How To Reduce Prison Population

 

Source: defense.gov

 

It is well established that the US has the largest population of people behind bars in all developed countries. Therefore, it means that the state also has the most massive allocated budget for incarceration facilities. And since the number of incarcerated individuals keeps on spiking, the amount of budget for them also goes up.

There’s an increased amount of people going to jail over the years. Although recent reports show that there are lesser crime rates than before, it still doesn’t hide the fact that the justice system, community programs, and government involvement are somewhat insufficient. Fortunately, there are still a lot of ways that can help revise the entire incarceration system and below are some of it.

 

Reforming Mandatory Sentencing Laws With More Flexible Policies

During the year 1983, around forty-nine states signed the mandatory sentencing statutes. It led the way towards passing the anti-drug abuse act which established five to ten years of mandatory sentences for any drug-related case. This act is well-intentioned but somehow outlived its effectivity. The Omnibus Anti Drug abuse act signed by the late President Reagan granted authority to the national government to punish all individuals involved in any drug-related violations. That’s regardless of the person’s role during the operation. This circumstance led to the incarceration of a lot of individuals that were caught red-handed doing or selling illegal drugs. Under the act, all of them were sentenced to a full-ranged punishment. By reforming the mandatory sentencing law, it will limit the judicial jurisdiction. It will prevent judges from giving long-term sentencing to those people who have a no-to-minor involvement in any drug-related cases.

 

Reducing The 3 Strike Laws For The Nonviolent Offenders

The 1994 California three-strike bill sentenced nonviolent offenders with 25 years. It is a harsh ruling, considering the crime committed is nonviolent. Around four thousand incarcerated individuals in California alone are currently serving life sentences of third-strike malfeasances that were not even serious, damaging, or harmful to anyone at all. That’s a lot of people with free food, lodging, and medical care. With a minor criminal case that gets incarcerated, the justice system can have the audacity to demand more money. The 4000 represents 40 percent of the total 8500 third strike population. Therefore, the need for a revision to the three-strike law is necessary to lessen the group of incarcerated individuals in the nation. There must be a separation of nonviolent acts from technical offenses.

 

Source: wikimedia.org

 

Provide Prison Education Programs And Give Inmates Incentive For Participating

Education is one of the factors that lessen the probability of crime. According to a study, a majority of the people that do criminal acts are those people without proper education. These people tend to have unstable psychological and emotional behavior. Apparently, without adequate knowledge and skills, they become unqualified to any high-paying jobs. This dilemma leads to criminal activities. The government should provide programs that will give the inmates the opportunities to learn and develop their skills. The learning that they can acquire during the whole duration of their sentence can be beneficial in the outside world. Those inmates under the rehabilitation program can be awarded reduced sentence if they manage to complete a significant program. This step will not only help people to get over the hump of their problems but could also give more valuable meaning to their lives.

 

Source: flickr.com

 

Giving Incentives To Companies That Hire Ex-Convicts

It is tough for ex-convicts to find proper jobs. The fact that they have criminal records truly affects their chances of landing a decent and good-paying job. But with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, a small business may be eligible for up to nine thousand dollars of credits if they hire ex-convicts back to their businesses. Though this is not enough, it’s still a good start. The Congress should take another step and increase the incentives for small businesses to encourage them to hire more convicted employees in the future.

There are many ways to reduce the incarceration population. The government and organizations just have to find the right strategy that can work both ways in providing benefits to the society.