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Prison Overcrowding
Prison overcrowding

As extensively noted in popular, professional, and academic sources, there is widespread concern that the United States has been experiencing severe prison overcrowding for some time. However, there are significant differences of opinion as to what actually constitutes overcrowding, what role it plays in causing or exacerbating prison management and inmate-related problems, or what steps should be taken to deal with it.

Prisons versus Jails

Discussions of overcrowding frequently merge concerns about state and federal prisons together with municipal and county jails, which in states such as Pennsylvania, are confusingly referred to as county prisons. With the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and a small number of northeastern states that operate integrated jail/prison systems, state and federal prisons or penitentiaries house exclusively sentenced felons, usually ...

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