Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Growing numbers of inmates have lawmakers rethinking criminal codes

An exploding prison populations coupled with budget constraints have made a number of U.S. states, including the most conservative ones to rethink their criminal codes. About 15 states have set changes in motion, while others states, such as Georgia, are considering them.

An estimated two million people are behind bars in the U.S., making up a staggering 25 percent of the world's prisoners. The chief reason for the increase since the 1980s has been the influx of low-level offenders, particularly drug offenders.

An estimated two million people are behind bars in the U.S., making up a staggering 25 percent of the world's prisoners. The chief reason for the increase since the 1980s has been the influx of low-level offenders, particularly drug offenders.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Prison populations, drug offenders, recidivism


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Alison Lawrence, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures says that the changes include reduction or elimination of prison time for certain property crimes and drug crimes. There is also discussion of drug treatment instead of prison for drug addicts.

As reported by the Southern Center for Human Rights, some of the changes have already taken place in some states.

In Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island jail or prison time has been reduced or eliminated for parole and probation violations, opting instead for stricter supervision and alternative sentences like community service.

Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee have all created alternative sentencing options for low-level, low-risk offenders, such as parole and probation.

Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas have all attempted to reduce recidivism - wherein people return to prison shortly after being released -- by stronger emphasis on reentry planning that is tailored to meet individuals' needs.

In addition, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee have removed minimum sentencing requirements for certain drug-related violations.

Experts point out that growing prison populations are largely the result of the failed "war on drugs" in the U.S., in addition to "get tough on crime" policies advocated by many Republicans and some Democrats at the state and federal levels, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.

An estimated two million people are behind bars in the U.S., making up a staggering 25 percent of the world's prisoners. The chief reason for the increase since the 1980s has been the influx of low-level offenders, particularly drug offenders.

Even some conservative Republicans have begun to reverse course, including former speaker of the U.S. house Newt Gingrich, now a candidate for president and lobbyist Grover Norquist have joined with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to call for substantial reforms.

According to a 2011 NAACP report, spending by states on prisons has increased at a rate six times higher than that of spending on higher education. This amount is over $50 billion dollars annually, according to a 2009 report by the Pew Center on the States.

In California, the problem of prison overcrowding became so bad that the federal courts had to step in, ordering the state to reduce its state prison populations to 137.5 percent of its prison capacity within two years, a reduction of 45,000 people.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

Billy the Kid's New Mexico hideout now up for sale Watch

Image of According to legend, Billy the Kid is said to have killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed eight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a beautiful home in New Mexico, spacious, with breathtaking mountain views. It's hard to believe that it at one time sheltered Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, one of the American Wild West's most notorious outlaws. It is now on the market for ... continue reading


Obama spends an alarming $3 billion on Obamacare WITHOUT Congressional approval Watch

Image of President Obama's administration is being accused of illegally spending money on Obamacare without Congressional approval.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department may be moving forward with Obamacare regardless of Congressional concerns and a lack of funding, approving a $3 billion payment to health insurers despite the fact that Congress has not authorized any payments in annual ... continue reading


Obama Administration as Global Advocate for Radical LGBTI Agenda

Image of Randy Berry

By Keith A Fournier

Robert Reilly is right. The Obama administration is doing profound damage to the very understanding of human rights. We have fundamental human rights precisely because we are human persons. No-one should support the denial of truly fundamental human rights for ... continue reading


Climate change - WHERE IT HURTS: Scientists say warming will hit nation's agricultural heartland Watch

Image of The climate change panel's verdict came as a bit of a surprise: Greenhouse-gas emissions played a substantial role in Europe's misery, but not so much in California.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are very few positive things to result from climate change. Researchers now say that warmer temperatures will hit America where it counts: the nation's agricultural heartland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers presented their latest findings ... continue reading


WITCHES ARE BACK: Witchcraft reappears in today's popular mainstream culture in unexpected ways Watch

Image of Witches are seen in both religion and as a feminist symbol.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The idea of the witch is making its rounds through history again. Females, both young and old, are embracing the power that comes with the feminist witch in today's society. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a recent twitter post, popular female rapper, Azealia ... continue reading


Alaska lights up as it become the third U.S. state to legalize marijuana Watch

Image of Twenty-three states still prohibit cannabis outright. The other U.S. states have either legalized medical marijuana or decriminalized marijuana possession.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The state of Alaska is lighting up in celebration... following Colorado's lead, Alaska has become the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Voters passed the Alaska Marijuana Legalization ballot measure last ... continue reading


The Air Force pulls a B-52 from the 'Boneyard,' and you won't believe what they did with it next Watch

Image of A B-52, one of the largest and most effective bombers in the world.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in aircraft's history, the U.S. Air Force has brought a B-52 bomber back to life from the Boneyard of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nicknamed "Ghost Rider," this 53-year-old bomber had ... continue reading


Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Chair of St. Peter and the Role of the Pope

Image of

By Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

The doctrine of infallibility, then, is derived from the principle of apostolic succession and from the fact that Jesus Christ promised His presence to His apostles when He sent them forth to teach all the nations (cf. Mt 28:20).  The Pope and the bishops in ... continue reading


'I don't know' whether Obama is a Christian, Governor Scott K. Walker of Wisconsin says Watch

Image of Governor Scott Walker declined to weigh in on Rudolf Giuliani's characterization of the president's patriotism and background.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When reporters asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker about U.S. President Barack Obama's religious affiliation, he said, "I don't know." Considered a possible Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, Walker said he was not aware of Obama's faith.  ... continue reading


Fifty Shades of Madness: No Gray Area Here

Image of

By Jennifer Hartline

I can't say it any better than the Dowager Countess of Grantham: Have we all stepped through the looking glass? Yes, I'm afraid that collectively, as a culture, we have indeed. We no longer seem to recognize the plainly absurd as absurd. Up is down; out is in; ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
8 Do not count against us the guilt of former ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 79:8, 9, 11, 13
13 And we, your people, the flock that you pasture, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 6:36-38
36 'Be compassionate just as your Father is ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 2nd, 2015 Image

Bl. Charles the Good
March 2: In 1086, St. Canute, King of Denmark and father of Blessed ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter