Reduce The Prison Population Essay

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In the U.S, five percent of the population is behind bars (Collier). State spending on corrections is estimated at $52 billion a year with most spent on prisons (“The Potential of Community Corrections to Improve Safety and Reduce Incarceration”). The reason for the U.S. prison population increase is because we are sending people to prison for more time and also because of drugs and we have focused on drug dealing and drug possession (Neyfakh). The U.S. Justice System imprisons a lot of people who could have been held accountable in the community like people with addictions or mental illnesses that don’t have access to treatment in their community (“For Immediate Release: How to…”) Although changing the prison system may be controversial …show more content…

In June, a bipartisan bill was proposed in the House to reduce prison populations, however it is unlikely it will pass (Pavlo). Bureau of Prisons policies that could reduce numbers of nonviolent offenders include: send home the old and sick, expand drug treatment programs, use comprehensive sanction centers instead of prisons, evaluate non-inmates are classified for custody level, contract more residential reentry centers, and streamline returning non U.S. citizens to their home countries (Pavlo). Probation is when the judge imposes it as part or all of a sentence and they set rules and conditions of supervision (“The Potential of Community…”). If people on probation violate the terms and conditions they can be arrested and put into jail (“The Potential of Community…”). Older people in prison are usually more expensive and by releasing them on parole would save millions of dollars (“For Immediate Release: How to…”). Expanding the eligibility of parole could end up with positive results in terms of reducing spending and lower prison conditions (“For Immediate Release: How to…”). Parole is a period after one is released from supervision n the community following a prison term but still has to follow a set of rues (“The Potential of Community…” 8). Over 25,000 people are detained in U.S. federal prisons each year that are not U.S. citizens (Pavlo). Many states have reduced their …show more content…

Ten to twenty-five percent of US prisoners suffer from serious mental illnesses such as affective disorders of schizophrenia (Collier). About 74 percent of state prisoners and 76 percent of local jail inmates who had mental health problems met criteria for substance dependence of abuse (James, Glaze). We need to improve programs that reduce drug addiction, 16 percent of people in state prison and 18 percent of people in federal prison have reported committing their crimes to obtain money for drugs (“For Immediate Release: How to…”). People of color are more likely to suffer imbalance in treatment or mental health (Collier). Educational and vocational programs have not been used as much as they should to help them re-enter the community (Collier). Most states offer a form of work release or community corrections programs that allow people to serve their time while still taking part in the community (“For Immediate Release: How to…”). States and countries are moving to shift the burden from institutional to community corrections by sending a number of offenders to supervision agencies (“The Potential of Community…” pg. 2). Community based corrections supervision is less expensive than sending everyone to prison/jail and would be a good source of a positive change (“The Potential od Community…” 4). “Community corrections agencies that incorporate

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