The American Legislative Exchange Council essay

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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is on the forefront of educating its members on the benefits of reducing the crime rate in the private sector across America. ALEC approved programs are aimed at breeding families and the whole society on the initiative of rehabilitating criminals, especially the juvenile in the society. It also endorsed an alternative solution to the current parole and probation system also aimed at supporting the code of the local state and the private sector. The initiative was to be carried out in an economical approach that would not involve any cost for the state and the local government. The American Legislative Exchange Council is recognized as a national prime non-partisan organization (Simon, 1993).

In the past four decades the prison population grew by 2.3 million. For many private firms this crisis was a business opportunity. Many privately-owned companies invested in the correctional department. These were good moves to help cut costs spent by the government on the department of correction. These enterprises formed good correctional infrastructure around the country and were rented by the federal government (Pontell & Welsh, 1994). However, these privately-owned facilities had to meet a standard set by the United States Correctional Department. This step was to be made at a crucial time, when there was a need to change the prison system. However, there were a lot of controversies concerning the quality of these infrastructures. Privately-owned prisons were linked to poor working conditions, which resulted in the fact that the staff employed compromised standards. The government also elaborated plans to privatise pupil prisons. In the states of Arizona and Louisiana a good number of prisons underwent privatization. However, the Supreme Court stopped privatisation of some prisons for security reasons (Kelly & Ekland-Olson, 1991). Private prisons were condemned for their policies maximizing profits and failing to rehabilitate criminals and to prevent further crimes, which should be the main agenda of all correctional facilities.

On January 12, 2010, the three-judge panel released an ultimate ruling on the revised plan by the state, however, it left the state with the mandate of coming up with definite measures of implementing the plan on ways of decongesting prisons. It also recommended that the state must account on the specific intervals in the progress of the plan.

However, the state appealed on the decision of the three-judge panel to the U.S Supreme Court. On May 23, 2011, the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the matter stating that “without a reduction of overcrowding, there will be no efficacious remedy for the unconstitutional care of the sick and mentally ill” inmates locked up in the prison of California. The Court designated that the state ought to request the three-judge panel to amend certain aspects of its final ruling.

There is a public call on the state to utilize the private sector in the plan of reducing the population in U.S. prisons. The government must shift from its sole reliance on the parole and probation system, which has been in use for decades and has not yielded much concerning criminal rehabilitation programs. The application of the private sector bond system model proved to work effectively, as compared to the public one that brought more damage to criminals than reforms.

The California Institution for Men is also reported to be faced with similar problems, such as in the California's penal system, where it has most of its men’s population struggling with the persistent congestion. It operates with 200% of the extra capacity, where inmates have no space at all. One of the correctional officers, Ray Smith, points out that "You put 200 men on the top of each other, there'll be a friction, problems and more fights." This concerns the early ruling by the Supreme Court on the decongestion case in California.

According to the reports of ACLU on the increase in the population of prisons in Los Angeles county jail, much is exposed about the manner, in which prisoners are handled in U.S. prisons. FBI is one of the state security organs carrying out the investigation on the alleged reports. FBI is in the process of finding and investigating the cases of man-handling of inmates in most American prisons. This occurrence has drawn attention of state lawmakers, non-profit groups and local people to the immediate action on the LA situation (Harris, Petersen and Rapoza, 2002). California has a recidivism rate of 67.5% with reference to the released criminals and those on probation within the next three years. In response to overcrowding in prisons, the state appealed to all counties to put in place optional programs of stabilising and minimizing the recidivism rates in the USA. Californian legislators passed a bill that provided various suggestions on the rehabilitation programs. These suggestions included the employment of counselling services for offenders, the application of home detention under electronic monitoring, substance abuse programs, mental health treatment and mandatory community services for criminals. The Bill focused on the California’s progress of investing justice resources in the support of the society in its routine correctional programs.

The study, carried out by the Bipartisan Commission named Confronting Confinement, in June 2006, expressing the U.S. Prison Overcrowding, Violent and High Recidivism reaction, indicates that more than 2 million are confined in U.S, prisons with almost 13 million sentenced people. The study points out that any slight improvement in the medical care will aid in the reduction of recidivism. According to Anthony Kennedy, the prison system is portrayed as a failed department in delivering the required medical care and psychological health to inmates in U.S. prisons. David Fathi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Project, refers to the case in California as a severe one. He urged prosecutors to uphold the Lower Courts Command. They stated that “this case involves ongoing, undisputed and lethal constitutional violations. We’re not going to see a lot of copycat litigation.” During his ruling, Kennedy accentuated that the decongestion would not only be done by freeing offenders, but it would be a long process that could call for finding other relevant options, constructing new prisons, transferring prisoners to other prisons and others (California Department of Corrections website, 2010). He explains that California lacks the ability of solving the crisis by itself because of the financial problems. Kennedy’s opinion was also supported by Californian Court’s liberal members (Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan). Kennedy described that a prison, lacking the potentiality of providing adequate medical healthcare, violated the constitutional rights of inmates lowering human dignity in the society.

To sum it up, the U.S. Supreme Court should intervene in the prison crisis in order to come up with an everlasting solution concerning overcrowded prisons. It is essential for the state to utilize the limited prison space by means of the program of supervising offenders in order to minimize crime rates. Overcrowding poses a great threat to the U.S. Prison Department. Therefore, there is a need of finding an everlasting solution to curb the overpopulation by the government. 

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