Inmate Population Getting Out of Hand

America’s prison population continues to grow and increased another two percent or more over last year. The Sentencing Project by the Justice Policy Institute reported in 2000 that with mass releases of prisoners in Russia, the United States surged ahead to have the highest incarceration rate in the world. With 2,071,686 persons incarcerated in 2000, the United States, with just 5% of the world’s population, has roughly a quarter of the world’s prisoners.
Along with these hefty numbers comes big bills. It cost Americans $25.96 billion to imprison 1.3 million non-violent offenders in the year 2000, meaning our nation spent 50% more than the entire $16.6 billion the federal government spent on welfare programs that serve 8.5 million people. What are the results of this spending other than bigger and more prisons and jails with an ever-increasing budget demand? Some prisons are now facing the issue of even higher medical costs and even geriatric wards.
What types of crimes are the offenders being convicted of?
Sixty percent of the growth in the federal prison population over the last twenty years has been due to drug offender commitments. Most states are facing hefty budget deficits, and with approximately 80 percent or more of total incarcerations are drug related in some way, the department of corrections is seeking more funding while the state is having to make cuts in spending across the board in. It is also forcing state lawmakers to restructure non-violent drug offender sentences. Some are reacting by decriminalizing smaller possession charges and first-time offenders, though that is not a total solution.
There is an answer to this quandary, and it’s called effective rehabilitation and prevention. With an average cost of nearly $30,000 per inmate per year, multiple-year sentences add up. Add on to that figure that the families of inmates typically end up receiving financial support as well.
However, with rehabilitation in the fullest sense of the word, that money can be spent on improving our nation’s healthcare and education. Not only are effective programs needed before people end up in prison, but inside the prison walls as well.
Unfortunately our correctional system does little to correct the behavior of the criminals. There must be true rehabilitation available for inmates to reduce recidivism, and they certainly have the time to work at it.
One such program that is continually producing effective results throughout the world is the Narconon® Program. Narconon literally means "narcotics-none" and was founded by a former heroin addict named William Benitez in Arizona State Prison in 1966.
37 years later, Narconon is still considered a new, proven approach to ending addiction through the drug rehabilitation methodology of L. Ron Hubbard. This program is totally drug-free and it consists of communication and confronting exercises, sauna detoxification to rid the body of the old drug residues and a series of courses that empower former addicts through learning life skills. The practical workability of the Narconon program’s social education model continually achieves extremely high success rates for helping individuals to overcome their addiction and become happy, ethical and productive members of society while remaining stably drug-free.

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