This is my first blog and I would like to post an essay that I wrote for school. I already turned it in and got a grade for it, as it is pretty old. I would just like to see others opinions on my paper.
Society in this time era has gone through intense measures to keep people locked away in prison cells, no matter what the cost may be. This has caused our prisons to be overcrowded and has left no room for true criminals such as serial killers, rapists, or even kidnappers. There are over 218,000 people in prison right now and more than half of them are in there for non-violent offences ("Federal bureau of," 2011). The cost of sending someone to prison today is $48,214 a year (Noriega, 2010). The problem with this is that we are wasting a lot of money and sending people to prison when we don’t have the money or room to incarcerate these people.
One proposition to handle this would be to stop making non-violent offences anything more than a misdemeanor. Instead, people should just be written a ticket and have to pay for the crime they committed with money instead of their lives. If someone goes to prison for stealing six hundred dollars worth of material and gets a five year sentence, then society is going to end up spending over $200,000 dollars on the crime (Noriega, 2010). Instead of wasting this money to put another human in prison, we could just make him pay for his crime. This way we could lower our taxes or at least put our tax money somewhere better than the corrupt prison system.
Keeping people in prison for non-violent offences also affects the prison system to such a point that violent criminals are back on the street due to overcrowding. Proposing the idea that we stop sending people to prison for crimes that are not violent, then we would have room for the real criminals such as murderers, and rapists. This in return will keep a lot of violence off of the streets, and make some parents less worried about their children. Sending someone to prison that has no history of violence also has another effect on society. This person may go in to prison a non-violent criminal, but will most likely come out being very violent due to the harsh life of living “on the inside.”
Another cost efficient way to handle a non-violent criminal would be to send him to school. This way, it would not only cost less money but it would also promote higher education within our society. “These new students should be expected to maintain good grades and behavior, otherwise they would be returned to prison (Noriega, 2010).” This standard would help them maintain a good lifestyle as they will not want to go back to prison without having a second chance. After graduating from college they will be required to pay back what they spent on going to school like most people do, saving us even more money in the long run (Noriega, 2010).
The overcrowding of the prison system has cost our society a lot of money and has left many violent offenders out on the street. I have proposed a couple of solutions to help make these situations less of a problem. These solutions are keeping non-violent offenders out of prison and/or sending them to college. If these propositions are put into effect, and they work, then society will save a lot of money and be in safer environments, helping the economy work out better.
Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2011, November 26). Retrieved from http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp
Noriega, C. A. (2010, January 21). UCLA Today. Retrieved from http://today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/to-cut-costs-send-inmates-to-college-152131.aspx