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Decreasing Overcrowding in Prisons and Jails

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,291 times Debate No: 53769
Debate Rounds (3)
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P1- According to the Epoch Times, prisons in places like Nebraska are at 155% of capacity. In California, courts have been ordered to drastically decrease their inmate population. This is because the housing of prisoners have created multibillion dollar expenses. Large sums of money as such should be used to contribute to other reforms that will better our society such as education and health care.

P2- Prison overcrowding may cause prison guards not to work as effectively as they would had there been less prisoners. Prison guards are required to perform searches on inmates and their cells. If the guards have a limited time to search thousands of inmates and thousands of cells, they tend to not be a thorough. Inmates still wind up smuggling contraband which will eventually cause a danger to both guards and other inmates.

C- Overcrowding in Prisons and Jails should be decreased.


P1- According to though the multi billion dollars that are put in to housing for prisoners, that's how it should stay because many of these prisoners end up relapsing into their old lives off the fact that that is all they know.

P2- Many of these prisoners end up becoming even better prisoners because of the environment around them. it's said that 60% of prisoners will end up going back so why not protect our society. People are put behind bars for Haines crimes and should protect the people who do good.

C- Decreasing overcrowding in prisons and jails would not be the way to go
Debate Round No. 1


P1- Just because a number of prisoners have committed more crimes after getting released out of prison, does not mean all prisoners will. There are some who take advantage of the numerous state, federal and local assistance programs to help them reintegrate into their communities. These programs help them earn an honest way of living instead of assuming that all prisoners are the same and keeping them locked away.

P2- There are inmates in prisons who are serving time for violent offenses however, there are some who aren't. Some are there for minor drug charges and other non violent offenses. Those individuals should not be taking up space in prison when the space is needed for those serving longer sentences. For this very reason, they should make an effort to release those inmates and monitor their activities very closely to make sure they are on the right path. That's what parole officers are for. It will keep those troubled individuals under strict surveillance and make room in prisons.

P3- Crowding in prisons can cause more tension between inmates than necessary due to the simple fact that they just don't have enough space. In a place where safety is most important, I think it is necessary to keep friction between inmates to a minimum.

C- Therefore, overcrowding in prisons should be decreased.


P1: Event though some prisoners may take advantage of federal, state assistant to help them reintegrate into communities, others will use this as a means to commit more otracities and destroy the community. As said before prisons usually turn felons into better criminals and sometimes it is just hard to break out a lifestyle that is too well known.

P2: While their are criminals who face minor drug charges and nonviolent offenses everybody should be seen as equal behind bars . For those who committed more serious offenses should be put in maximum confinement and in this way you could spread the face.

P3: Crowding may cause tension however with more Correction officer and security their should be ways to suppress violence within prison
Debate Round No. 2


P1- As I previously stated, just because some will choose the wrong path after getting released from prison, doesn't mean all prisoners will. Eventually, the government will have to make a decision whether to overcrowd the prisons will people who have petty offenses and endanger the lives of thousands of inmates, or, give these individuals a chance to change their lives. Not all prisoners get released from prison and get sent right back which is why those with non-violent offenses should be given a chance to be released and make space for prisoners with more violent offenses who need to be detained.

P2- You say "treat all prisoners equal" but "for those with more serious offenses, put them in maximum confinement." That's contradicting. You cannot treat all prisoners the same because truth is, they aren't the same. While in prison, inmates are monitored to see if they're behavior has improved and if they are making an effort to better themselves. I'm not suggesting that we should just start releasing inmates randomly because that it dangerous. I'm suggesting that for those inmates who have a non-violent criminal history, we should give them a chance. Keeping them in prison where they are being physically and mentally abused by those with more serious offenses, for longer time than expected is no way to teach an individual a lesson. Most of them need serious professional help. Packing them inside a prison is not the way to help them.

P3- This country is in debt and has been in debt for a very long time. Hiring more correction officers will only contribute to that debt. Many other beneficial programs will go without because a large sum of money is going toward prisons and prison guards. Teachers are losing their jobs and being taken away from schools, nurses are being cut from hospitals and people who are responsible for helping us commute everyday (MTA Workers) are also losing their jobs. All because we need more money for prisons? That's unfair and outrageous. Not only are prisoners being punished, but law-abiding citizens are being punished as well because we are now forced to go without what's necessary. Hiring more guards is not the answer because it requires a lot more money than this country has. Instead of hiring more, we should release those who are most deserving.

C- Overcrowding in Prisons should be decreased.


P1: As said before I don't believe that prisoners should have early releases to decrease the overcrowding in prisoners. Prisoners should do the sentence that they are indicted with. In addition to say overcrowding endangers the lives of inmates is an understatement. Just because prisons are a little more emptier doesn't mean it will lead to safer jails. At the end of the day this is an establishment to keep people behind and these folks behind have their own system and society they live by that even numbers couldn't change.

P2: Well if your speaking of decreasing prisoners then utilize more space. As you previously said their not the same so why put all these inmates for different offenses in the same arena. Those who have done more violent, destructive crimes should have harsher sentencing and this doesn't just mean time but what they do in activity. While packing them in prisons may not help them, lets look at the bigger picture and if you look at crime around the country it has spiraled all the way down besides places such as Chicago.

P3: This country has been in debt for years however you can't necessarily blame this on prisons being overcrowded. While this may be one factor, we easily forget that not too long ago our country was involved in a ten year war which brought much grief and debt upon us. In addition we went through a recession where many lost their jobs. Decreasing our jails will not turn around the huge debt we have nor give jobs back to those who most likely lost it because of the recession.

C- Don't decrease overcrowding within prisons.
Debate Round No. 3
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