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Crowded Prisons and Privatization

Roger Smith (12-13), in a text titled Prison Conditions: Overcrowding, Disease, Violence and Abuse, makes the case that the use of determinate sentences and the so-called "three strikes" approach to life-long incarceration for repeat offenders has created a situation in which many of Americas prisons are extremely overcrowded, increasingly violent, and generally unable to rehabilitate most inmates. Indeed, while many courts have attempted to set ceilings on the number of inmates that can be held in a prison facility or parts of such facilities, the reality is that as more inmates are sentenced to prison terms, these facilitates have been forced to expand capacity without necessarily increasing space (Coles and Adams, 29). The research hypothesis to be examined in this study is stated as: Privatization of prison management is being embraced as a response to prison overcrowding in many jurisdictions.

Determinate sentencing is certainly one of the reasons why prisons in America are being required to house increasing number of offenders for longer periods. In recent decades, and in response to the concerns of citizens and policymakers alike regarding the problem of criminal recidivism, a move toward determinate sentencing with the abolition of parole has emerged as one of the most significant sentencing trends. According to Marvell and Moody (109), this trend emerged in response to the sense that imprisonment does not effectively rehabilitate inmates and that parole decisions are often arbitrary and not based on the supposed rehabilitation of the individual prisoner. Supporters of determinate sentencing argue that imprisonment serves multiple goals, among which deterrence, incapacitation and retributive justice are prominent (Marvell & Moody 110). However, there are concerns that determinate sentencing and the abolition of parole (or at least a significant reduction in its availability) are inherently unjust, unequal, and disc...

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Crowded Prisons and Privatization. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:57, February 21, 2017, from