US: A nation of inmates? – Inside Story Americas – Al Jazeera English

US: A nation of inmates? – Inside Story Americas – Al Jazeera English

     Here is a story which strikes close to home. It is another unfortunate case where it was found in a foreign source rather than a domestic one. It can not be disputed that the U.S. has an extremely large prison population, but the reasons are best argued by someone else at this time. My question is about the results. How many of those who advocate for large and numerous prison sentences are considering the long term effects on society? How much does it cost to fund this system, and how much more when someone is released after years of incarceration with no advanced job skills and is faced with a choice between government assistance or a return to crime? And what about the non-violent crimes where restitution could sensibly replace incarceration? I am disappointed that these questions are largely ignored in favor of emotional arguments claiming that we need only to focus on the removal of these “undesirable” elements from access to the public. I see the end result of that line of thinking to be a very evil place. Let’s have an honest discussion about real solutions which solve problems rather than merely creating different ones.



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