Smart on Crime
Oregon Prosecutors Vie For Reduced Drug Sentences | ThinkProgress
Increasingly, conservatives who have historically followed a “tough on crime” mantra are embracing a “smart on crime” approach that reallocates resources to move away from over-criminalization and towards more efficient, effective criminal laws. Earlier this month, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed two laws that embrace alternatives to incarceration to nonviolent drug and property offenders, and eliminate jail time for juveniles who merely misbehave. And ten bipartisan members of Congress have formed a committee devoted to over-criminalization.
A few years ago, it was not clear whether or not America’s preoccupation with long prison sentences for even minor crimes would even be possible of change. But now, there is a definite away from such policies as “three strikes,” etc. It is one of the most historically important changes in the history of criminal justice in the United States.
Over the past forty years, we went from a nation that relied much more heavily on rehabilitation to a nation with the highest incarceration in the world. That high incarceration emasculated state budgets causing cuts in all kinds of traditional services and made it impossible for states to deal with long term problems like deteriorating infrastructure.
I am delighted that these policies are changing. The freed up human potential and the enormous sums of money available because of these changes will make American a better place to live.