The rate of incarceration is growing. Now the average of people in America that are in prison is one of every 100 people. With these kinds of staggering numbers, it is a wonder why the prison system is so overloaded and falling apart even more than ever?
According to the New York Times, in 2008 the prison population grew by 25,000. The number of American adults that was behind bars in 2008 was 1.6million, and the U.S. population is 230 million! But the Federal Bureau of Investigations is claiming that the violent crime rate has fallen by 25 percent.
The crime rate might be falling; however, the budget needs of the state prisons are increasing because of the increase in population. Most states are now spending roughly seven percent of their budget on corrections.
According to the New York Times,
In 2007, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, states spent $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections. That is up from $10.6 billion in 1987, a 127 percent increase when adjusted for inflation. With money from bonds and the federal government included, total state spending on corrections last year was $49 billion. By 2011, the Pew report said, states are on track to spend an additional $25 billion.
However, how many people in prison are actually violent offenders? This increase in population is getting overbearing on the prisons. California prisons were ordered to release 46,000 prisoners because of the overcrowding. Additionally, how many cases are there were people are in prison and do not deserve to be there, such as in the case of Michael Carothers. Additionally, how many elderly people are sitting in prison when they are to old and in to bad of health to commit any crimes? Something is definitely wrong when the numbers of incarcerated people keep climbing. Our prison system was not created to become what it is today. Today our prison system is just a system that warehouses people for profit, and our prison system has become so corrupt.