Purpose Of Imprisonment Essay

But we should ask: Why do our laws allow prison — the harshest punishment available short of execution — for many of these crimes in the first place?

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In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, the Brennan Center's Inimai Chettiar explains that a comprehensive mix of federal, state, and local reforms will be necessary to end mass incarceration — the fundamental civil rights issue of our time. Hiding in plain sight, it drives economic inequality, racial injustice, and poverty.

It will ultimately make it harder to compete in the global economy.

The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.Best estimates suggest it contributed to as much as 20 percent of the U. Notably, Republicans are leading the charge, while Democrats largely play catch up.Lawmakers approach the issue from different perspectives.Increasing incarceration offers rapidly diminishing returns. Extensive research shows incarceration can increase future crime in some cases, as prison often acts as a “crime school.” Mass incarceration has startling harmful effects.The criminal justice system costs taxpayers 0 billion a year.We need a national conversation, led by national voices, off national solutions. But, since criminal justice is largely a province of states and cities, how can there be “national” solutions?Each state struggles with the same challenges: too many arrests, prosecutions, pretrial detentions, prison sentences, and probation and parole revocations.Trends of overcriminalization, overincarceration, and selective enforcement play out across the country, with some variation.It is a false choice to debate whether we need powerful, state-focused efforts or a vibrant, national conversation.States like Texas, New York, Georgia, and California have changed their laws to do just that.4 For the first time in 40 years, crime and incarceration fell nationwide.5 The state reforms provide modest fines and short- term relief.Local grassroots and state advocacy groups were vital to these wins, working tirelessly to build momentum.

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