Originally Posted by scottwww
Part of the cost of government is paying for incarceration in prison. Where can costs be reduced? One would be to reduce the prison population.
How could you empty some prisons? How about making some things that are ciminal offenses into civil offenses? Wouldn't that make those crimes no longer punishable with imprisonment? [I don't know much about this subject of criminal vs. civil.]
As a civil offense, would those who lose a judgement pay restitution to those that were wronged? Or in the case of non-property offenses, maybe they would have to show commitment to behavioral change? Maybe even some criminals could avoid prison, or get out of jail with a well-developed plan to change their ways?
Some of you experts could tell it like it is. Then maybe some possible solutions could be offered.
Maybe one crime that should not involve prison time would be tax evasion. This is a non-violent crime that could be resolved by other means. Instead, we tax payers are stuck paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to keep each tax evader fed, clothed, and sheltered. If they made enough money to evade taxes, maybe they could make enough money to pay their own way in life and repay their debt. This should be able to be creative in how debts get paid, whether defined in law, ordered by the judge, or negotiated between parties.
I don't know how much of the prison population is serving time for drug abuse. If there are many, then that would seem to be a crime that could have an alternate solution.
What other non-violent crimes and offenses drain our resouces just to lock up people out of sight, where they do nothing to redeem themselves?
There must be a better way.
I absolutely agree with this post. It's crazy how many people are incarcerated for non-violent offenses like marijuana possession, non-violent petty crimes and felonies (drunk driving offenses, drug offenses, white collar crimes, etc.).
Part of this, as you said, requires de-criminalizing certain offenses. I have never touched Marijuana in my life, and I will never use that stuff, but I still can't understand why it's a criminal substance in most states. The same (IMO) applies for other drugs - as long as you're not using it while driving, walking around in public, etc. and you're not harming others, why is it illegal?
On a lighter note, jeez, I'm turning into more and more of a libertarian day by day. Scary thought.