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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135661 Find in a Library
Title: Overcrowding in Prisons and Countermeasures (From Resource Material Series No. 36, P 13-20, 1989 -- See NCJ-135660)
Author(s): H G Dharmadasa
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
26-1 Harumi-Cho, Fuchu

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Japan
Annotation: Prison overcrowding is a significant problem facing criminal justice administrators in both developed and developing countries.
Abstract: The United Nations' Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners stipulates certain requirements related to prisoner accommodation that focus on health, climatic conditions, floor space, lighting, heating, and ventilation. In many countries, prison overcrowding is not merely a numerical or spatial problem; it is also associated with the gross inadequacy of essential facilities. Some countries are faced with too many convicted prisoners, while others must deal with too many remand prisoners. Reasons for the overcrowding of remand prisoners are common, for example, delays in bringing the offender to trial. Overcrowding of convicted prisoners occurs because many countries still carry prison sentences for too many offenses. Unrealistically long prison sentences also contribute to overcrowding. Apart from the difficulties created for prison administrators, overcrowding severely affects the lives of inmates. Solutions to overcrowding have their roots in penal administration, government policies, courts, police, and prosecutors. Policy decisions need to be made about legal and administrative changes affecting remand and bail. Community alternatives to imprisonment can be imposed for people who commit minor offenses. In addition, limiting the use of pretrial detention can reduce prison overcrowding, and measures must be taken to speed up police prosecution procedures. Alternative sentences, early release mechanisms, and special amnesties represent countermeasures to overcrowding of convicted prisoners. The problem of prison overcrowding in Sri Lanka is discussed. 8 notes
Main Term(s): Prison overcrowding
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Foreign correctional systems; Prison conditions; Sri Lanka
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