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A Little Elbow Room Please

Uploaded by Jenlee on Jan 31, 2006

Imagine being cramped into a small room with barely enough space for two, where you and five others are squeezed in. The smell of sweat and urine wreaks havoc on your nose. Every time you try to move you touch the person next to you. You have no space to stretch. The air is heavy and hot from all the body heat. To make things worse you can’t leave the room for another twenty four hours. “How much longer can this last?” you think to yourself. Then you remember you still have six years left before your sentence is up.
This is what many inmates go through on a day to day basis in almost every prison in the world; they feel the effects of prison overcrowding everyday! When the number of prisoners in a prison reaches over 100 percent capacity, it is known as overcrowding. This has become a major problem for prisons, many reaching up to 150 to 300 percent capacity. (Addressing Prison Overcrowding).
Some people argue however, that these inhumane conditions are acceptable for prisoners. They believe that the inmates have done wrong and are being punished accordingly. This opposing side sees these conditions as fit for criminals, but are they really? Is it really reasonable for anyone to have to live in these conditions? Attorney Walt Sinclair from Boise Idaho makes a good point when he says, “It’s true my clients are in prison and not entitled to comforts, but we are not talking about comforts, we’re talking about minimum human decency.” (Judge Ponders, 1) When prisons are between 150 to 300 percent capacity no one can possibly have any privacy, one cannot feel safe in their environment. Sinclair also states that “Inmates get limited access to toilets and showers, get limited food and there are insufficient prison jobs to keep the inmates occupied with positive activities.” (Judge Ponders, 2).
These inhumane conditions are not only a problem in the United States, but also in many countries; prisons in Thailand have reach 244 percent capacity, in Bulgaria they are at 197 percent capacity, and in Sri Lanka they are at 300 percent capacity. This problem of overcrowding causes more than just an uncomfortable night’s sleep for the inmates; they often get diseases, such as Tuberculosis, which can spread to non prisoners. (Addressing Prison Overcrowding).
In Russia a recent out break of Tuberculosis was...

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Uploaded by:   Jenlee

Date:   01/31/2006

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   5 pages (1,127 words)

Views:   1504

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