California Jail Overcrowding

Many California county jails are packed to the gills with inmates, as the state itself is in scramble mode to dramatically reduce head-counts on a collective scale. As it stands, the California jail system is mired in bureaucracy and financial woes while state legislators appear to be jargoning back and forth regarding quick-fix and long-term solutions. In 2011 the US Supreme Court ordered subordinate officials to whittle prison populations down to a manageable number, which in turn landed a number of low-level offenders in county jails across the state. The transported felons in question were first identified and then labeled as low-risk time-servers, meaning that the likelihood of recidivism would be purportedly marginal. Either way, this situation is merely a drop in the bucket when compared to the other issues in need of resolving.

California County Jail Overcrowding

As the California county jail system is designed to house inmates for no more than a year, those serving hard times are mixed in with the general population, thus creating an even bigger snafu. Overcrowding in almost any situation can cause tempers to flare, yet in an already hostile environment, the chances of violence increase exponentially. Getting shivved or shanked isn’t an uncommon occurrence in overloaded cells where prisoners literally have to fight for their space. Truth be told, county jails in California are scary places to visit, not to mention spending extended periods of time behind bars; in fact, suicide rates among California inmates are much higher than anywhere else in the country, while those who display suicidal tendencies are removed from the general population and locked in smaller cages. Mental health concerns are rarely taken into consideration upon entering the jail system, which is something that falls under the umbrella of correctional facility health care in general, or the lack thereof.

Addressing the overall health of inmates in California is now front and center. Although collective mental statuses may be a little more difficult to calculate, increased physical ailments and conditions are a byproduct of overcrowded jail facilities. When living conditions suffer, a long list of unintended consequences will arise. Statistics concerning sick or injured inmates are dicey at best and perhaps backlogged as the State of California is up against a fiscal wall of debt, once again. It seems as though no matter how many mandates get passed down from the higher courts, the ability to manage jail and/or prison populations effectively continues to be a series of epic failures.

Although some people may belong there, others may simply need a slap on the wrist and be on their way. As violent criminals end up in the same cells as nonviolent offenders, the California jail system as a whole falls in line with the just deserts model where all prisoners receive the same treatment. Inmates are often subject to unnecessary and cruel treatment. If not for a number of Bail Bonds companies located throughout the state, getting stuck in the system may be the only other option. For first-time offenders especially, posting bail is not only highly recommended, but a wise decision as well!

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