The federal prison system has been unable to keep pace with the
stream of inmates flooding its facilities over the last five years
despite adding space for thousands of new convicts, according to a government report.
The ballooning incarcerated population puts inmates and guards in
danger and holds back efforts to rehabilitate convicts, experts told
The already-taxed Bureau of Prisons network swelled to 39 percent
above capacity through last September, and is expected to surge to more
than 45 percent above its limit in 2018, says the Government
Accountability Office report, entitled "Growing Inmate Crowding Negatively Affects Inmates, Staff, and Infrastructure." The report was released on Wednesday.
Last year's overcrowding level was the highest since 2004, when
federal prisons were 41 percent above maximum levels -- called the
Wardens may see a spike in violence as more inmates are squeezed into
tight living quarters, researchers warned. The overcrowding contributes
"to increased inmate misconduct, which negatively affects the safety
and security of inmates and staff," according to the report.
"If you start cramming more and more people into a confined space,
you're going to create more tensions and problems," said the GAO's
Director of Homeland Security and Justice David Mauer. "It creates the
possibility that someone's going to snap and have a violent incident."
With more prisoners confined to limited spaces, prison officials are
forced to cut back the time inmates have in the cafeteria, recreation
yards and television rooms. Two and three inmates are bunked in rooms
designed for one prisoner or in common areas that were never meant to be
used as cells.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/prison-overcrowding-report_n_1883919.html?utm_hp_ref=crime
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