本報告對刑事司法的一個關鍵問題進行了研究。監獄里犯人太多，造成監獄人滿為患的問題。今天，美國囚犯的數量幾乎是四十年前的六倍。因此，在每一個監獄的囚犯人數超過31%的容量（diroll 2011，第2頁）。在這種情況下，社會需要越來越多的監獄，越來越受到政治家和執法者的重視。在美國，這是一個亟待解決的問題。不僅大量的執法機構，但也有許多專家學者試圖尋找相應的解決方案做了一些相應的研究和分析原因（Paolo Buonanno和弗朗西斯科龍2011，pp. 337-385）。本文分析了服刑人員增多的主要原因、問題的解決辦法以及解決這一棘手問題的有效途徑。
This report does research on a crucial problem of the criminal justice. There are too many prisoners in the prison, which causes the problem of prison overcrowding. Today, the United States prisoners are almost six times as many as those forty years ago. Thus, the number of the prisoners in each prison is 31% more than its capacity (Diroll 2011, p.2). Under this circumstance, more and more prisons are needed in the society, which attracts more and more attention from politicians and law enforcement. In the United States, it is becoming an urgent problem to be properly solved. Not only a large number of enforcement agencies, but also a lot of academic experts try to find the appropriate solution by doing some corresponding research and analyzing the causes (Paolo Buonanno & Francesco Drago 2011, pp. 337-385). This report analyzes the main reasons of the increasing prisoners, the outcomes of this problem and available solutions to solve this solve such a tough problem.
2. Discussion issues
The number of the United States prisoners remains high has very close relations with the high rate of crime and sentencing policy. Since the 90s of the last century, the Unites States Department of Justice has implemented tougher sentencing standards and laid more emphasis on the legal punishment. The problem with this is that there are too many inmates in the prisons and each prison burdened with too many prisoners. This situation is often considered as a result of “hard on crime”, which is pushed to solve the increasing drug related crimes (Armstrong 2001, pp. 3-6).
The main reasons of prison overcrowding are:
2.1 The number of criminals held in the prison is on the rise
The “War on Drugs” was pushed by the politicians and law enforcement in order to impose the stricter punishment for the criminals related with drug (Armstrong 2001, pp. 3-6). Because the drug is addictive, they would not be far away from the drug after getting out of jail. In 2006, the number of all the prisoners, probation and parole reached a total of 7 million. Among them, there were about 2.2 million people in detention or serving in prison. That is to say, there is one prisoner among every thirty-two adults. Prison overcrowding is the chronic of the United States prison system. The United States has the world’s 5% population, but the number of prisoners is as high as 25% of the whole world. None country has held so many citizens in prison in the whole history of mankind (Rhonda McMillion 2012, pp. 63-99).
2.2 The sentences of the criminals become longer
Because of the strict law enforcement, a large number of Americans spent a very long time in prison. The “War on Drugs” improved the level of the sentence and the “Truth in sentencing” greatly reduced the possibility of “early release” or “good time”, both of which caused the prisoners to be held in prison for a longer time than before. Otherwise, the crime rate in the United States is high and the nature number of the prisoners is large. After getting out of jail, some of the prisoners cannot get the acceptance from the society and are driven into a corner so that they are likely to break the law again and sent into the prison. This will make them be held in prison for a longer time.