Not to also mention, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world (Senator James 1)! But how is all of this happening when crime rates are going down? People in today’s society are getting locked behind bars for lesser crimes then in the past. Criminals are serving more time in prisons nowadays than any previous year. Another significant issue with the United States prison system is its ability to spend money.
Donziger’s studies show that crime rates since the 1970’s are remarkably stable, and violent crimes such as those displayed in the media have dropped by sixteen percent (489). Simultaneously, private prisons, like CCA, have replaced the majority of publicly operated penitentiaries. Barry Yeoman describes this new system as “dungeon for dollars” in his “Steel Town Lockdown” article (507). His article addresses why government favors private prisons and how this directly relates to the expanding definition of crime in order to raise incarceration rates. Yeoman explains, “cost cutting jeopardizes the safety of prisoners, guards, and communities” (508).
Deep Meadow Correctional Center is a state prison in Virginia; the average daily population is 840 prisoners ("Virginia.gov", 1997). According to Boyd and Jenny (2002) “Newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that growth in the state prison population is continuing to slow – for the U.S. as a whole, state prison populations grew by only 0.4 percent between June 30, 2000 and June 30, 2001”. So despite the fact that prison population is growing at a slow rate, prisons are still over-crowded. U.S corrections professionals can solve the problem of exponential growth in state prison systems by refocusing on rehabilitation of some criminals. Programs could be offered to help an inmate began changing their lives and I do not necessarily mean and educational degree program.
Although "17% of young offenders that are on remand are acquitted or have the charges dropped". This leaves only a remaining 20% that are actually sentenced to prison. On average it costs $543 a day to keep the sentenced young offenders in a detention centre. These astounding statistics support the controversial issue that the prime focus of the juvenile court system should be based on rehabilitating the young offenders so that they have a chance to effectively enhance their future.
Then you have the homeless people who don't receive medical treatment, and end up with long term diseases, that need long term care. Alot of homeless people feel the prisons, and jails, which is very costly to the tax payer. There are laws that target the homeless such as, loitering, sleeping in cars, and begging, which make it easy for them to end up behind bars. A study done by The University of Texas, shows that a homeless person staying in jail for a year cost 14,480 and a one year prison stay would cost about 20,000. It is actually shown that providing these homeless citizens with permanent housing would save more money and be more cost effective.
I truly believe if the age requirements were to be lowered than most of the young people that go to jail for underage drinking will be reduced by allot. If you look at the past 10 years and look at the charts you would notice that the US have the most underage drinkers arrested than any other crime that is committed which is ridiculous. Why is it that an adult of the age 18 can go to war but then yet can’t purchase and drink alcohol? If law makers can only use this
Two hundred and fifty thousand juveniles are tried and sentenced for their crimes as adults every year in the United States. It would seem that courtrooms are taking these juvenile cases with the significance they deserve but with only half of the average yearly rate of juvenile arrests being tried in an adult courtroom, questions about how seriously public safety has come into consideration in the United States. Juveniles who commit violent crimes should always be tried as adults in the courtroom. These numbers have had an extensive impact in the United State’s juvenile judicial system. Semple and Woody (2011) stated that with a rise of violent crimes committed by juveniles, 49 out of the 50 states transferred their juvenile offenders
States held an estimated 250,900 drug offenders in 2003. That means it costs states approximately $16,948,295 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6.1 Billion per year. (American) The French organization OGD points out the deeper economic impact from the eventual release of American drug felons: according to some estimates some 3.5 million prisoners will be released between now and 2010, and an additional 500,000 each year thereafter. “Such a large-scale release of unskilled people - most of them cannot even read and write - will have a negative impact on wages, which are already low in deprived urban areas, due to a massive influx of men desperate to get a job; especially, since the reform of the welfare system in 1996 severely reduced felons’ access to welfare money.
“US crime rates are comparable to other European countries with much lower incarceration rates” (Aljazeera). The problem is the war on drugs. Nearly half the prisoners locked up in state prisons are in for none
Cameron Booker Criminology Dr. Anadi November 12, 2013 However, in 2002 about a quarter of convicted property and drug offenders in local jails had committed their crimes to get money for drugs, compared to 5% of violent and public order offenders. Among state prisoners in 2004 the pattern was similar, with property (30%) and drug offenders (26%) more likely to commit their crimes for drug money than violent (10%) and public-order offenders (7%). In federal prisons property offenders (11%) were less than half as likely as drug offenders (25%) to report drug money as a motive in their offenses. College student victims Overall 41% of violent crimes committed against college students and 38% of nonstudents were committed by an offender perceived to be using drugs, 1995-2000. About 2 in 5 of all rape/sexual assaults and about a quarter of all