Truth-in-Sentencing Laws Do Not Deter Crime

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Truth-in-Sentencing Laws Do Not Deter Crimes
Nain Lizette Ritchey
CJA/204
November 12, 2012
University of Phoenix

Truth-in-Sentencing Laws Do Not Deter Crimes
In the process of knowing whether or not sentencing laws deter crime, that fact in the United States (U.S.), in the last 20 years, shows that longer sentences do not deter crime. After years of increased sentences and drain on the state’s treasury, we need to acknowledge this fact. In New York and many other states, the “tough” policies have produced a combination of large-scale prison overcrowding without meaningful reductions in our crime rate. The U.S. now has the highest rate of incarceration of any technologically advanced country in the world except the Soviet Union and South Africa, and except for the extremely poor countries such as the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, we also have the highest violent-crime rate. This does not prove that high rates of incarceration cause high crime rates, but it surely indicates that high rates of incarceration do not cause low crime rates. We need to acknowledge that the kind of treatment criminals receive from the state can affect their subsequent conduct. Some rehabilitation programs do work. Some individuals clearly need to be removed from society. Alternatives to incarceration are less expensive and they provide critical opportunities for those who can be reformed. Corrections systems in some of the most conservative states in the country have begun to move away from policies based on the promise that “tougher” sentences reduce crime. Though many are moving away from this belief, that fact still remains to show that the overcrowding of the jails and prisons is becoming an issue worldwide. The crimes are not being reduced nor are they becoming of lesser status. The age range is becoming younger, within the age of 18-25. A lot of these criminals are returning and are labeled as returned offenders...
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