Less Crime, More Time
The total population of citizens incarcerated, paroled, or on probation in the United States reached a new high in 2003, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 3 percent of U.S. adults were part of the correctional population sometime during 2003, despite a decade of decreases in violent crime, property crime, and gun-related crime.
The increasing prison population results from "political policies promulgated by politicians who are doing what they think the public wants," Harmon Wray, executive director of the National Association of Sentencing Advocates, told Sojourners. "Unfortunately, the only options the public sees are either highly punitive or just slaps on the wrist. Theres not enough middle ground. Accountability, restitution, treatmentthose are what the public really wants when presented with alternatives [to incarceration]."
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics bulletin (July 2004)