Revision of previews assignment and 4-5 new pages Research Project Finalization

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Colorado Technical University


Key Assignment

In the previous assignment, you developed a position paper for the research topic that you have identified and explored. You have recommendations for change, revocation, modification, and addition to the research topic. Your research topic has come from an issue, problem, or policy of law enforcement, corrections, or the court system. In this assignment, you will revise your Key Assignment Draft based on instructor and peer feedback and you will evaluate an alternative position to your selected topic that was not addressed in your original Key Assignment Draft.


  • Add to your final Key Assignment draft by addressing the following:  
    • Select 1 alternative to your position addressed in the Week 4 Key Assignment regarding your selected topic:  
      • What major points are argued by proponents of this alternative position? Explain in detail.  
      • Conduct research on this alternative position and evaluate the arguments.  
        • Do the arguments hold any merit? Why or why not?  
        • What policies currently exist that support these arguments? Explain in detail.  
        • Which position is more significant for improving the current state of the criminal justice system? Explain in detail. 

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Running head: DETAILED KEY OUTLINE Overcrowding in the Prison System Colorado Technical University Bianca Lopez 1 DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 2 Overcrowding in the Prison System Topic selection and importance to the social community The topic on the issue of overcrowding in the prison system and the challenges it poses has been highlighted in various media outlets. Media as an agenda-setter has identified the magnitude of the issue with statistics provided by the Bureau of Justice, indicating that the ratio of incarceration in the country is 481:100,000. This high rate of imprisonment implies that the system has had to contend with the challenge of overcrowding. Further, at least 18 states have raised concerns since their prisons operate over their 100% capacity level. The scenario is replicated throughout the nation with the correction system operating at 103.9% occupancy level. As McCarthy (2018) further exemplifies the prison population in the United States currently stands at 2.3 million individuals inmates Importance of the issue to the social community In addition to the media highlights, the topic was selected through an analysis of literature from online sources. These sources revealed overcrowding to be a significant issue in the correction system and how it adversely affects the process of rehabilitation (McCarthy, 2018). It also puts a strain on state budgets (Williams, 2014). The American Civil Liberties Union (n.d) emphasizes the importance of the issue to the social community since at least one in every four Americans has had a running with the system and has an implication on their lives. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2013) indicates that overcrowding gives rise to great humanitarian concern. DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 3 Issues, problems, or policies that need to be addressed Issue The question of congestion in the prison system which needs to be addressed is a combination of an item, a problem as well as policy. It is an essential area of discussion that needs to be addressed in order to attain a lasting solution. Problem Further, it is a problem since it adversely impacts the inmates as well as the society at large. The high level of incineration means that numerous American citizens get a criminal record, which affects their social progress once released. Rodriguez and Emsellem (2011) indicate that at least 1 in every 4 Americans is affected by mass incarceration, which gives them criminal records and impedes their attempts to get a job, housing, and even securing loans. This is especially the case for the black community where men in poor neighborhoods are disproportionately incarcerated. The overcrowding of the prison system is also a huge source of concern for the public since it threatens the budget as well as the safety of states (Williams, 2014). The excessive spending of states in order to cater to the needs of the mass incarceration is a bleed on society. Further, when prisoners with minor criminal cases are forced to sit in a cell idly, they bleed the economy and adversely affect the nation (Clements, 1982). Life in an overcrowded correctional facility is also challenging for the inmates. National Academy of Sciences (2014) asserts that overcrowding adversely affects the health of the inmates and has increased suicide risk among the inmates. With the little medical care offered as well as less than adequate rehabilitation program, inmates suffer, leading to increased cases of mental health issues in the system. Penal Reform International (n.d) identifies some of the challenges associated with overcrowding in the prison system to include healthcare challenges DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 4 such as mental issues, a rise in gang activities, racism and related violence, the spread of diseases as well staff stress. Policy Finally, the issue results from the policies that have been adopted by the justice system, and therefore it is a policy issue. The American Civil Liberties Union (2015) indicates that the explosion in the prison population resulted from the draconian sentencing requirement as well as the parole scheme, which work negatively to keep the prison population ever increasing. What implemented changes are proffered to affect the topic(s) selected? For the nation to be able to address the challenge of overcrowding in the prison system, it is essential that policies adopted by the justice system be revised. The National Research Council (2014) asserts that the present overcrowded prison system is the result of a punitive political climate that influenced policy leading to intensive punishment for individuals arrested for drug crimes, punishing minor crimes with prison time as well as increased lengths of prison sentences. United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (2011) asserts that the justice system policy puts a lot of emphasis on punishment. The policy review should specifically revise the adoption of incarceration as the primary mode of punishment for individuals who break the law. As Pitts, Griffin, and Johnson (2013) indicate, the penal system in the US has been experiencing challenges since it adopted incarceration as the primary method of punishment. A review of the policies adopted on tough-on-crime will reduce the prison population significantly and address the challenge of overcrowding (American Civil Liberties Union, 2015) The specific policy issues that should, therefore, be addressed are the minimum sentencing which has been set as a mandatory practice and which forces the judges to incarcerate the DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 5 accused irrespective of various factors with the individual that could offer them grounds for leniency The other particular policy that should be reviewed is the three-strike law, which has exponentially increased the number of crimes that are subject to prison sentences for a lifetime as well as life sentences without the possibility of parole. These policies have been instrumental in increasing the prison population and giving rise to the current challenge of overcrowding since the streams of individuals making it into the prison system have significantly increased, the term of imprisonment have lengthened as well as their chances of release significantly reduced(American Civil Liberties Union, 2015). How are the changes valid for the topic(s)? With a review of the justice system policies, the number of offenders being sent to the prison correctional facilities will significantly reduce, together with the challenges faced. The National Research Council (2014) supports this recommendation indicating that the present problem of overcrowding is the result of the punitive political climate that influenced policy leading to intensive punishment. Pitts, Griffin, and Johnson (2013) also agree to assert that the current challenges of overcrowding, rising expenditure to support the state facilities, and so forth are as a result of relying heavily on incarceration for punishment. The American Civil Liberties Union (n.d) shows that since 1970, the prison population in the US has grown by 700% far outpacing the crime rates of the nation as well as its people. As such, the increase in the prison population has been the result of the operations of the justice system and its various technicalities. DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 6 What is the anticipated outcome of the changes in the research topic(s)? The outcome of implementing changes in the justice system policies, specifically in terms of adopting incarceration as the primary mode of punishment, minimum sentencing, and threestrike law, will help to reduce the prison population significantly. American Civil Liberties Union (2015) indicates that the United States has one of the highest levels of incarceration, which is 5-10 times higher when compared to other western nations. The National Research Council (2014) shows that this is the result of a policy that advocates for intensive punishment for individuals arrested for drug crimes, punishing minor crimes with prison time as well as increased lengths of prison sentences. Therefore with a revision in the policies guiding the justice system, the rate of incarceration will be reduced drastically, solving the challenge of overcrowding. Further, other problems that are caused by congestion such as drain on society's resources, mental health challenges (National Academy of Sciences, 2014), disproportionate incarceration representation of minority groups, and ( Rodriguez and Emsellem, 2011) so forth will be dealt with DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 7 References American Civil Liberties Union (2015), Overcrowding and Overuse of Imprisonment in the United States; Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Retrieved from American Civil Liberties Union (n.d) Mass Incarceration: Problems, Retrieved from McCarthy, N. (2018). The World's Most Overcrowded Prison Systems Retrieved from National Academy of Sciences (2014). The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: ExploringCausesandConsequences,Retrievedfrom er/2 National Research Council. (2014). The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration, J. Travis, B. Western, and S. Redburn, Editors. Committee on Law and Justice, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press Retrieved from Penal Reform International (n.d).Overcrowding. Retrieved from Pitts, J. M. A. Griffin, G. H & Johnson, W. W. (2013). Contemporary prison overcrowding: short-term fixes to a perpetual problem. Journal Contemporary Justice Review Issues in DETAILED KEY OUTLINE 8 Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice Volume 17, 2014 - Issue 1 Retrieved from alCode=gcjr20 Rodriguez, M. N & Emsellem, M. (2011). The National Employment Law Project, 65million “Need Not Apply” The Case For Reforming Criminal Background Checks For Employment,Retrievedfrom United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (2011). Strategies And Best Practices Against Overcrowding in Correctional Facilities. Retrieved from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2013). Handbook on plans to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Retrieved from Williams, A. (2014). Prison Overcrowding Threatens Public Safety and State Budgets. Retrieved from
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Alternatives Position in Prison Overcrowding Issue




In the first draft, I had proposed the change in legal system policies as a means to
mitigate the issue of overcrowding in prisons across the world. However, overpopulation is a
rampant problem that goes beyond the number of inmates in prisons, which causes
overcrowding. Besides, countries affected by the issue of overcrowding may lack political
goodwill that can facilitate changes in judicial systems that have seen many people ending up in
prisons. In this section, I will analyze reducing crime by implementing strategies to curb crime as
an alternative for judicial reforms position. Overcrowding in prison has been attributed to the
proliferation of criminal activities that have seen many people sent to jail for behavior
rehabilitation (Day, 2007). Members of the community living in prison have been separated
from the rest in society because of wrong-doings. Therefore, providing crime intervention
measures in the community is provides a means to reduce the incarceration of people by helping
them keep away from criminal activities (Day, 2007).
Proponents arguments in regards to crime reduction in community
The crime rate in the united states escalated in the 1990s, leading to an increase in the
number of people incarcerated in various prisons in the country. Among the affected community
were the African Americans who hold the highest number of inmates in American prisons, even
in the present days. The enactment of policies such as violent crime control and the law
enforcement act of 1993 contributed significantly to an increase in the number of prisons as well
as prisoners. Thus, supporters of crime reduction policies argue that the U.S system of justice is
unjust as it aggravates rational inequality in the country (Vuong, 2009). According to recent
statistics, African Americans constitute 13% of the total U.S population, but in prisons, t...

Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.


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