America’s epidemic of mass incarceration is a moral outrage and a tremendous waste not only of taxpayer money but also of social potential and human capital. Now, however, as the results begin to file in from the first states that have wisely sought to reduce their prison populations, it has become clear that ending mass incarceration has an additional benefit: reducing crime. A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s School of Law examined changes in incarceration and crime rates in four states – New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, and California – that have been at the forefront of the movement to end mass incarceration, and found a universal correlation between a reduced prison population and lower crime rates.
In prison, those things withheld from and denied to the prisoner become precisely what he wants most of all. Eldridge Cleaver
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