U.S. Prison Overcrowding: Problem Solved.

19 Mar

I was shocked to learn that the United States houses 25% of the world’s prisoners.  Many of the prisons operating at 200% capacity.  This is a serious problem. However, decriminalization of particular drugs, sentencing/parole reform, plus swift and certain punishment would turn that all around. 

   Too much time, money and resources are being spent on enforcement, adjudication and incarceration. I am appalled that we spend an average of $32,000 a year on housing just one inmate. Couldn’t this money be better spent? Perhaps on education, and other beneficial/preventative programs.
     Not only is there a socio-economic disparity in sentencing for drug crimes-for example, in California 5g crack = 500g of cocaine for sentencing purposes- but I am a true believe
 r that activities which only affect the individual should be de-criminalized. If due to the substance abuse, they commit a separate crime, THAT is the crime that should be punished. As a tax paying citizen, I shudder to accept that I give my hard earned money to the gov’t which then goes and throws $32k of it a year on individuals who a) don’t need to be in jail, b) are likely not to be deterred nor rehabilitated, and c) wind up back in the system shortly after release. Having a system that criminalized and incarcerates for drug offenses is noble, moral, and rehabilitating in theory, but in practice, seems to be a superfluously expensive, tiny band-aid attempting to re-attach a limb.
     As for parole, releasing low-risk offenders could easily decrease the prison population. Here is the catch though: harsh, swift punishment for parole violations. If you are fortunate enough to get a second chance, respect the system and don’t blow it. Along those lines however, prisons need to take a more active role to prevent recidivism by focusing on rehabilitation.  Thus when released, parolees have some means by which to support themselves and a new outlook.  Otherwise we are simply releasing that same person back into society, into the same circumstances, and foolishly expecting a different result.

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7 Responses to “U.S. Prison Overcrowding: Problem Solved.”

  1. charles mazuruk June 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I think drugs should be decriminilized,people shouldnt be sent to jail but fined, the goverment would make money not spend money shouldnt that make them happy? alchohol is a drug and kills more then any other drug.

    • J.D. St. Michaels June 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      100% agree with you. Legalize, regulate, and tax the hell out of. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. BradLEEE June 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Man– There are so many problems with how our gov’t works. Did you guys hear about how Obama’s health plan is some 2700 pages long? I mean, really?? Just a very clear sign of how inefficiently things are being done.

  3. Anonymous June 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Uh, yeah. arent they releasing like thirty thousand california prisoners?? yeah- thats an awesome system we’ve got there

  4. MariaRodriguez216 October 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I’m with you on this

  5. Anonymous September 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Seroiusly, can we stop acting like marijuana is some ultra dangerous drug and just legalize it already?? Prob some of the other drugs too.

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    […] See also: CA Legalization of Marijuana, U.S. Prison Overcrowding: Problem  Solved. […]

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