Alternative To Incarceration

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With well over two million people incarcerated in the United States and countless more tied up within the criminal justice system, alternatives to incapacitation are needed now more than ever. Jails and prisons are feeling the strain on their resources due to overcrowding. This overcrowding has debilitated their ability to function as a place to serve out sentences and to rehabilitate inmates. Alternatives to incarceration could reduce prison populations as well as reduce economic costs. A few programs that have shown to be effective are probation and restorative justice. Probation in particular has allowed for individuals to be interactive with the community and has substantially reduced the prison and jail populations. Restorative justice…show more content…
Incapacitation in this country has not been able to offer proper health care for those suffering from mental illness. Therefore, the further expansion of mental health courts would provide a greater alternative to these kinds of individuals. Public shaming has also shown signs to be an effective alternative to incarceration. The broad use of social media sites has opened the door for public shaming because now images can be shared online. Public shaming is an alternative to incarceration because it is an act of specific deterrence, in that an individual would be deterred from committing the crime again due to being humiliated. Home confinement and electronic monitoring are another possible alternative to incarceration. Home confinement reduces the cost of housing the specific individual in state and federal prisons. Electronic monitoring would allow the offenders to work while they serve out their time which again, would reduce the prison populations. Boot camps are another option for alternatives to incarceration. However, mixed results have risen up pertaining to their effectiveness. All of these programs deserve to be considered when looking at alternatives to incarceration. Empirical research has shown that most of these programs will not only reduce the cost of punishment in this country, but will also reduce the prison populations by only imprisoning individuals who need to be put into

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