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Prison overcrowding effects on Inmates,Overcrowded prisons in US and Canada,Negative impact or effects of overcrowding

Updated on November 5, 2016
prison overcrowding
prison overcrowding

Prisoner Rights - Prison Problems

Prison overcrowding is the situation of having more prisoners in the prison than what the facility allows. Prisons are supposed to be accommodated in a psychologically healthy and humane way. The unhealthy situation in prisons is connected to several issues that currently confront American corrections. Overcrowded prisons upset the inmates and inhibit their mental and psychological improvement. Overcrowded prisons make the inmates deprived of resources. Unavailability of resources and absence of peaceful environment make destructive consequences in inmates.

Prison Issues - Prison Overcrowding in US

Prison overcrowding is a major issue in United Stated for several decades. Overcrowded prisons problem in United States and Canada needs to be studied in detail. Jail overcrowding is criminalizing prisoners in varieties of ways. Effects of prison overcrowding are many. Stress of jail overcrowding and fight for resources impart negative results on prisoners. Negative effects of jail on inmates are numerous. There are several political and social effects of prison overcrowding. Criminals harbor mistrust, anger, frustration and other destructive characters. These are not the only effect of jail overcrowding. Jails should have enough space and resources for housing prisoners. The maximum number of inmates in a jail should be fixed. The negative effects of overcrowding in Canadian prisons are many. Social, hygiene-related and health issues are numerous in prisons. Negative impact of prison overcrowding is still not fully understood.

InUnited StatesandCanadaprison overcrowding has negatively influenced the correctional facilities. The increasing in prison population and the decline in correctional spending has made the prisons overcrowded. The number of inmates exceeds the maximum capacity of the prison. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) National Inmate Survey (1995) gave the report that more than one-fourth of the prison inmates are sharing their cell with another inmate. They feel threatened by their cell-mate as they share their rooms. Prison overcrowding initiates aggression and competition for limited resources among the inmates. It also leads to illness and sufferings of inmates. Prison overcrowding increases the suicide rates and boost recidivism among the inmates.

Prison overcrowding problems
Prison overcrowding problems

Prison Overcrowding – Negative Effects on Prison Inmates

Problems and sufferings of jail inmates - Overcrowded prisons are not only uncomfortable but also destructive as prisoners who come out carry the consequences of their bad experiences to the free world after they are released. Overcrowding has several negative effects on the prison inmates. Crowding is only indirectly related to mere numbers or density of people. It is possible to feel crowded in the presence of few people, or not crowded in the presence of many. Prisons are characterized by restrictions and limitations. The prison environment generally includes various factors that can adversely affect physical and mental health of inmates. In crowded prisons where struggles and competitions prevail inmates may move to anti-social behavior as their already exists the problems causes by idleness, boredom and lack of personal control. Overcrowded prisons make the prisoners develop various negative characters that make them do more violent crimes when they come out of prison. Overcrowding has three different types of negative effects on the inmates. Overcrowding decreases the resources available for each and every facility. They will be deprived of rehabilitative programs like academic activities and vocational training. Recreational activities and self-improvement programs are not possible in an overcrowded environment. The lack of work makes prisoners idle. This would lead them to frustration and disruptive behavior.

Prison Overcrowding Problems

Moreover over crowding will result in the general scarcity of resources. For example availability of library books, washroom availability, television lounge seating and shortage of recreational materials. This lack of consequences can have various negative consequences on inmates. When prisoners are denied resources, they are frustrated. Competition among inmates for limited resources also results in violence, aggression and frustration. The next negative effect caused by overcrowding on inmates is behavioral problems. Crowded prison setting can increase stress, fear and tensions in inmates. Inmates find it difficult to cope with stress. This makes them depressed and aggressive. Overcrowding will negatively influence the interaction and social relations of the inmate. Crowded environment results in social withdrawal, competition of resources and less cooperation among the inmates.

Even though prison overcrowding is not the only reason for the dangerous conditions and the abuse that prevail in many of the prisons, it is one of the major problems faced by prisons. Prison overcrowding has various negative influences in the prison inmates. Overcrowded prisons harbor illness and unhealthy environment. Moreover it also makes the inmates struggle for resources. This struggles and competitions further criminalize the inmates. Prisoners thus are not benefited through this confinement if the prisons are overcrowded. Prisons are supposed to provide a healthy environment for the prisoners where they get a chance to regret, repent and renew themselves for the free world that welcomes them after the confinement. Overcrowded prisons do not give this environment. Overcrowded prisons are not only uncomfortable but also destructive as prisoners who come out carry the consequences of their bad experiences to the free world after they are released.


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