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Published On: Sat, Feb 14th, 2015

New study: Mass incarceration not helping reduce crime, Congress stalled on reform

As lawmakers continue to push criminal justice reform, a new study claims the of role mass incarceration in the drastic drop in crime in the U.S. over the last two decades has not been the cause.

“Incarceration is not effective at crime control – so we need to be doing something else,” says Inimai Chettiar,​ director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program​, which released its report “What Caused the Crime Decline?”​ on Thursday.

“All of these policies were enacted because people believed that they were going to bring down crime,” she says, referring to policies that have contributed to the U.S.’s ballooning prison population, such as mandatory minimums in sentencing and certain drug laws. “But they didn’t actually bring down crime.”

Mass incarceration is not helping the crime in America, says a new study  photo donkeyhotey

Mass incarceration is not helping the crime in America, says a new study photo donkeyhotey

According to the report, while ​incarceration played a small role – approximately 5 percent (though maybe somewhere between 0-10 percent) ​ – in the drop of crime between 1990-1999, it had nearly no effect (0-1 percent) on crime between 2000-2013. Since 1991, violence crime has been cut by more than half, and property crime shrunk by 43 percent, while imprisonment increased by 61 percent.

 As of February 5, the federal prison population remains slightly above 210,315, while the total prison and jail population hovers around 2.3 million — the largest of any country in the world. On average, taxpayers pay$31,286 per inmate, a trend that’s criticized by both Republicans and Democrats.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), co-authored the REDEEM Act to give low-level offenders a better chance of successfully reentering society after completing a prison sentence. The act would seal non-violent criminal records, limit solitary confinement for juveniles, and increase the age of juveniles who enter the adult prison and court system. On Tuesday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), introduced the Corrections Act, to reduce recidivism. Under the proposed legislation, low-level offenders would have the chance to reduce their sentences by participating in recidivism reduction programs.
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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Homeowners Increase Security as Violent Crime Rates Rise | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] of the U.S. Congress are working on reform bills to curb incarceration and reduce crime, but individuals must advocate for their own safety. If security product sales and […]

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