Crime Decreasing Issue Essay

Society has other alternatives to decreasing crime than simply locking people in
prison. Preventative programs focus on the community, school, family, employment
and places. In addition, there are rehabilitation and restorative justice
programs that can also be used to decrease crime. Prisons are the only
alternatives we hear about from politicians because of the notion that prisons
are “tough on crime.” In reality, the method that reduces crime the
most is the “toughest on crime,”–and many research studies
demonstrate prisons are not the best alternatives. Over 65% of the people
convicted for 3-Strikes are for drug-related offenses. There is great evidence
that putting many 3-Strikers in rehabilitation programs costs much less to
society overall than simply putting them in prison for 25 years or more. In
addition, there are preventative programs that can be used rather than the
prison cell. Each $1 we spend on prisons is a $1 that we could spend elsewhere
(or not be taxed in the first place). The problem with only addressing crime by
locking people in prison is that it has done nothing to alleviate the roots of
the problems that cause crime in our society. Other people are born and grow up
in the same areas where the previous offenders lived and will probably commit
the same acts because the underlying problems still exist. There is much
evidence that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is growing in the United
States. Unfortunately, the U.S.’s response to the problem has been: “The
rich get richer, and the poor get prison.” To focus on street crime and
drug-related crimes can be considered a hidden way to set up concentration camps
for the poor and minorities. There is much evidence that white-collar corporate
criminals cause much more economic wealth to be illegally distributed and can
result in many more deaths and injuries than street crime (e.g., violating
safety standards in employment, emission of environmental hazards). Does society
spend as much to enforce the laws on them? Are they sent to prison for the same
sentences as the poor street criminals? Are wealthy users of drugs ending up in
our prisons? The “control” and “punishment” models adopted
by the U.S. may cause other problems. Social rebellion and deviance among the
young may increase. And, in an opposite manner, some of our youth may embrace
“control” and “punishment” as the answers to all our
problems. A growing devision among these two groups could cause extreme problems
in the future.

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