Breaking News Bar
posted: 2/8/2014 4:40 AM

Incarceration needs reform, lower costs

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 

Incarceration needs reform, lower costs

According to Wikipedia, "The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, Russia is second, then Rwanda." Our prisons are private businesses paid for by taxpayers. It costs $39,000 a year for one federal prisoner. Education and/or mental health care would be cheaper.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Mandatory sentencing has quadrupled the prison population since 1980. This is mainly related to marijuana and other drugs. In 2009 the American Bar Association said that "Sentencing by mandatory minimums is the antithesis of rational sentencing policy." In 2004 the association called for the repeal of mandatory minimum sentences, stating that "there is no need for mandatory minimum sentences in a guided sentencing system."

Zero-tolerance policies are misguided and harsh for poor people -- homeless and mental illness is a crime? -- while giving the white-collar crimes a pass. Have they had any influence on reducing crime? There is no evidence that harsh punishments deter crime. Arrests and convictions are important. Ask police personnel you know.

If we want to reduce our costs at the federal, state, and local levels, why not reduce our prison costs? Prison stays in the U.S. are longer than any other country. About 2.9 percent of adults in the U.S. are in jail, prison, parole or on probation. Does this seem crazy? Can't we make some changes for nonviolent crimes? If you don't believe me, find out for yourself. What is the cost at the McHenry County Jail?

Deb Martin

McHenry

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here