Essay Example on Prison Overcrowding: Alternatives to Incarceration in America

Published: 2022-12-27
Essay Example on Prison Overcrowding: Alternatives to Incarceration in America
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Judicial system Penal system Punishment
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 912 words
8 min read
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Introduction

Prison overcrowding, alternatives should be embarrassed to incarceration in America. Currently, the population of the American prison stands at 2.3million; this is a higher number than expected with some other 5million being released on probation, this makes the prisons to be overcrowded beyond the maximum prisoners it was meant to hold (Sheridan et al. 2019). Many people, especially those who are suffering from mental health issues, drug addiction, and those who are accused of low-level offenses should be diverted away from the criminal justice system from the beginning wherever possible and even some ex-offenders end up being in prison for so long and this increases the number of people in prisons and it undermines the prison's ability to meet the basic needs of all the prisoners.

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Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws, different crimes do come with different convictions and law states different minimum of years that a person should be jailed for doing certain crimes, but here come a situation where low income people find themselves being jailed for longer years than required just because they can't find money to bail themselves out, for example most people found in drug business are supposed to face a minimum sentence of 5 year term, though some may be sentenced for even 1 year depending of the quantity of the drug, some of these people are being jailed for even lifetime since they can't bail themselves out, this should be changed (Roth 2019).

Racism in the Prison System, this is where people of different colors are being treated differently when delivering justice. The law of American state that everybody should be treated equally and justice administered without any discrimination; hence racism should be changed.

Why should these challenges be of great concern?

Justice is something that should be upheld at all cost. Everybody has a right to fair treatment and justice delivery, hence prison should only hold the maximum it is meant for, people should be jailed in accordance with the stipulated laws and final somebody's color should never define the kind of justice he/she will be subjected to (Sheridan et al., 2019).

How social media, body cameras, and dash cameras are altering the safety and professionalism of criminal justice professionals.

Social Media has been an essential tool for gathering intelligence information to the law enforcement authorities and Also act as evidence to prosecute and jail lawbreakers through the aid of YouTube videos, Twitter feeds and even facebook searches, criminals associations can also be tracked down, and those who apprehend social crimes like pornography have also been located and jailed.

Body cameras will help improve the professionalism and the accountability with which the police to carry out their investigations on citizens; officers will not have to use excess force to get information from the citizens (Roth 2019). More so, the citizens who are being videotaped will exercise more self-control and respect when talking to the officers. Thus, no rights and laws will be broken.

Dash cameras help in the following ways; it enhances police officer safety, by maintaining their integrity and security. Reduces police department liability, by use of video footage police can easily defend themselves. Provide transparency for the community; footage videos acts as evidence in courts. Improves conviction rates, through the evidence the court's decision on a case becomes more transparent. Police officer training, all the events recorded can be used to train new police (Roth 2019).

Bible presents the following principles for justice:

  • Innocent until Proven Otherwise, Deuteronomy 19.15 states," one witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime. More than two witnesses must establish a matter." it is also repeated on, Matt.18.16 and 1.Tim.5.19, as it is in the American judicial system (Bible 2009).
  • People Sometimes Lie, looking at the story of Potiphar's wife and Joseph's story (Genesis 39), we are reminded that people sometimes can lie to cover up their wrongdoings,(Exodus 20.16) "Do not give false testimony against your neighbor." Witnesses should be severely interrogated (Bible 2009).
  • Justice Requires Blindness to who the individual is; Exodus 23.3 says, "And don't show favors to a poor person in a lawsuit" (Bible 2009). As stated in the law of America that everybody shall be subjected to law and justice without any discrimination (Lev.9.15)
  • Before Passing Judgement we must hear both sides, Proverbs 18.17 says "In a lawsuit, the first to speak seems right until someone comes forward and cross-examines." In America, judgment can't be passed unless the judge has heard from both parties.
  • Don't join the mob, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd and don't show favors to a poor person in a lawsuit," (Exodus 23.2) (Bible 2009). Justice should be independent.
  • Human justice will only ever be human, (Rom. 3.26)" It is by demonstrating his righteousness at present, to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." As Christians, we understand that no evil shall go unpunished and this helps us know that courts and government may fail to do justice because none is perfect in their judgment, but God is the only right judge (NIV).

References

Bible, H. (2009). New international version. (1984). Colorado Springs, CO: International Bible Society, 901(886), 791.

In Sheridan, M. J., In Rainville, R. R., In King, A., In Royster, B., & In Fazari, G. (2019). Historical dictionary of American criminal justice.Roth, M. P. (2019). A history of crime and the American criminal justice system.

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