Thursday, October 22, 2009

Prison and Jail Overcrowding

Nationwide, prison overcrowding has become a serious problem in America, which is funneling down to local jails. Such overcrowding leads to early releases of defendants convicted of serious offenses posing a serious public safety issue for communities.

The passage of crime legislation across the states, in an effort to curb rising crime rates, has led to increased prison and jail populations. It is a catch 22 scenario: making criminals pay for their criminal behavior and protecting the public or continue to spend millions of dollars building new prisons and jails to house criminals while other needed services and programs go unfunded.

The Orange County, Fl. jail books approximately 62,000 people annually. A snapshot of today's jail population shows there are 3,027 felony offenders and 607 misdemeanor offenders being held. The jail's population sits at 92.8 percent of its capacity, as it has for the good part of the year, which indicates it isn't facing any jail overcrowding issues.

However, hundreds of defendants continue to be released weekly through the pretrial release program using your tax dollars. Many of these defendants are released without ever seeing a judge. You may ask what the level of supervision is for these defendants through the pretrial release program: calling in to an automated telephone system on a weekly or monthly basis. Many defendants are also released on their own recognizance through the pretrial release program with no supervision whatsoever.

No one from the pretrial release program is watching! But, a bail agent would be.

1 comment:

  1. Overcrowding tells me that coddling prisoners does NOT keep people from prison. Yes CODDLING! The picture posted on some blogs look 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. And they should be scrubbing the ceilings/walls/floors, bathrooms/showers, and washing their 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, showers, and a TV!

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