A business internet site is recommending a series of ways to reduce prison overcrowding in the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling
BusinessInsider.com said its suggestions listed below would not jeopardize public safety.
- Relax Truth-in-Sentencing laws. The law requires offenders to serve 85 percent of their prison sentence. States that resist implementing the 85 percent standard became ineligible to receive federal block grants that were authorized by the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
- Replace mandatory minimum sentencing laws with more flexible and individualized guidelines.
- Make full employment a domestic policy goal. Nearly 70 percent of ex-offenders were unemployed at the time of their arrest and 60 percent were living at or below 50 percent of the poverty line at the time of there arrest.
- Eliminate private prison companies, which rely on an increasing prison population for its continued survival.
- Expand prison education programs and provide offenders with incentives to participate in them Doing so could reduce recidivism by 5 to 20 percent.
- Expand milestone credits to provide that all prisoners are eligible to earn up to six weeks of early-release credits each year.
- Provide incentives for employers to hire ex-convicts.
- Eliminate “zero tolerance” policies that lead to expulsions that disproportionately affect youth of color, who then have a higher likelihood of going to prison.
- Support communitypolicing efforts, which could dramatically reduce the crime rate.