Should We Continue to Incarcerate Non-Violent Offenders?
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This brief seeks to determine what types of offenses and offenders warrant punishment in prison and what types of offenders could be penalized using a community-based sanction. As one of the most expensive forms of punishment, prisons are designed to protect the community from people who pose a serious threat to the safety of the community, namely violent and predatory offenders. Studies show that many factors contribute to the crime rate, such as the state of the economy, the demand for illegal drugs, arrest patterns, and prevention efforts, among others. Higher incarceration rates play only a marginal role in overall crime reduction. In addition, stiffer penalties and longer prison sentences for non-violent and drug crimes will not necessarily increase public safety.
Alarid, L. F. (2002) Should We Continue to Incarcerate Non-Violent Offenders? Retrieved 10-15-09, from http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/publications/index.asp?ViewBy=Date