The Necessities of Early Release Implementation

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According to John Irwin, Ph. D., Vincent Schiraldi, and Jason Ziedenberg (1999), "The U.S. nonviolent prisoner population is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska," which effectively describes the American prison system as a "prison state." Likewise, the National Association of State Budget Officers in 1999 reported that "States spent $32.5 billion on Corrections in 1999 alone" in comparison to a mere $22.2 billion assisting the poor.


Indeed, not only does the prison population have a large enough community to qualify for it's own statehood - they make up a significant of the "general stir" (i.e., outside society). In all to many cases, there is little difference between the population inside the prison and the one found outside the walls.
Now this is not to say there are not individuals requiring lifetime incarceration. However, with the increase of mandatory sentencing as a deterrent for many crimes, the prison population has received an influx of inmates classified as low-risk or non-violent. Craig Haney, Ph.D., and Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D. (1998) note that a fourth of these nonviolent offenders return to jail fro a second offense - indicating that prison serves as a school for violent and criminal behavior rather than a deterrent. ...
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