Prison Overcrowding in the United States

This has led into inmates being forced into open dormitories and double-bunking in a single cell. Many critics have termed such overcrowding as dehumanizing and degrading for inmates. It is also contradictory to the present correctional reforms that emphasize on maximizing the opportunities that are available to inmates (Farrington 222).
The United States reports the highest number of incarceration rate in the world. At the end of the year 2009, the incarceration rate was 743 adults per 100,000 people. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics quotes that 2,266,800 people were incarcerated in the US state, federal and county jails by the end of 2010. This is approximately 0.7% of the US adult resident population. In addition, there were 4,933,667 adults by the end of 2009, who were on parole or probation. Therefore, the total number of adults under correctional supervision totals to 7,225,800. This is approximately 3% of the total population of US adults (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics).
The number of juvenile detentions was 86, 927 in 2007. Despite this increased numbers, the crime rates have been shown to be on the decrease. 70% of prisoners in the US are non-white. The states with the highest ratio of incarceration include Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Approximately 90% of the inmates comprise males. The total number of foreign prisoners is estimated at 6% (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics).
There are several causes of this pertinent issue. There has been an increase on the number of offenders that are sent to prison. This can be attributed to high rates of recidivism, which have been on the rise. There has been an increased rate of offenders that return to prison for unsuccessfully completing or violating community supervision. The increased number of offenders can also be attributed to new criminal offences that have been added to the penal code. Certain types of offenses have harsher penalties resulting in