Downsizing Prisons

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In the 1970s the United States prison population increased as a
result of a belief that incarceration improves public safety. This
continued until the 1990s when politicians told the public that if we
didn’t build more prisons we would have to tolerate increased rates of
violent crime. As a result of prison over-crowding, the politicians are
now seeking ways to reduce the prison population without endangering the

In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed the
prison system to be in an Overcrowding State of Emergency such that
health and safety was reaching a critical concern. The Supreme Court
ruled in Brown v. Plata (2011) that the prison population was to be
reduced by 137%, or 33,000 inmates at the time.

Please read the article below on downsizing prisons and answer the following questions.

Sundt, J., Salisbury, E. J., & Harmon, M. G. (2016). Is downsizing prisons dangerous? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Criminology & Public Policy, 15(2), 315-341. doi:10.1111/1745-9133.12199.

  1. Do you agree with the premise that prisons increase public safety?
  2. Do you agree with the court’s mandate to reduce the prison
    population so drastically in such a short period of time? Can this be
    done without endangering public safety?

Submission Requirements:

  • Your well-written paper should be 4-6 pages in length not including the required cover and references pages.
  • Support your paper with at least 4-6 scholarly references (of which
    the textbook may be one). The CSU-Global Library is a good place to find
    these references.
  • Format your paper according to APA Format

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