Criminal Justice Schools by State

Problems with Overcrowded Prisons

There are several concerns in the criminal justice and corrections system today, none of which is as pressing as the problem of overcrowded prison. In many states across the country, the inmate population is at a dangerous level, attributing to more crimes being committed both inside and outside of prisons, as well as rampant neglect of prisoner’s mental and physical health needs. The U.S. Supreme Court recently voted to reduce California’s prison population in light of photographs and other evidence that revealed the unacceptable conditions in which California’s prisoners are kept. While California may be in the spotlight now, many other states are facing the same concerns as prison populations grow, yet qualified Correctional Officers and facilities lag behind significantly.

Overcrowded prisons present a problem to the general safety of the public. Without enough resources to provide support, rehabilitation, mental health care and monitoring of prisoners, these men and women may eventually enter into society without the necessary tools to become productive members of society. Repeat offenders are common in prison, and with each offense, no matter its severity, the punishment rendered increases, keeping these men and women within correctional facilities for longer spans of time.

Corrections Officers and Prison Guards are on the front lines in this battle, but are outnumbered by the population they are charged with monitoring. These criminal justice professionals are responsible for maintaining order within the institution and enforcing rules and regulations, as well as monitoring the daily work assigned to prisoners. A Correctional Officer also acts as an escort when prisoners move between areas of the prison or for appointments and court-related activities outside the prison. It is these men and women that provide most of the personal interaction with prisoners, and with overcrowded conditions, it is nearly impossible to keep up with each prisoner’s needs.

In order to offset the population problem in prison and reduce overcrowding, early-release programs and changes in which the populations are divided among types of prisons, as well as different, lower prison population, states, are being implemented in across the country. Incentives for probation offices that keep prisoners from repeating offenses are increasing the results attached to rehabilitation and monitoring efforts outside of prison walls.

There is no magic answer to how to decrease the overcrowding problem faced by prisons and correctional facilities in California and across the country. Current efforts at reducing population levels and providing better monitoring and rehabilitation services both within the facilities and for convicted criminals on parole or probation are working, but the crisis is not over. Correctional Officers are the criminal justice professionals that witness the results of the prison overcrowding and it is the skills and training received from a Correctional Officer program that is vital to the system. These men and women provide the security necessary to help keep the peace within the correctional facility and can be instrumental in the rehabilitation of criminals.

Earn Your Correctional Officer Degree Online

Upon completion, you will have the skills you need to become a Parole or Probation officer, or if you're looking for a Management position, your training will qualify you to work as a Corrections Administrator. Incarcerating and rehabilitating criminals is one of America's most important professions, and you can help fulfill this critical need with an online Corrections degreee. After graduating, you will know the history and development of the Criminal Justice System and its effect on society.

Kaplan University

Kaplan University

The Kaplan University Criminal Justice - Corrections programs help further your expertise in the administrative and operational aspects of the U.S. correctional system, both institutional and community based.

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American InterContinental University Online

American InterContinental University Online

The concentration in Special Populations focuses on the philosophies and processes of the juvenile justice system; the impact of diversity on the criminal justice system as a whole; and the policies and enforcement of drug-related crimes.

Get more information about this Nursing School

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