THE UNITED STATE government should decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails
Debate Rounds (3)
Wheather the United State government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
According to the website:
"There is currently not enough space in prisons for all convicted criminals to fully serve their sentences. This leads to the early release of offenders who are not ready to successfully reenter the community. The emergency release of offenders out the back door, in an effort to free up space for those at the front door, threatens the public safety of communities"
Having overcrowding prisons and jails is linked to early release of offenders which threatens the safety of our community.
According to the website:
"the current severe overcrowding in 29 CDCR prisons has caused substantial risk to the health and safety of the men and women who work inside these prisons and the inmates housed in them, because:
A. With so many inmates housed in large common areas, there is an increased, substantial risk of violence, and greater difficulty controlling large inmate populations.
B. With large numbers of inmates housed together in triple-bunks, there is an increased, substantial risk for transmission of infectious illnesses.
C.The triple-bunks and tight quarters create line-of-sight problems for correctional officers by blocking views, creating an increased, substantial security risk"
Having a overcrowding prison poses many safety and health issues for the prison guards and inmates such as an increase risk of violence and spreading infectious diseases.
Also, according to
A overcrowding prisons causes an overload in " the prison sewage and wastewater systems [ which] has resulted in the discharge of waste beyond treatment capacity, resulting in thousands of gallons of sewage spills and environmental contamination"
" And when the prisons 'overdischarge' waste, bacteria can contaminate the drinking water supply, putting the public"s health at an increased, substantial risk"
A overcrowding prison causes sewage spills which can contaminate the public's drinking water with bacteria posing an health issue for the general public.
The United State government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States
Your first premise is a bit confusing, early release of offenders would be a remedy to your conclusion which is that, "The United State government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States", but you state that early release would be a bad thing, so I'm not sure what you mean. As far as you stating that offenders that are released early would pose a threat to the safety of our community is not true, because most people who get released early do so when they commit non violent offenses.
Overcrowded prisons are not the source of increase violence and neither is the spread of infectious diseases, but rather the fact that prisons house rival gangs and diseases spread whether they are overcrowded or not. Violence in prison is going to happen regardless especially with violent offenders who have rival members housed in the same facility.
Criminal offenders get sentenced what they do for a reason and should not be lessened over something like overcrowding. The first issue that would occur is that this type of tactic would be arbitrary. If one part of the United States is lessening sentences due to overcrowding, it would not be fair to others everywhere else. The general way of thinking is that you can do certain crimes in certain areas because you will barely be punished for it.
The United States should not adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
Premises 2- i totally agree. But you must have misunderstand me. i was not thinking of violence in terms of gangs when i was writing my second premises. i was thinking of violence as when a non-violent inmate is house with a violent inmate because of overcrowding in prison. The violent inmate in this argument is generally not a gang member but just violent. when this occurs, the non-violent inmate will learn to get violent in prison just to survive. when he gets early release to society ( since you say in the previous premises, people who get "released early do so when they commit non violent offenses") will more likely to become violent when he get out. therefore, they either must be better screening on who gets out or build bigger prison and nobody gets out.
premises 3- your last premises is a little bit confusing. are you saying that because nonviolent offenders get release early, it is not fair for people who commits more violent crimes?
Whether violent offenders start "acting non violent" is irrelevant because the state is not going to choose someone who has murdered or committed aggravated assault in the streets as opposed to someone incarcerated for something non violent like possession of marijuana. So even if they "act non violent" they will be less likely to let go over someone else. Building more prisons would just increase spending which could be used for education. The federal budget for incarceration and education comes from within the same bracket so the more money you spend on building prisons the less there is for higher education. This would actually contribute even more to overcrowding because the people associated to committing crimes are usually uneducated.
I didn't mean that the people in prison were inherently in a gang already sometimes they are formed in prison. What I meant to say was that overcrowding is not the reason for violence in prison. People in prison are already dangerous and can be violent to begin with. Many times they segregate themselves and form groups which can lead to rival group formation and may lead to fights. So whether it's overcrowded or not violence will still most likely occur.
What I meant in my last argument is that lessening sentences in cities or states that are overcrowded would make the policy arbitrary. For example if the government says that once a prison has reached a certain amount we should lessen sentences to avoid overcrowding that sort of act is unfair. Some part of the country where prisons fill up quicker will have people not serving their full term whereas places who do not fill up their prisons will have to serve their full sentences. That would create a huge problem in the country.
Premise 2- there is also an issue of overcrowding and the public water supply. overcrowded prisons increase the chances of water spills because the massive amount of water the inmate uses at the same time. When that water spills and get into our water supply, it can post a risk to the public health. Therefore, more prisons should be built so less spills can occur in our main sewage. The more overcrowded a prison is, the more likely a sewage spill will occur.
Premise 3- I understand that lessen a sentences of an individual just to avoid having a overcrowded prison is arbitrary. That is why the government needs to create new and more fair policy towards overcrowding in prisons. Also, I degree with my opponent, overcrowded prisons does increase the chances of violence among inmate. When people are cram together in society, they starts to act aggressive toward each other, compare if they have space in prison. Therefore we should build more prison. Not only new prison will create jobs but also will help to decrease violence within our prison system.
If the federal government were to spend less for prisons and more for education, crime would reduce significantly. According to http://sites.psu.edu... the lowest performing schools were in areas in which incarceration rates were highest. Instead of spending millions of dollars or more creating new prisons, hiring more officers, paying high salaries to wardens, and housing even more prisoners, we should invest in education to stop the vicious cycle of people committing crimes. Education is directly linked to crime committing. Right now the average student pays anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 a year for their education whereas our tax dollars spend about $168,000 per prisoner each year in New York City. http://www.nytimes.com...
For each prisoner we spend on we could have educated about 17 college students for a year.
I see no evidence supporting that water spills and a risk to our public health is directly linked to overcrowded prisons.
Since you mentioned that more space in prisons decrease violence, I do not believe that creating more prisons would be the answer for the reason stated on Premise 1, but rather to change the policy in decriminalizing certain non violent offenses. We have people serving sentences for shoplifting small items and a for possession of small amount of recreational drugs. Sending someone to prison for retribution, which is why we send Americans to jail, sends the message that they must pay back society for the harm they have done. But if they are using something like marijuana, they are only "harming" themselves, so why should they be incarcerated? Locking people away gives the idea that they are not fit to be in society and perhaps pose a threat, therefore I do not believe that certain non violent offenses should be given prison time. Changing the laws in how we criminalize can solve the issue you mentioned not by building more prisons.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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