The Cost of Incarceration in Missouri and the Benefits of Sentencing Alternatives
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Many and probably most persons sentenced to prison are not good candidates for alternative sentences, either because they pose a danger to public safety or because they committed a crime for which a prison sentence is mandatory under current statutes. However, some are much better candidates than others, and it is possible to reduce the number of Missouri prison inmates by a sizable fraction without unduly increasing risks to the general public. By adopting capacity-sensitive admission policies and age sensitive release policies, the state can reduce the size of the prison population and control costs, while retaining supervision over lower-risk offenders in the community. By instituting alternatives to prison for non-violent drug offenders and introducing a sunset provision in current truth-in-sentencing statutes, long-term control over the magnitude and costs of imprisonment can be achieved. These cost- cutting reforms can be realized without sacrificing public safety through increased intensive supervision of non-violent and older offenders in the community.
Rosenfeld, R. (2003) The Cost of Incarceration in Missouri and the Benefits of Sentencing Alternatives. Retrieved 10-15-09, from http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/publications/index.asp?ViewBy=Date