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Case for More Incarceration

NCJ Number
Date Published
31 pages
The argument proposed in this document addresses three basic points: that prisons work, more prisons are needed, and inadequate prison space costs money.
Upon examination, the facts fail to support the most common objections to incarceration. Historically, the figures show that crime rates moderate after incarceration rates increase. Additionally, many convicted offenders on probation or released early from prison commit new crimes. Clearly, the failure to incarcerate leads to new crimes on the part of probationers and those released early. The prison population has increased enormously in recent years, and it is necessary to build more prisons. Prisons do not create criminals, and crime can be reduced by limiting probation and parole, namely, imprisoning criminals for a greater portion of their sentences. In response to the concern expressed about high incarceration rates for young black men, the benefits of increased incarceration would be felt disproportionately by black Americans living in inner cities who are victims of violent crime at far higher rates than whites and those who live in other areas. 53 footnotes