Found a great article via Reuters yesterday that says the U.S. Prison System is a costly and harmful failure and has had very little impact on crime in America. The report says the prison population is projected to grow by another 192,000 people in five years, at a cost of $27.5 billion to build and operate additional prisons. In order to stop this, the report recommends shorter sentences and parole terms, alternative punishments, more help for released inmates and decriminalizing recreational substances.
The report also says the number of people in prison has risen 8 fold since 1970 and at its current rate of locking people up 1 in 3 black males will be locked up in their life time; 1 in 6 Latino males will be locked up; and 1 out of every 13 white males will be locked up.
In my opinion, we need to do all the recommendations of the report and then some because would it not be better to take the same 20 Billion and reinvest it in our communities like education or health care, than just spending it on keeping people locked up in a cell? As always, I am interested in hearing what you think, so please chime in with your thoughts.