In 2012, almost 7,000 people were convicted in federal courts for marijuana offenses, more than for any other type of drug (U.S. Commission). Therefore, rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance would help drop this number severely. With 2.4 million Americans, currently incarcerated, it’s a true wonder why we aren’t doing more to help them reenter society. It 's vital that each one does so having grown as a person, addressed the issues behind their offending, taken responsibility, and repaired some of the harm they have caused. As stated by, the National Institute of Justice, within three years of release about 67.8% are rearrested, and after five years about 76.6%.
While an alternative approach to the controversy attempts to bring the opposing sides together. Some people believe that building more prisons will solve the problem of prison overcrowding. Today's prisons are so full that "only one criminal is jailed for every one hundred violent crimes committed" ("Punishment"). Over half of America's currently convicted felons are not even sentenced to prison, partly because judges know that the prisons are full. The problem of prison overcrowding forces most violent prisoners to serve less than half their sentence ("Punishment").
The New York Times article, “Incarceration Helped Bring Crime Down,” by Michael Rushford, the author challenges past diversion programs. He points out, “...after 45,000 criminals were placed in [California’s] program, California’s violent crime rate had risen 218 percent compared to the national increase of 198 percent.” Rushford claims that criminals are more likely to act again if they are spared of harsh punishment. However, we must expect increased crime rates if we are unwilling to treat the mental illness endured by countless criminals. Merely placing offenders in jail is not valuable to anyone, as the individual and society are left with the consequences of
There have been escalating costs spent on the war against drugs and countless dollars spent on rehabilitation. Every year in the United States, ten billion dollars are spent on enforcing drug laws alone. Drug violators accounted for about forty percent of all criminals in federal prisons (Rosenthal 1996). In 1989, a Republican county executive of Mercer County, N.J., estimated that it would cost approximately one billion dollars to build the jail space required to house all the drug users in Trenton alone (Roffman 1982). All of this money could be spent on things of greater importance.
Though denying these ex-felons jobs will not help the economy, only giving them jobs can help that. I would suggest contracting the use of incarceration in the United States. Mass incarceration only hurting our economy. The United States of America is already in debt and paying around twenty thousand dollars a year per prisoner can only put us in more debt. Not only are we literally paying the cost of punishment but we are also hurting the economy by not having a good reintegration to society
Taxpayers had to bear the additional costs of more than $11 million to house inmates for this extra time. These exorbitant expenses and delayed sentencing cause law enforce-ment officials and policy makers to continue to seek ways to dramatically reduce the number incarcerated and develop effective means to correct offender behavior and reduce the incarceration rate. With 2.4 million people incarcerated, America has the highest rate of imprisonment in the world (Herivel and Wright, 2003) with 60% jailed for nonviolent offenses (Schmitt, Warner, and Gupta, 2010). The cost of imprisonment throughout the world is $62.5 billion; much of this expense could be reduced with diversion programs for non-violent offenders (Center for Prison Reform, 2015). The goal of diversion programs is to reduce incarceration costs and lessen the number of prisoners.
California’s 714 capital prisoners cost $184 million more per year than those sentenced to life without parole. Capital crime cases have many aspects which increases the cost. Qualified lawyers are needed to work on these cases, and due to the limited amount of capable attorneys, the prisoners are forced to wait to have an attorney assigned to their case (Williams 2 of 2). These special state appointed attorneys cost the state up to $300,000 to represent each death row inmate on appeal (Williams 1 of 2). The long wait drives up the cost of the case along with the increase of time ... ... middle of paper ... ... execute should not be made lightly, and tests should be done to ensure the right person is being punished for the crime that was committed.
“Some 80 percent of the men and women behind bars – some 1.4 million individuals – are seriously involved with drug and alcohol abuse.”(prisonpolicy.org). This is a sad statistic, especially considering that substance and alcohol abuse are now regarded as mental illness. It seems that instead of incarcerating these low level criminals we should help them. The cost of keeping these people in prison is not cheap either. The Vera Institute of Justice reported that forty states spent thirty nine billion dollars in one year on prisons and prisoners, a yearly average of $31,286 per prisoner (Vera.org).
In 2004, over 6,000 offenders were incarcerated for drug offenses in Michigan (Macallair). A report by the Justice Policy Institute found that there was almost as many inmates imprisoned for drug offenses alone in 2002 as the entire United States prisoner population in 1980. For more than 25 years our nation's correctional system has only adapted to this unprecedented increase and have yet to take true rehabilitating action. If the cost of an inmate for a year of incarceration is approximately $28,000 (Drug War Facts), that means the State of Michigan currently spends more than $160 million dollars each year to put away drug offenders. Why doesn't this expensive attack o... ... middle of paper ... ...residential treatment, but also sentence new non violent offenders to year long treatment.
Our aging inmate populations in our criminal justice system older than fifty are more than likely to have up to three chronicle diseases while incarcerated. The criminal justice system is spending three times the amount on older inmates. Having aging inmates in our criminal justice system has huge consequences because our system does not have a big enough budget to be able to house aging criminals with their needs. The aging criminals in prison our sucking our system dry because they are not actually paying for their crime that they committed but instead getting benefits for committing crimes. According to Aging Inmate Committee if our legal system would release our older inma... ... middle of paper ... ...ing our society or not helping a hard working American?