Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/23/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Guest Commentary by Ken Blackwell: Houston's Mayor is Endangering Civil Rights

Image of Ken Blackwell

By Ken Blackwell

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ... continue reading


Suspected Indiana serial killer foiled by text messages Watch

Image of Darren Deon Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly even more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Darren Deon Vann told Indiana Police he "messed up" and expressed surprise that he was found so quickly, in the biggest understatement in recent memory. Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly ... continue reading


United States developing quick-strike team to deal with Ebola Watch

Image of The U.S. Ebola strike team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the crisis in Dallas, the United States is developing a 30-person "quick-strike team" in order to attend to the needs of Ebola patients within the U.S. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month. The ... continue reading


After 21 days, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan are Ebola free Watch

Image of Thomas Eric Duncan's family, including his fiancee and her son and nephews, are nearing the end of their 21 day quarantine. So far, none of the four have developed Ebola like symptoms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan-the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States-is nearing the end of a 21 day quarantine, and she and her son and two nephews are grateful that this period is coming to an end. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If ... continue reading


Supreme Court backs Texas' war on voter fraud Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court has backed a 2013 Texas law that requires voters to show ID before they submit a vote.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Texas the go ahead for a law that requires voters in the state to show certain forms of identification before they are able to cast a ballot. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The October 18 decision came from a majority of ... continue reading


Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

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

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... continue reading


(Video) Nina Pham's incredible goodbye will bring you to tears Watch

Image of Supporters of Nina Pham, the nurse who was infected with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has released a video which shows the goodbye between Ebola-patient Nina Pham and her doctor, as she leaves Dallas for treatment in Maryland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 26-year-old nurse was infected with Ebola after ... continue reading


(Video) South Carolina's shocking SHARKNADO! Watch

Image of A rare shark feeding frenzy was caught on video in North Carolina, as hundreds of sharks attacked a school of Blue Fish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing video has appeared on YouTube which shows 100 of sharks engaged in a feeding frenzy just feet from the shore in Cape Lookout, North Carolina. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bizarre video was taken on October 9, but was not made public until ... continue reading


Fed takes in record of over $3 trillion in taxes Watch

Image of A Treasury Department report has revealed that the U.S. government has taken in a record amount of tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, at over $3 trillion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest Monthly Treasury Statement has showed that inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues and tax revenues have reached their highest point even as of the 2014 fiscal year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The inflation-adjusted tax revenue reached ... 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, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... 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