fully responsible for the overflow of prisoners. By doubling the term for the armed robbery, this problem will be further aggravated and the risks associated with overcrowding will escalate. Policies such as this ext end the time an ion mate will spend behind the bars. Prisons are meant to reform offenders and make them better people in the society.
This policy will not achieve this as it will result in overcrowding in the correctional facilities and the end results will be acquisition of vices by inmates. Conclusion There are several advantages and disadvantages of passing the legislature of doubling the maximum prison terms for convicts of robbery violence. The law can be used to discourage people from engaging in this crime as they know that they will go to prison for a long time. While these convicts are in prison for longer times they can benefit from the several reform programs that are available and be well integrated into the society.
Doubling of the prison term is likely to increase congestion in prisons making it necessary to build more. This is a burden that is carried by the tax payers and it is uneconomical. There also many problems experienced by inmates in over crowded jails. All these have to be taken into consideration before this bill is passed. References Eric, S. (1998). The prison industrial complex. Retrieved on 19th march from http://core. ecu. edu/soci/juskaa/SOCI2110/Prison_Industrial_Complex. htm Howard, J. (2003).
Prison overcrowding. Retrieved on 19th march from http://www. johnhoward. ab. ca/PUB/C42. htm Jeralyn, M. (2007). Crime reports call for shorter prison terms. Retrieved on 19th march from http://www. talkleft. com/tag/jail Levin, M. (2006). Policy perspective. Retrieved on 19th march from http://www. texaspolicy. com/pdf/2006-05-PP-prisoncrowding-ml. pdf The word. (2008). Prison systems in America. Retrieved on 19th march from http://lasc. edu/theword/Features/Entries/2008/11/19_Prison_System_in_America. html