California has received criticism over its judicial practices recently. People question the integrity of the system, especially of the jail and prison systems. However, like most hot topics, people aren’t always informed completely about the problem.
Conducting the proper research on any topic is necessary to be truly educated in the subject. If someone isn’t educated on the topic that they are trying to argue, they won’t get far in changing people’s opinions. Understanding the prison system in California is the first step in understanding how to go about possibly changing it if needs to be.
California’s prison population is big, but it’s not the worst. California’s prison population in 2006 was 163,000 inmates. Ten years later the total prison population increased to 1,505,400 according the Bureau of Justice Department. However, this places California 18th in the nation with some of the lowest incarceration rates. It’s expected to see decrease in prison population as laws change in California.
Most prisoners are U.S. citizens. According to the Public Policy of California (PPIC) 81% of prisoners are U.S. citizens, and only 19% are foreign nationalities. 5% of that 19% are from Mexico. Showing that criminals don’t all come from our neighboring countries. This statistic seems to show that as Americans, we have problems with following the law.
Another surprising statistic is that the age of prisoners is growing. Meaning there are more prisoners 50 or older. In addition, they are also multiple offenders meaning that they are leaving prison and then being recommitted. Not only are they getting older, they’re needing more help medically. In 2016, 30% of prisoners required mental health services.
The truth about prisons in California is shocking to most. Most people don’t think to look at the statistic in regard to prisons. This is why it’s important to do your research and understand what is going on in the world around you. Don’t let the truth shock you, let it educate you.