Richmond City Jail’s Overcrowding Issue

http://wtvr.com/2012/12/06/will-new-city-jail-already-be-overcrowded-when-it-opens/

The link above is a short news clip describing the status of the new Richmond City Jail. The fact that it will be overcrowded the day it opens makes it all the more a reality that we have a societal issue here.  Program development is hard.  There is a lot to look at in the development of a new program or creating guidelines for alternative sentencing.  This reminds me of the class discussion a couple of weeks ago when Dr. McLeod said, “the issues being addressed in your projects are not singular issues.”  He is right.  They are huge issues.  Each one is entangled in a myriad of many other.  The overcrowding of the current jail is certainly a concern; there have been many deaths and the conditions invite much to be desired.  Yet, the new multi-million dollar structure does not solve the fact that a large percentage of their population are recidivist.  Every jurisdiction is different and the vast underlying issues that keep people in the cycle of the criminal justice system are daunting to address.  Why do people keep going back to a place they hate so much?  What is effective programming?  How can we ever afford the resources needed to address the issue at its core, rather than supporting the cycle of such an expensive and miserable way of life.  To say the least,  the City of Richmond has their work cut out for them.

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4 thoughts on “Richmond City Jail’s Overcrowding Issue

  1. The theme discussed in this post, I can definitely relate. My topic of personhood and CPS is entangled in multiple issues. I have recently focused on the topic of protocol and the inconsistencies within the child welfare system, specifically DSS agencies. This idea that every jurisdiction is different is also seen in the child welfare system across the state. Family involvement in the child welfare system is similar to the criminal justice system; many of the families served are repeat customers. (Customers being the proper term for clients at a DSS agency now, which in it self is concerning!) The questions that must be answered to solve one aspect of the problem, leads to 100 more questions that must be answered to solve every other problem…

  2. You asked in your post “why do people keep going back to a place they hate so much?”. I wonder if many of them “hate” it all. While I believe that most criminals would rather not be in jail, I think especially those who are repeat offenders do however grow accustomed to the prison culture and “on the outside” as my convicted acquaintances would say is where the struggle really is, to acclimate in a society that in unforgiving of “mistakes”. Specifically, in Richmond with there being such large poverty and homelessness issues, I think jail is a “come up” for those in really desperate situations. You eat and sleep today and worry about that $1/ a day tomorrow. BTW I was so surprised when I found out they did that, Connecticut needs to start doing that.

  3. “the new multi-million dollar structure does not solve the fact that a large percentage of their population are recidivist.”

    Exactly. Why not put our resources and dollars into helping REDUCE recidivism while making sure the existing structure is safe. Although I don’t have any formal research to back this up, I think that it would be cheaper, keep families intact, and reduce generational crime.

  4. Agreed! It appears that all that money was thrown in the wrong direction – to bricks and mortar and not in prevention/intervention. Go figure… America and their big, shiny toys. :o\

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