The Pros And Cons Of The Privatization Of Prisons

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In the 1980’s the crack epidemic was in full swing. To combat drug-related crime, congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986 (Edwards). For the first time mandatory minimum sentencing went into effect for the criminal possession of cocaine and other illegal drugs. Then in 1994, to combat violent crime, Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (Edwards). New mandatory sentencing guidelines were recommended by the federal government. States that accepted the new guidelines were then awarded funds by the feds to build additional prisons and jails, and thus the prison-industrial complex was born (Schlosser). The new federal sentencing guidelines led to the lowest crime rates of the twentieth century. However, they also caused the nation’s prison population to grow to new and previously unfathomable proportions. “Between 1970 and 2005, the nation 's prison population exploded by 700 percent and then continued rising to a peak in 2009 of 1.6…show more content…
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one,” (Wikiquote). It has been proven that crime will always lower when the criminal population increases, but at what cost to society as a whole? Judges must be allowed the digression to create alternative sentences in situation specific cases. The criminal justice system must renew its efforts in the implementation of contemporary and evidence-based rehabilitative programs. Many opponents to mandatory minimums also seek to commute the sentences of non-violent criminals, some of whom are already serving lifelong sentences for non-violent crimes like theft or marijuana

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