Corrections looks at the correctional system and offers arguments for and against the practice of the laws and policies that comprise corrections, from parole and probation to imprisonment, to the application of the death penalty. The 20 included chapters, written by eminent scholars and experts in the fields of criminology, police science, law, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines, take on such contested topics as what the goals of the correctional system should be (deterrence, rehabilitation, retribution, or something else?) and how they should be achieved; who should make these decisions; and how to balance the goals of the correctional system with the civil rights of the inmates. Prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners, as well as the changing definition of cruel and unusual punishment, are also examined.The SeriesEach volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.
Chapter 15: 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 ...