This Chicago Criminal Attorney has posted here and here on alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. The Justice Policy Institute believes that the time is ripe to expand the use of alternatives such as Electronic Home Monitoring in light of the decrease in crime rates.
Reported violent crime in the United States fell by 5.5 percent and property crime by 4.9 percent in 2009, according to an analysis released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI). The analysis, which was based on the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, released earlier today, also found that this drop in crime coincided with decreasing use of prisons from previous years. This corresponds with a national trend of states seeking ways to curtail corrections spending in light of the economic downturn. JPI applauded the news, saying it highlights that states can save money, promote alternatives to incarceration and still maintain public safety.
"Increased incarceration does not increase public safety," said Tracy Velázquez, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute. "The FBI's report shows that we can improve public safety and put fewer people in prisons, which means savings for taxpayers in addition to stronger communities. Investments in jobs, education and treatment are areas where states should focus their dollars, as all of these will help reduce crime more effectively and fairly than building more prisons."Is anyone opposed to decreasing the amount of tax dollars spent on prisons if there can be successful alternatives?