Overcrowding In Corrections

806 Words 4 Pages
Depending on the policy adopted different impacts will be felt within the justice system. A significant amount of polices including mandatory minimums laws clog up the court system, allow the use of discretion by prosecutors, may cause law enforcement to use unethical methods, and contribute to overcrowding in jails and prisons. Ineffective, unsupported policies that have developed due to a perceived need or due to governmental incentive have caused the criminal justice system to become extremely overcrowded. Countless offenders are being arrested and charged with various offenses due to the immeasurable amount of policies that propose sanctioned punishments as deterrents and as a means to reduce recidivism.
Prosecutors have become powerful
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As a result, probation and parole officers are overrun with parolees and probationers they must oversee. An increased caseload means that less time and resources can be spent on offenders and therefore greatly impacting the usefulness of probation and parole. “Parolees face extraordinary challenges… they face discrimination in the job market” and often find themselves homeless (Simon, 2007, 278). When offenders are not provided with the proper resources that should be available during probation and parole they may find themselves reoffending as a way to survive after being convicted of an offense. This furthers the revolving door of our criminal justice system and increases the amount of people “in legal jeopardy of being sent back to prison with minimal effort” (Simon, 2007, 278). Large cities with scarce resources for probation and parole “face the prospect of thousands of returning prisoners” (Simon, 2007, …show more content…
Mass incarceration and racial disparity in prisons developed due to many ineffective policies being promoted by the government and being implemented for financial reasons despite their lack of empirical support. The war on drugs and zero-tolerance policies are examples of legislation being enacted that were futile, targeted minorities, and fueled mass incarceration. Due to racial disparity within the law, African American men are more likely to go to prison than to go to college, get married or enroll in the military (Simon, 2007). Many of definitions of criminal acts disproportionately target minorities and are responsible for the high rate of African Americans imprisoned. Federal laws created a distinction between powder and crack cocaine, and “made possession of crack cocaine, which is commonly associated with African Americans, far more consequential for prison sentences” (Simon, 2007,

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