Joan Petersilia in Wilson Quarterly publishes the article “Beyond the Prison Bubble,” in the Winter 2011. Petersilia explains several alternative solutions to the U.S’s overcrowded imprisonment systems. She talks about how research has come to prove that crime rates and recidivism can be decreased. Furthermore, Petersilia’s article outlines the evolution of accepting this fact, as well as developing, funding, and refining various intensive rehabilitation programs. The first section of the article (para. 1-7) talks about the increasing problem that the US has faced for a long time. This all could be avoided for not the attitude that a potential solution for crime in the US has been ignored. The U.S has the highest imprisonment rate of any free nation. The problem here, however, is that this is very costly and has not solved the crime problem. Something obviously needs to change. As well the to talks about a decrease in prison population that took place in 2009 and the possible end to the “mass incarceration” problem. The article worries that the imprisonment and crime rates will never be able to go down. “Get tough” laws were passed in an attempt to avoid this, which ends up meaning increase the chances of doing time and more of prison time. The second section of the article (para. 8-16) shows how ineffective our incarceration systems have been. Increase in spending to build prisons and maintain their populations began to exceed needed funds for vital public services. This resulted in state budgets being pushed to the point of crisis. Crime was reduced to a degree, but with massive the costs spend on new prisons it was really not worth it. The offenders that are leaving prison now are more likely to have fairly long criminal records and lengthy histories of alcohol and drug abuse, significant periods of unemployment. As well, many don’t need to stay very long in prison and could be let out after a year or two to make room for extremely...
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