Alternatives to imprisonment
There has been an increase in the call for the use of intermediate sanctions in dealing with minor offenders instead on taking them to prisons. The issue of overcrowding has led to many nations seeking alternative measures of handling the criminal offenders. Brown (2009) reports that, the state of “Kentucky led the country” in 2008 “in the rate of inmate growth” with the population increasing by 12 %. Jail overcrowding is a national phenomenon in many nations and demands for alternative means of addressing it as its prevalence is harmful in many ways.
Overcrowding in jails havebeen linked to the rise in the cost of keeping prisoners in jail due to escalating cost of food and other need requirement by the prisoners. According to the BBC news, other reports have linked overcrowding in jails to mental illness in prions and lack of useful work to prisoners in Aberdeen (news.bbc.co.uk). As the call for reducing the number of prisoners intensify, there is need to use alternative measures that will provide intermediary solutions to the problems. These sanctions include house arrest, community service and probation.
House arrest denotes the confinement of an individual in his or her home by the authorities. As a result, indivviduals will not crowd jails but instead reside in their homes though they may be restricted from travelling. Another alternative that will decongest the prisons will be the use of community service where common criminal cases offenders are made to serve the community in performing various duties that beneficial the society around them. Not only will the prisoners serve the society but this will be an opportunity for them to do useful work. Prisoners can also be put on probation where, they are placed under supervision for some time until the correcting agents are satisfied on a prisoners conduct. This will ultimately decongest our prisons and make it more effective and human.