Incarceration And Prison Overpopulation

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The United States is faced with a major issue of mass incarceration and prison overpopulation. With the largest prison population in the world and the second highest incarceration rate per-capita (1 in 100 citizens is behind bars), the United States’ corrections system needs to be reformed now, through both policy and administrative changes. While I am certain you are familiar with these statistics, I would like to emphasize that using incarceration as the primary response to social problems as is happening today in the United States not only impacts those individuals incarcerated and their families, but also costs tax payers billions of dollars. I would encourage you to consider ways to downscale the prison population. One of them would …show more content…

The War on Drugs in the 1980s has been the main contributing factor of prison overcrowding. As the number of individuals convicted of drug offenses has increased, so has the federal prison population. Today, there are over half a million drug offenders in prisons, representing over one-half of the federal inmate population in the United States, an increase of 790 percent since 1980. And what is the drug most often used leading to these incarcerations? Marijuana. Not only has it cost tax payers billions of dollars, and has resulted in the defunding of other important services, the War on Drugs …show more content…

Traditionally, crime has been viewed as a violation against the state. Still too little attention is given to the fact that criminal acts are also violations of the victims and the communities. Punishing and correcting offenders’ criminal behaviors should not only be conducted using the concepts of retribution, incapacitation, and deterrence, it should also be designed to repair the damages done to the victims and the communities. Many benefits are associated with shifting to the restorative justice model, for the victim, the offender, and the community. Restorative justice benefits the victims by giving them a voice regarding the accountability of the offender. It gives them a chance of expressing the impact of the crime, and the harms and losses the offender has caused them. Finally, it can help victims by asking questions and receiving information that will help them find closure and

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