America Should Not Afford For Nonviolent Criminals Essay

1741 Words7 Pages
America cannot afford to continue incarcerating nonviolent criminals. Why reward offenders with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and treatment programs at the taxpayers ' expense? Community supervision programs that require offenders to work to support themselves and their families make better sense. In addition, offenders should pay supervision fees, restitution to victims and court costs. Further, offenders on community supervision could utilize to addiction treatment programs and mental health services to avoid re-offending. Community supervision offers an excellent alternative to the high cost of incarceration while shifting the financial burden to the offender. The costs of incarceration continue to rise. In 2013, a three-year prison sentence cost over $37,000 according to the New York Times, while a probation sentence would have cost only $6,770 (Sowell). In other words, incarceration costs taxpayers thirty-three dollars and seventy-nine cents a day for each offender. However, for fiscal year 2014-2015, incarceration costs were seventy-three dollars and thirty-four cents a day for each of the more than 21,000 inmates in Tennessee prisons (Frequently Asked Questions). Incarceration costs include more than just the obvious expenses for food, clothing, shelter, and guard salaries. The Tennessee Department of Correction is also responsible for the medical, dental, vision, and mental health needs of each inmate. If one half of the 21,000 Tennessee inmates were
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