I must be due for another Head Examination, because I agree with the AlterNet on something. One of the main reasons why America has overcrowded prisons. Is because we lock up Non Violent inmates in prisons. A lot of times in Maximum Security prisons, where they generally just learn how to become criminals or better criminals. A lot of these Non Violent offenders represent very little threat to society. Like shoplifters or Car Thieves even, at least not a physical threat. And some of these Non Violent offenders only represent a threat to themselves. Like Narcotics Addicts or alcoholics, we lock people up in prison for long sentences. For just possessing an ounce of narcotics. A lot of times in a High Security prison. This is a waste of prison space and Tax Dollars. Money that should be spent to housed actual dangerous criminals.
What we should be doing instead is save our High Security prisons for what they are built for. To house dangerous criminals who are an actual threat to society. But even still give these people a shot at becoming productive people. And ending their Criminal Careers. Through education, vocation and counseling. And move our Non Violent offenders to Low Security prisons, Halfway Houses where they would pay for their room and board. And Drug Rehab again where they would pay for their room and board there as well. Or even place them in County Jail, where they could get counseling, an education and Drug Rehab there as well.
This would save governments money in the short-term while these offenders are on Public Supervision. But also in the long-term because these offenders would get the opportunity to get their lives going. And become productive citizens. California is the perfect example to me of lock up gone wild. Where you take the approach that every offender needs to automatically be in prison. No matter the offense, even in Maximum Security. Instead of what’s the best place for this offender and the most cost-effective and productive way. To protect society and innocent people.