As a result, the nation's prison system is now in a state crisis - as an ever-increasing number of inmates continues flow in - overburdening a system that was never originally intended to handle that many people.
I spoke with Ted Koppel about this problem. He's the former host of ABC's Nightline, and currently a Senior News Analyst with NPR. Koppel is also hosting a two-hour program about the state of overcrowding in California's prisons, premiering on the Discovery Channel this Sunday at 9 p.m. It's entitled Koppel on Discovery: Breaking Point.
Here's what he had to say about the program:
Koppel: The breaking point refers to the overcrowding of our prisons, and most especially in this case, the overcrowding of California's prisons - which were designed to hold no more than 100,00 inmates statewide. And literally they've got guys stacked three high on bunks
Koppel: The idea in California initially with the 3-strikes-and-you're-out program was to get violent criminals off the street. Well, they have succeeded to a certain extent in doing that, but they've also taken a lot of non-violent people off the street. And the end result is that they have stretched their prison system to title of the program, The Breaking Point.
Tune in to Eastern Shore Focus this Saturday, October 6, 2007 at 10 a.m. as I continue my discussion with Ted Koppel about the over-burdened prison system in California - and problems with prisons in Maryland as well.
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