The Pros And Cons Of Mass Incarceration

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In recent years, there has been controversy over mass incarceration rates within the United States. In the past, the imprisonment of criminals was seen as the most efficient way to protect citizens. However, as time has gone on, crime rates have continued to increase exponentially. Because of this, many people have begun to propose alternatives that will effectively prevent criminals from merely repeating their illegal actions. Some contend that diversion programs, such as rehabilitation treatment for drug offenders, is a more practical solution than placing mentally unstable individuals into prison. By helping unsteady criminals regain their health, society would see an exceptional reduction in the amount of crimes committed. Although some…show more content…
In the New York Times article, “Safety and Justice Complement Each Other,” by Glenn E. Martin, the author informs, “The Vera Institute for Justice found a 36 percent recidivism rate for individuals who had completed alternative drug programs in New York City, compared with 54 sentenced to prison, jail, probation or time served.” Alternative programs are more likely to inhibit future criminal acts, while incarceration seems to lack long-lasting effects on individuals. In continuance, the author adds that 3 percent of treatment participants were rearrested for violent crimes, while 6 percent of untreated criminals were rearrested for violent crimes. Diversion programs are able to treat one’s motivation for their criminal acts, rather than assuming that illegal habits will go away with time. Instead of sending nonviolent offenders to jail, legislators should consider introducing practical…show more content…
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
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