THE COSTLY U.S. PRISON SYSTEM:

Too Costly in Dollars, National Prestige and Lives

THE COSTLY U.S. PRISON SYSTEM: TOO COSTLY IN TERMS OF DOLLARS, NATIONAL PRESTIGE AND LIVES provides a careful, close-up look of what’s wrong with the prison system and how to fix it from a conservative perspective .

The key topics covered include:

  • a recent history of incarceration in the U.S.
  • facts about our prisons and correctional system
  • the high rate of recidivism after prisoners are released
  • how other countries deal with prisons and recidivism
  • how one U.S. state and city have dealt with prisons and recidivism
  • ways to reduce recidivism and incarceration and cut costs

Available in two versions:

with full color photos and graphs

 

with black and white photos and graphs

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

Why Do We Have So Many Prisoners?

CHAPTER 1 – HOW DID WE GET HERE? 

Recent History of Incarceration in the U.S.

Causes for the Rise in Incarceration

An Analysis of Violent Crime and Incarceration Statistics Since 1960

What Mechanisms Were Used to Increase  Incarceration?

Misrepresenting the Extent of the Violent Crime Problem

Summing Up

CHAPTER 2 – FACTS ABOUT OUR PRISONS AND CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM   

The Cost of Prisons

The Prison System

Solitary Confinement

Federal Prisons

Private Prisons

The Prison-Industrial Complex

Prison Overcrowding and Riots

Local Jails

Youth Detention

Other Detentions

The Parole and Probation Systems

Parole

Probation

Different Types of Prisoners

Summing Up

CHAPTER 3 – HOW OTHER COUNTRIES DEAL WITH PRISONS AND RECIDIVISM 

Examples of Prisons in Other Countries

Europe

The Americas

Africa and Asia

Summing Up

CHAPTER 4 – HOW OREGON AND NEW YORK CITY HAVE DEALT WITH PRISONS AND RECIDIVISM

Oregon

New York City: Does It Offer Tips to Reduce Incarceration Without Increasing Crime?

Major Factor #1 in Reducing Violent Crime in NYC: Reducing Recidivism

Major Factor #2 in Reducing Violent Crime in NYC: Increased Incarceration

How Did Incarcerating Convicts in Jail Affect Crime Rates?

Major Factor #3 in Reducing Violent Crime in NYC: Increased Police Staffing

Other Contributing Factors in Reducing Violent Crime in NYC

Minor Factors in Reducing Violent Crime in NYC

Lessons to Be Drawn from NYC    109

More Incarceration Does Not Always Result in Less Crime

Conclusions

CHAPTER 5 – REDUCING RECIDIVISM   

The Effects of Incarceration and Recidivism on Families

Some Reasons for High Recidivism

Reducing Recidivism Reduces Incarceration

Some Ways to Reduce Recidivism

Education Programs for Prisoners

Current Programs Aimed at Reducing Recidivism

Legislation Dealing with Recidivism

Changes in Policy to Provide More Rehabilitation

Some Problems in Reducing Recidivism Rates

What Else Can Be Done to Reduce Recidivism?

A Jail Program for Drug Addicts

Summing Up

CHAPTER 6 – MORE WAYS TO REDUCE INCARCERATION

Should the Feds Take the Lead or States and Counties?

The Role Conservatives Can Play in Fixing the System

The Effectiveness of the Conservative Approach in the South

Incentives for Increasing or Decreasing Incarcerations

Incentives for Increasing Incarceration

How the Census Promotes Longer Sentences

Incentives for Decreasing Incarceration

Measures to be Considered

Why Longer Sentences Aren’t a Deterrent

Juveniles Should Not Be Imprisoned Together with Seasoned Adult Criminals

Reducing the Number and Length of Incarcerations

Another Initial Fix to Reduce Incarceration

Dealing with Violent Criminals

Longer Term Approaches to Reduce Incarcerations

Status of Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

Measures to Reduce Admissions

Actions to Take at the Initial Point of Contact with the System

Measures to Increase Releases

Prison/jail/court practices and policies

Legislative changes

Conclusions

Initially:

Requiring More Time to Implement:

Requiring Still More Time to Implement:

APPENDIX I 

A Short Primer on Correlation Analysis

APPENDIX II

Other Authors’ Conclusions Regarding the Causes of the Decline in Crime

APPENDIX III  

Comparisons Between Correlations of Incarcerations vs. Changes in Incarcerations

APPENDIX IV

Minor Influences on the Simultaneous Reductions of New York City

Violent Crime and Incarceration

Misdemeanor Arrests for Marijuana

The Influence of the Broken Windows and Stop and Frisk Approaches

Broken Windows

Stop-and-Frisk Policing

Lead Toxicity

Summing Up

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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12 Suggestions for Fixing the U.S. Prison System Now

 
 

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Author Paul Brakke

Author Paul Brakke is a scientist based in Central Arkansas.  He became interested in studying the criminal justice system when his life was turned upside down after his wife was falsely accused of aggravated assault

Contact US

American Leadership Books
Little Rock, Arkansas
(501) 707-8352

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