Solutions to the Cruel and Ineffective Practice of Life Without Parole for Misdemeanors

Solutions to the Cruel and Ineffective Practice of Life Without Parole for Misdemeanors

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Directions: This exam is not a group project. Please submit your own work. In order to answer the questions, research via class materials and some outside resources is necessary.
Answers to the questions are due Dec 20th, the end of the semester. Please submit answers via your canvas portal.


Sentences of life without parole for trying to sell $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop? For sharing LSD at a Grateful Dead concert? For siphoning gas from a truck? These punishments are too extreme, irrational and widely disproportionate making explaining almost impossible. And yet, this is happening every day in federal and state run courts. Judges send people away for the rest of their lives for committing non-violent drug and property crime.
As of 2012, there were 3,378 prisoners serving sentences of life without parole according to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union last month. (This count does not include breaking parole.)
This new report comes from Federal data and data from nine states.
The racial disparity noted in the report is vast.
Cost of imprisoning 3,378 is calculated to be 1.78 billion.

Based on information acquired during this class, discuss possible solutions to this cruel and ineffective practice. Suggested length for this answer is 8-10 pages.



Final Exam Questions: Forensic Mental Health 2013

This is indeed a cruel and ineffective practice. The people who commit these non-violent crimes really don’t belong in prisons. For those 3,378 people aforementioned, it could have been a nonviolent offense such as shoplifting a couple iPhones from the Apple Store, stealing a $300 coat, or serving as a middleman in the sale of $50 worth of marijuana. People as yo...


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...at the expense of taxpayers. As nonviolent offenders from this cruel practice, their population represents the perfect target as the appropriate offenders for these community corrections programs. While clearly an inappropriate alternative for violent criminals, house arrest could work extremely well for first-time and non-violent offenders. With proper surveillance and treatment, participants in this alternative program are more likely to learn their lesson and come out as productive members of society. The current method of mass incarceration is clearly dysfunctional and costly. The criminals should be paying for their crimes rather than the taxpayers who are forced to support them in jail. And for the nonviolent offender, freedom would be granted and they would be able to make something of their lives as well as help others instead of being stuck in prison.


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