California’s Landmark Decision

On May 23, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered California state prisons to reduce their inmate population by as much as 46,000 inmates. The reduction was ordered as “required by the Constitution” because of the dangers overcrowding can pose to inmates’ rights. Prison overcrowding is the result of a lack of professionals with criminal justice degrees and ineffective alternative treatment programs. If you recognize gaps in the criminal justice system, consider the benefits of pursuing a online¬†criminal justice degree. When you enter the field of criminal justice, you can recognize the flaws in the system to make a difference in state and federal institutions.

Prison Overcrowding

The massive increase of prison populations throughout the nation started in the 1970′s as baby boomers began to age and prison was seen as the only practical means of punishment. Currently, there are over 143,000 prisoners in California’s 33 state prisons, well over the amount that the prisons were designed to hold. While California prisons were ordered to release or were ordered to transfer more than 33,000 prisoners, the population in the system is still expected to exceed the desired population by as much as 35,000 inmates.

Supreme Court vs Law Enforcement

This court order has sparked a controversial debate over the discretion of Supreme Court judges and if they have jurisdiction over California prison conditions. The thought of released more than 40,000 convicted felons is not sitting well with law enforcement or residents in the state of California. The remedy ordered by the Supreme Court is believed to prevent prisoners from dying and will also provide safer working conditions for correctional officers in overcrowded prisons. Some are saying the remedy is a great solution for a limited amount of people and a disaster for a large majority.

Why is there Overcrowding?

One of the main reasons why prisons are overcrowded is because there are not enough criminal justice professionals to handle increasing case loads properly. Prison may not be the right sentence for all offenders in the system. If you recognize the fact that sentencing a first-time offender to jail should only be considered for violent offenders posing a threat to society you should take a proactive step to make a difference in the system by studying for criminal justice degrees online.

The System Needs to Change

If changes are not made in the system prison overcrowding will remain a serious problem. The criminal justice system is lacking the knowledgeable professionals it needed to control crime. If you believe in analyzing crime and alternative sentencing methods you could become a refreshing breath of air that can breathe life into an outdated and ineffective court system.

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on California state prisons is just the tip of the iceberg. It is expected for a similar ruling to be ordered in 18 other states within the next 12 months. To solve this ongoing problem, both state and federal agencies will need to work together to establish new prison litigation reform acts. Criminal justice degree holders can specialize in inmates’ rights, public safety, immigration, corrections, probation, defense, prosecution, legal assistance, and more. Career options in criminal justice are continually growing. Decide which career interests you the most and pursue a career path where you can make a difference.

 Education is the Answer

If you want to advance your earning potential in life and make a difference in the world you can work and study for an online criminal justice degree during your off time. There are varieties of different degrees and certificates that can be earned from the comforts of your own home. If you have always had a passion for the field of criminal justice there is no better way to learn in-depth knowledge on criminal behavior, law enforcement, sociology, psychology, and other related disciplines. When you enroll in a comprehensive online study program, you can earn criminal justice degrees and start a new career in the field you love.

To earn an online criminal justice degree you will have to complete a heavy course load including courses on theories of crime, crime control strategies, criminal law and reasoning, punishment and corrections, and alternative sentencing options. When you go to school to earn your Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice you will become a forward-thinking leader who will serve as an asset to any agency in the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system always has a need for fresh team members who truly have a passion for solving social problems in the United States. If you fall into this category earn your criminal justice degrees online and complete a program in your free time.

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