The "Psychosocial Stress" of Prison Overcrowding
"Time spent in a crowded prison environment continues to have a negative
impact on inmates after their release, contributing to parole
violations, according to a study published by the nonprofit advocacy
organization PLOS (Public Library of Science). The study, entitled 'Does
Prison Crowding Predict Higher Rates of Substance Use Related Parole
Violations? A Recurrent Events Multi-Level Survival Analysis,' is based on data collected in 2003 and 2004 from 13,070 California parolees.
'If crowding does increase a prisoner's risk of recidivism, this
could be explained by the psychosocial stress associated with adverse
prison conditions, which may exacerbate decision-making problems (e.g.,
impulsivity) and problem behaviors (e.g., drug use, aggression) in
prison populations,' write authors Michael A. Ruderman , Deirdra F.
Wilson and Savanna Reid. 'The high prevalence of substance use disorder
(SUD) in prison populations may also be a factor in the high rates of
drug-related recidivism seen among California parolees.'
The rates of parole violations were 2.28 to 2.77 times greater for
parolees from highly crowded prisons compared to those from prisons with
low levels of crowding, the authors write. They conclude that further
research is needed to determine whether prison crowding is associated
with recidivism and drug use in particular."
View the Report