Complete 9 page APA formatted essay: The Consequences of Prison Overcrowding.
It is evidently clear from the discussion that an increased prison population and its inherent human and financial costs have little effect on the attitudes of some. Despite the obvious and extensive failures of our penitentiary system, more people are being sent to prison for more reasons primarily as a result of tougher sentencing laws specifically involving the ‘war on drugs.’ Over the past quarter century, the U.S. has added to its prison population and therefore to its social problems. The U.S. incarcerates more of its population than any other industrialized country. Currently, more than two million prisoners are jailed in local, state or federal facilities. Not only the number of prisoners is increasing, but the ratio of prisoner to population is also widening as well. About a decade ago, for every 100,000 citizens, 703 were in prison. That number exceeds 715 today. When categorized according to ethnicity, a wide disparity of justice is apparent. “At midyear, there were 4,834 black male prisoners per 100,000 black males in the United States in prison or jail, compared to 1,778 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 681 white male inmates per 100,000 white males.” Those incarcerated for drug charges constitute more than 60 percent of inmates in Federal prisons and 15 percent of the growth in total prison populations. Violent offenders including those charged with murder, rape, assault, and robbery constitute the remaining approximate 40 percent. Anyone who has seen a prison movie likely has witnessed the stereotypical ‘shower scene’ where gang members viciously attack a lone inmate. They put a knife tightly against the victim’s throat and threaten to kill him if he puts up a fight. The lone inmate is then repeatedly raped by the gang and afterward is too frightened to notify prison officials fearing retribution.