Jail Overcrowding In The United States

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The problem of jail overcrowding in the United States is a growing economic and social concern. There are over two million people currently incarcerated in the United States, making it the highest ranking amongst all other developed countries. Inmates who are exposed to the overcrowded jails experience an extremely poor quality of life. As the number of casualties continues to rise, institutions are struggling to find a solution. Pope Francis and President Obama, two very influential people, agree that jail overcrowding in America needs to be taken seriously. The problem is very clear: the jails are overcrowded, and it needs to be solved (“Pope Francis Shines Light On US Prison Crisis,” 2015). In Portage County, Ohio, the jails are overpopulated…show more content…
The inmates here are responsible for much of the damage to the facilities, and the repair costs are constantly rising. They are running out of space and funds, however, one of the county Sheriffs from the county has proposed a long-term solution to the problem. He suggests the creation of a training program in the jail. This solution would most likely take a while to produce results but the logic is sound. The training program would allow the inmates to develop and master skills that would help them to get a job after they are released from jail. It is less likely for these people to return to jail after getting a job. The training would cost money, but over time, the program would pay off by keeping people out of jail and putting them into the workforce. There would also be a training program for law enforcement officers. This would teach them the skills required to keep situations under control, and also be able to identify people with mental health issues. This last point is important as it would result in helping find alternatives for those requiring additional mental health services not suitable for a jail environment. While this solution would require time to see results, it is a good idea that could definitely work. It would also help if the inmates received a certificate for completing the training. That way, when they are released, they can show potential employers the training they have completed to prepare…show more content…
In South Dakota there is a program for people who have a record for violations related to drinking such as domestic abuse and drunk driving. Before the program began, South Dakota had a bad DUI problem and the jails were rapidly becoming overcrowded. This program requires two sobriety checks a day with certain punishments for failure. The first time an offender fails the breathalyzer test, he or she is sentenced to twelve hours in jail. The second time results in the offender spending twenty-four hours in jail. On the third fail, the offender must go to court where his or her sentence is determined by the judge. So far, this program has kept many people sober and out of jail. Some people say that the program has saved their lives. Another benefit of this program, is that there is no cost to the taxpayers. The participants of the program end up paying for their own tests, saving the taxpayers a lot of money. With a participation rate of 37,000, and a pass rate rate of 99%, it’s acceptable to say that the program is definitely working. It has reduced the number of incidents of domestic abuse and drunk driving, and has helped some people overcome their problem with alcoholism. This program is so successful in South Dakota that it is starting to be adopted by other states to keep people safe and out of jail. The program may not be the only solution to the problem of overcrowded jails, but it is helping by

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