The article below, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer outlines the possibility of early prison release as if it were something to be feared instead of welcomed: “The surge in inmates ………. raises the troubling prospect that the prison system might be forced to release inmates well before they have completed their sentences just to free up cells for incoming criminals” exemplifying how the prison system is used for retribution and vengeance, rather than rehabilitation and that early prison release can only be seen as a failure, rather than a successful outcome.
The continued prison population increase seems to be in part caused by a reluctance of the judiciary to use sentencing reforms that were put in place as long ago as 2011 that would allow for early release of non-violent offenders. There are no suggestions for how to be smarter with the tax payers’ money, whereas a state criminal justice task force in Mississippi has just outlined measures for how to save $200 million through sentencing reform, that will aim to help with both recidivism and cost:
Judging by the public comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer article, many are still of the ‘lock them up and throw away the key’ persuasion, but these days of budget restraints call for smarter solutions and more prison beds to alleviate overcrowding is not one of them. Ways to reduce the United State’s position of being the world’s highest jailer – 5% of total world population, 25% of the world’s total prison population – make more sense, and controlled early prison release for those who have proved that they have served their sentence well and wish to re-enter society having learnt from their mistakes has to be part of this.