Monday, September 29, 2008


California State Prison in Los Angeles, CA

“Mr. Weier has served his sentence in prisons in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arizona and now Hawaii. He last saw his daughter 11 years ago and has five grandchildren he has never met. “To them, I’m just a voice who talks to them on the phone for a while,” said Mr. Weier who expects to be released next year.” (

Mr. Weier’s story is not much different than those of many prisoners in the United States. Overcrowded populations in prisons have many prisoners being transferred from state to state to try to compensate for the congestion in prisons. California is one of the states implementing this tactic in order to improve the clogged conditions in California’s prisons. “Last year in 2007 the state’s prison population reached a historic high of 173,000 inmates. Overcrowding had become so bad that 18,000 inmates were sleeping in gyms and laundry areas in the prisons.” (

There is a definite downside to shipping inmates from prison to prison and one of the major concerns that correction officials have is that it, “disrupts training programs and puts stress on tenuous family bonds, making it more difficult to break the cycle of inmates committing new crimes after their release.” (

By transferring inmates various times throughout various facilities, American taxpayers are essentially not getting their money’s worth. Some of the frequently transferred prisoners are not getting the proper treatment, rehabilitation, or training needed to help better their life upon release. This vicious cycle can lead to repeat offenses and incarceration. “Eli Coates a 26-year-old inmate from Arizona is serving a 10 year sentence did time at six Arizona prisons and one in Oklahoma, and is now back in Arizona. Mr. Coates has said that his frequent moves had made it hard to complete educational programs that he had hoped would help him get a steady job upon release.” (

Stories such as Mr. Coates’ illustrate some of the problems of overcrowding in the America criminal justice system. In order to improve on recidivism rates across America it is essential that criminals can receive the rehabilitation and training that they need in order to be viable and productive members of society. If criminals continue to be shipped from prison to prison because of overcrowding then it makes it almost impossible to receive the full training, rehabilitation, and stability that is required to reintegrate them into the fabrics of society. Without proper rehabilitation -including job training, work skills, and life management classes - there is much more likelihood that newly released prisoners will continue the cycle of re-offending and reconviction. Gaining employment is fundamentally important to a prisoner’s rehabilitation. If prisoners move into meaningful work upon their release there is a much less chance of them re-offending, so the community (i.e. taxpayers) benefit as a result.


Undercover said...

Overcrowding tells me that coddling you prisoners does NOT keep you from prison. Yes CODDLING! The picture of overcrowding posted, looks more like the local rescue mission, except YOU get clean sheets and clean clothing! You have a TV set, books to read, a toilet, clean showers, weight lifting equipment, good food etc. That’s more then I have. So WHERE IS THE PUNISHMENT?

Alternatives to coddling: sleep on the ground (like I have to); no TV, radio, books, cigarettes, or wholesome food (I don't have those things, so why should YOU?); HARD WORK for everyone, every day, for at least 8 hours, even if it means breaking up rocks, or digging one hole to fill up another… just like every NORMAL person has to do on the outside (except you don’t deserve a paycheck). And you should be scrubbing the ceilings/walls/floors, bathrooms/showers, and washing your own clothes/dishes/towels/sheets too.

As a prisoner you have NO rights. You gave them up when you chose to do the crime. If prisons DID what they were set up to do, you would do everything possible to keep from having to go back! The prisons would NEVER be overcrowded. Instead, people clamor just to get IN, so they can have a warm bed, fresh hot food, clean clothes, a toilet/showers, and a TV!

As an alternative to MY alternative: you may like the idea Grace has for a prison town.

sokkerboy5 said...

your an idiot ^^^