Budget article Analysis

Essay by lovetofishhUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

There are more people in jail today than there were 50 years ago. “One in every 100 adults in America is in jail or prison (Riordan, 2008, p. 01)”. This fact has a huge impact on many state budgets thus negating a good return for the safety of the public. Jessica Riordans article More Than One in 100 Adults Are Behind Bars is a good description of this nationwide problem. This paper will introduce and explain what makes prison populations grow and the costs associated with such a rise. Lastly, this paper will interpret Jessica Riordans conclusions and recommendations while explaining my own.

The Problem – High corrections spending, low public safety.

The state of California has been struggling financially because of the growing prison population and those associated rising costs. The state is spending more than was in previous years with no drop in recidivism rates. There are some high level offenders being incarcerated but the majority of the prison populations are on a lower level that have violated the terms of their parole or probation.

California has been thinking of a way to revamp their lower level offender programs that will still be tough on crime, but easier on the budget.

There is a big need for locking up the repeat and violent offenders. Just because there is a rise in incarcerations, does reflect an increase in crime. The reason behind this is a series of laws that are sending more law breakers to prison. Other popular avenues such as the famous three strikes laws, are implementing longer incarnation periods for inmates. Because of this prison costs have risen exponentially. For example, “inflation adjusted general fund spending on corrections rose 127 percent while higher education expenditures rose just 21 percent (Riordan, 2008, p. 01)”. This higher cost for...