Sample Criminal Justice Report Paper on Texas Prisons Issue

Introduction

There are many issues and problems surrounding prisoners in Texas today. This report highlights Texas’s major prison issues, which include but are not limited to overcrowding, health care, and privatization. Some Americans believe that the prison system is tempered, while others believe it is taking the right direction. Some issues are highly debated on matters to do with prisons in Texas (Briggs, 2019). The issues will be discussed ineptly in this report. Therefore, this report will highlight the history and describe the issue of prisons in Texas. The paper will further highlight why the focus on the issue is essential. It will also focus on and how the government has addressed the issue in the past. The report will further focus on how the government is currently addressing the issue. After that, the paper will give different opinions on the issue. The opinions will be both supporting and contrasting. The paper will be concluded with an action plan on how the government can be influenced to change the issue.

Background

Many people in the United States are advocating for several prison reforms. Such advocacy is evident because of the various problems that face the inmates. The issues that face the prisons in Texas today include racism, health care, privatization, gangster, assaults, overcrowding, and much more. More than 2 million people are currently behind bars in the united states (Elimelekh, 2020). First, it is important to note that the jail administrators responsible for the management and supervision of all the operations in prisons face a lot of challenges in their lines of service. The challenges include recruitment and retention of good employees who can sufficiently provide health care to inmates. Lack of technology and funding and the control of overcrowding are other significant challenges in Texas prisons (Briggs, 2019).

Texas has 147 000 prisoners who are all confines in only 109 prisons, hence explaining overcrowding issues in Texas prisons (Langford, 2016). Instead of addressing the issue, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice closed the 450-bed private jail in Houston, which housed parole violators. The government closed the prison and moved the inmates to a state prison in Houston, which had to be repurposed as an intermediate-sanction facility (Langford, 2016). In a bid to address overcrowding, the government authorized the facilities to work on the issue by reducing inmate enrollment. Such a move saw to it that all parole inmates were counseled and taught in the jail. The counseling was in a bid to address the cause of their criminal behaviors.

Furthermore, rehabilitation programs in Texas have played a significant role in reducing the number of inmates. Rehabilitation has reduced the population of inmates by more than 10,000 in recent years. The issue is important because Texas currently has more inmates in custody than any other state in the United States (Langford, 2016). The state is, therefore, a bellwether for trends in national criminal justice. The issue is also important because the Texas prison system is desperately in need of reform. A reform that will look into inhuman living conditions, risks of reincarceration, and racial bias.

Government

An act formulated by the jury regarding the parole suggested that the prisoners stay for a lesser time in the correctional facilities before parole they are given parole. Inmates can be given parole if they display exemplary character and showing the signs of change. A good example is where an individual is imprisoned for 60 years, after serving for seven years in jail and has demonstrated good character, carried out prison duties, and has been on their best behavior; such an inmate is given parole out for the rest of their sentence. This initiative will help solve issues of overcrowding in the Texas prisons since the discharged inmates on parole will reduce the number of prisons in the correctional centers (Legislature, 2019). It will also help the government save on costs because the number of inmates to be provided by the government will be reduced.

There are prison reform policies that have been developed over time. There are bills brought during Obama’s leadership when the department of justice shown a lot of commitment to developing the justice reforms. This policy was to provide a second chance to the individuals who were formerly incarcerated. The attorney general of the United States during that time of Obama, Eric Holder, rolled out a policy called “Smart on Crime.” The policy enabled the prosecutors to assess the circumstances of individual cases when identifying the kind of offenses they should charge, mostly in patients where mandatory minimum jail terms are not in the interests of justice(Chung, 2018). This policy enhanced the prosecution of serious offenses and not minor ones. As a result, the increasing population in Texas prisons is regulated, making it possible to be managed effectively.

There are bills passed by the senate regarding prison and sentencing reform. The issues being raised include; eliminating the criminalization of poverty, compulsory minimum sentences, and promoting access to legal assistance. This policy also improves the accountability and transparency of the judicial systems. Policies on sentencing reforms will also allow the inmates to stay a bit longer at the end of their sentence in a transitional setting to fit into society.

Opinion

It is evident that the government seems to be trying to solve the issues affecting the Texas prisons, including the overcrowding and unfavorable living condition in the jails. Still, it like they are not succeeding in the ways they should. An example is a case between Enriquez vs. Orihuela, the government has done something to help the inmate with his medical condition, but they dismissed the case. It should not matter who you are, whether a prisoner or not; government should provide proper medical attention to every human being, and therefore, the facility which the inmate was in should have been investigated. Another opinion is that the Texas prisons are experiencing high temperatures, inmates are suffering due to a lack of suitable facilities, including lack of air conditioners in the inmates’ cells. Texas politicians and other government officials should understand that providing good conditions to the prisoners is excellent and right for public safety (Madden, 2018). Prisons in Texas tend to promote criminality instead of changing the behaviors of the wrongdoers.

Most Texas prison facilities are not adequately managed, and even the inmates themselves are not well cared for. Texas officials should try to find a way of solving these issues by coming up with necessary policies. Inmates are just human beings who broke the law, and therefore they don’t deserve to be treated like animals as they are being treated. Texas dealt inadequately when the COVID-19 hit Texas, which is not pleasing because the government has resources that they would have used to deal with it better. I think what Texas’s government should be doing is dealing with the matters, especially the issues dealing with the lives of the citizens of this country. The problems should be the number one priority of the state of Texas government. Finally, I feel that Texas is not doing well enough in managing the prison system like the way they should, they act like they are doing it, but in reality, they are not.

Conclusion

The best route to rectifying Texas prisons’ conditions is to have strict federal laws and strong judges who are concerned about the welfare of inmates. The national must admit that there is a problem in the Texas prisons and should take action against it. Actually, to solve jail and prison overcrowding, the government should be firmly committed to cooperating with the justice system. Therefore, the government can be influenced to be committed to its role in solving all the issues that involve the jails and prisons in Texas. The government can be influenced by suggesting how they can practically reduce prison overcrowding, showing the government the examples of governments that have used one of the methods, and demonstrating how restorative justice will help reduce the prisoners’ number. The government can also be influenced by providing the various officials with an on-site consultation.

 

 

 

References

Briggs, G. W. (2019). Introduction. TSLAC | Texas State Library And Archives Commission. https://www.tsl.texas.gov/exhibits/prisons/index.html

Chung, E. (2018). Why prison reform is not enough to fix the U.S. criminal justice system. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/criminal-justice/news/2018/03/23/446616/prison-reform-not-enough-fix-u-s-criminal-justice-system/

Elimelekh, C. (2020). What types of problems are facing the correctional facilities today? FindAnyAnswer.com. https://findanyanswer.com/what-types-of-problems-are-facing-the-correctional-facilities-today

Langford, C. (2016). Texas looks to fix prison overcrowding. https://www.courthousenews.com/texas-looks-to-fix-prison-overcrowding/

Legislature. (2019). 86(R) HB 1279 – Enrolled version – Bill text. TLO. https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=86RHB012795B&QueryText=%22prison%22&DocType=B

Madden, J. (2018). Prison, probation, and parole reforms — the Texas model. TheHill. https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/420204-prison-probation-and-parole-reforms-the-texas-model