Persuasive Essay On Incarceration

1478 Words3 Pages

Introduction Now is not the time for the United States federal government to decriminalize or legalize illegal drugs, including marijuana. However, nor can the government continue to do nothing about the financially, economically, and socially expensive domestic drug policy it currently follows. The United States Congress should pass legislation to remove mandatory minimum penalties from drug offenses, and the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons should add in-house rehabilitation programs for its incarcerated drug offenders. These policies would increase the cost-effectiveness of current drug policy and reduce crime and drug use, and do not face the political obstacles or have the uncertain consequences of decriminalizing or …show more content…

The federal drug offender prison population accounts for a 0.08-0.09 percent decrease in total male employment and a $2.9-3.3 billion decrease in U.S. gross domestic product. , , Incarceration is an economic strain on a micro- as well as a macroeconomic level: men incarcerated for two years or less compared to men who are similarly likely to be incarcerated (controlling for variables such as age and education level) but who were never incarcerated are 2-6 percent more likely to be unemployed and earn wages of 10-30 percent …show more content…

It costs much to incarcerate so many drug offenders, who then cannot contribute to the U.S. economy or care for their families while in prison, and face poor outcomes when they return to society. Removing mandatory minimum penalties reduces the size and the cost of the federal prison population and gives judges more sentence flexibility, which increases justice. Adding rehabilitation programs greatly reduce recidivism, and therefore future crime and future incarceration costs. Legalizing marijuana would also reduce the size and cost of the prison population, but would not reduce costs or crime as much as the other two policy options. And while legalizing marijuana is currently not politically feasible, removing mandatory minimums and adding rehabilitation programs are. Both of the two recommended policy options have broad, bipartisan support. Democrats have traditionally supported sentence flexibility and prisoner rehabilitation, and many conservative states, such as Texas and Georgia, have recently spearheaded efforts to reform their state prison systems in exactly these ways. The proven success of the state reforms – Texas has saved $2 billion and reduced parole failures by 39 percent by substituting treatment and probation for long prison sentences for nonviolent offenders – contrasts with the uncertainty of legalizing

More about Persuasive Essay On Incarceration

Open Document