Home Confinement: An Alternative to Incarceration

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Home Confinement: An Alternative to Incarceration

West Virginia state prisons have a maximum capacity of 2,154 inmates; currently they house 2,363 inmates, and more remain in City and County lockups to manage the overflow (West Virginia Blue Book). Home Confinement solves this problem. Reduction of the prison population should be reason enough to institute home confinement, but other reasons do exist. Would you like lower taxes? Home confinement costs much less than incarceration. Do you favor less crime? For certain types of criminals, home confinement has a better rehabilitation rate. Home confinement also differs from incarceration by the fact that it allows the confined person to contribute to society. For all of these reasons, minor offenders, who pose no real threat to society, should be sentenced to home confinement.

The easiest way to solve the overcrowded prison problem is, simply, not to arrest so many people. That will never happen as it cannot be justified. Another alternative, to build more prisons or add on to existing ones, will cost a great deal. Home confinement is the best solution; the offender does not take up space in prison and can hold a job or take care of familial obligation. If a prisoner is under house arrest, it seems nothing prevents him from escaping. In most cases, flight is not a viable option for the home confined. Their sentence is usually light and the re...

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...se two counties realize great success with these endeavors, encouraging others to follow.

Works Cited

Ball, Richard A., Huff, C. Ronald, Lilly, J. Robert. House Arrest and Correctional Policy: Doing Time at Home. California: Sage, 1988.

"Good Idea, In Spades." Editorial. The Herald Dispatch 26 Sept. 1998: 6A.

"Home Confinement Proves Effective in Dollars and Sense." March 1997. Available at http://www.uscourts.gov/mar97ttp/homeprob.htm.

McCarthy, Belinda R. Intermediate Punishments: Intensive Supervision, Home Confinement and Electronic Surveillance. New York: Criminal Justice Press, 1987.

West Virginia Blue Book. Holmes, Darrel E. Ed. Charleston WV: Chapman, 1997
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