When people say social programs designed to help people are a waste of taxpayer money and are a free ride given to the lazy, I remember the commercial slogan, "You can pay me now. Or you can pay me later."
Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.
"The jail population is increasingly unconvicted," Beck said. "Judges are perhaps more reluctant to release people pretrial."
There will always be criminals who have all the resources they need yet are motivated by greed or anger or hatred to commit crimes, but there are many criminals who would make other choices if they could and if they had sufficient information and resources. Even when it comes to a crime like rape that seems to be a crime of uncontrolable passion, I believe prevention programs could make a significant difference.
I believe we can reduce crime without a matching increase in the number of people who are jailed.
prisonpolicy.org has some statistics that I found helpful in seeing trends within the jailed population.
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