We need to realize that the current approach to our penal system is failing terribly. Take a group of people, take away all of their possessions and privacy, expose them to violence, overcrowded cell blocks, and the result is a group of people intent on getting even with society rather than contributing to it. It is very expensive to house prisoners. There are several other options to deal with nonviolent offenders. Alternative sentencing is finding other ways to deal with these offenders and also helping the courts and community. Alternatives to incarceration have been tried at a much lower cost to imprisonment. Overcrowding forced lawmakers to come up with new options for these nonviolent offenders. Jails create a cycle of violence and crime. Alternative options prevent violence and help the community. These programs provide the courts with other ways of punishment for the offender. The goals of these programs are to fit the appropriate punishment with the crime. The offender is punished and held accountable, and the public safety is protected. If the offenders fail the program, then they are sent to jail. Probation is one alternative to jail time. This gives the offender a second chance. They must report to a probation officer as often as the officer thinks is needed. They must be employed or going to school. A residential work program is another option. The offender would reside there and continue to work. Part of his wages would go to the center for room and board. The center could also put part of his wages in a savings account for when the offender has completed the program. Rehab is usually one of the better options. I read in an article that over fifty percent of the United States’ prison population is due to drug offences. The drug dealers should remain in prison, but the drug user could be helped a lot by this program. Whether it is an in house program or outside counseling would be determined by the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document