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Transcript of Prison Systems
Because of heavily populated prisons, California is forced to spend unnecessary amounts of money towards the living conditions of the inmates. With the overcrowding comes a lack of essential provisions for the inmates, such as a medical and mental health facility. This leads to the suicides of thousands of prisoners.
Government is spending too much money to ensure health, food, shelter, and safety.
Because of overcrowding, there tends to be riots and violent conduct forcing brutal management.
"Signs painted on the walls advise, CAUTION: NO WARNING SHOT WILL BE GIVEN — a reminder of how seriously the guards treat the riots, fights, beatings and rapes that are common here." -TIME
In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown was ordered by the federal judges to release thousands of inmates to reduce population in prison.
Should the government release that many people? Or should they just create more prison space?
Prisoners with mental disabilities are unfairly treated (video) which created more recent lawsuits - 2013
What would you do to help change this problem?
The Three Strikes Law
State governments impose a rule that gives harsher punishments to habitual offenders who have committed three or more crimes.
Originally, this law sent people that committed insignificant crimes to prison, thus increasing the prison size. Later, an addition to the law said that the prisoner had to commit a serious felony on his or her third strike.
Some claim that this law is not an effective crime deterrent and simply causes overcrowded prisons.
Others argue that this law does ultimately reduce criminal activity.
In your opinion, is the Three Strikes Law effective in reducing crime? Why?
For the law
Against the law
California Hunger Strikes
Started small, and spread all throughout prisons in California.
Abstaining from eating food, prisoners came up with demands.
Most focus on reducing the use of, or abolishing solitary confinement.
Other demands include:
- Adequate and nutritious foods
- More space for each prisoner
- End administrative abuse
The governor of California, Jerry Brown believes, "the prison crisis is over"
Has taken no affirmative action to solve the arising problems with the Californian prison system
Causes of such passivity and dilemma in government:
- Insufficient funds to completely satisfy the prisoner's demands
- Conflict between two conflicting parties:
1. Against cruel and unusual punishment/death penalty
2. Against the poor condition/treatment of prisoners
Remove egregious villains off of street
Unjustly thrown in jail for petty crimes
Criminal record as an adolescent is usually put into play
Persons with mental disabilities make up 40% of the jail population
Simply unjust and cruel
Unconstitutional mental health was first issue in 1990 -
Coleman vs. Brown
California was deemed cruel and unusual punishment in the mental facilities -
Plata vs. Brown 2001
There is a continuing prison crisis in California. The prisons do not have adequate space for the amount of prisoners sentenced. The state does not have enough money to fund the prisons for this effect. Some say that this is caused by the Three Strikes Law.
The Three Strikes Law...
California's Three Strikes sentencing law was originally enacted in 1994. The essence of the Three Strikes law was to require a defendant convicted of any new felony, having suffered one prior conviction of a serious felony to be sentenced to state prison for twice the term otherwise provided for the crime. If the defendant was convicted of any felony with two or more prior strikes, the law mandated a state prison term of at least 25 years to life.