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NCJ Number: 155210 Find in a Library
Title: Case for Alternatives to Prison
Corporate Author: Justice Fellowship
United States of America
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Justice Fellowship
Washington, DC 20041
Sale Source: Justice Fellowship
P.O. Box 16069
Washington, DC 20041
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because statistics indicate that imprisonment is a questionable deterrent to crime, and a case is made for alternatives to incarceration.
Abstract: The United States imprisons more people as a percentage of the population than any other country in the world, yet the United States has the highest crime rate in the Western world. While it is difficult to draw causal connections, it seems that increased imprisonment and longer prison sentences do not deter crime. Over half of U.S. inmates are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, but placing these inmates in prison can often be counterproductive. Further, studies indicate that two of every three released prisoners are rearrested within 3 years of their release. Building a new prison costs between $36,000 and $80,000 per bed. It costs taxpayers an additional $18,000 to keep one inmate in prison for 1 year. Alternatives to incarceration may be more effective than imprisonment, both for society and for the offender. Such alternatives may improve public safety, save taxpayer money, and offer more hope for rehabilitating offenders. They include restitution, community service, intensive supervision, fines, alcohol and drug treatment orders, work requirements, and reconciliation programs. The repeal of mandatory sentencing and habitual offender laws is recommended, as well as active citizen involvement in correctional reform.
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service programs; Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Corrections costs; Courts; Deterrence; Drug treatment; Fines; Incarceration; Intensive supervision programs; Rehabilitation; Restitution
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=155210

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