A Look at the Consequences of Prison Overcrowding
Date:  06-02-2015

Forced gang association, sexual assaults, violence against corrections officers and people who are incarcerated leads to “dysfunctional consequences” post release
The following article that appeared in the Huffington Post on May 26, 2015 contains a wealth of reports on the causes and consequences of mass incarceration.

When Prison Causes More Harm Than Good

Beverly Iniguez-Conrique

In 2013, the popular PBS staple Sesame Street proffered support for many young children with a parent in prison by introducing a character named Alex, whose father is an incarcerated convict. In a country where it is estimated that 2.7 million children have a parent in prison in the United States, the show was highly commended for talking about an increasingly relatable topic in our society instead of turning it into taboo. Nevertheless, the fact that subjecting our own citizens to overly-debilitating conditions in prison has become so commonplace in our society is both problematic and unjust. Soon after the outset of the"Get Tough" movement of the 1970s, policy makers and politicians conjured more punitive punishments towards law breakers, and ultimately, social institutions like prison, once thought to be societies for rehabilitation, became places where their ultimate goal was clear and simple: punishment. Since then, California alone has built 22 new prisons while state funding for other things, like public education, has drastically diminished. Thus, the current approach to prison policy itself is completely irrational, as it subjects prisoners to harsh conditions often times caused by overcrowding, and ultimately fails to rehabilitate prisoners and prevent recidivism.

Read more here.