What Is Overcrowding In Prison

1434 Words 6 Pages
One of the country's most troubling issues is the overcrowding of prisons. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice, eighteen states operated their facilities with over 100 percent capacity. This means that 36 percent of prisons operated by the United States are overcrowded. One of the largest contributing factors of this overcrowding is the incarceration of individuals for drug-related crimes. Drug users make up a large group of the inmates in United States prisons, according to the Bureau of Justice there are about 1,358,875 people in federal prisons and of them, about 16 percent of inmates in state prisons and 47 percent of inmates in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug-related crimes. Of those 1,358,875 prisoners, 65 percent of …show more content…
A majority of drug-addicted prisoners who are released get re-arrested and relapse, and even if they are in treatment 60 to 80 percent of them don’t complete their post-prison treatment programs (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). Although prison is not the ideal place to recover from drug addiction, rehabilitation facilities may be. This raises the controversy on whether drug addicts should go to jail or rehabilitation centers. In most states addicts are not given the option to attend a rehabilitation facility rather than prison, but if they were, they would be out of prison, which would solve many problems America’s justice and legal systems face, such as the before mentioned overcrowding issue. Rehab would give drug addicts a non-violent, safe space to actually recover whereas, in jail, they often maintain their addiction and get involved in more crime. Drug addicts should be given the option to go to rehabilitation facilities rather than …show more content…
According to a study by the Hamilton Project, the United States spends over $80 billion annually to maintain prisons and their growing populations. The average amount of money spent by the United States is $31,286 on each prisoner (The New York Times). Growing crime and prisoner rates are also causing prisons to become overcrowded. According to the Bureau of Justice, eighteen states operated their facilities with over 100 percent capacity, which means 36 percent of prisons operated by the United States are overcrowded. Drug users make up a large group of inmates in United States prisons.; the Bureau of Justice says about 16 percent of inmates in state prisons and 47 percent of inmates in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug-related crimes, and 65 percent of them meet medical criteria that can signify drug addiction, that is about 883,269 prisoners addicted to drugs (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse). Drug users are costing the United States millions of dollars a year just to be housed in jail for their addiction, whereas if drug addicts were sent to rehab the cost would immensely decrease. According to State Commission on Criminal Sentencing, Maryland has reduced the price of each inmate from $20,000 annually to $4,000 annually by reinstating them into rehab programs. Subsequently, a change in the United

Related Documents