As someone accused of a crime, something you may worry about is ending up in prison. The prison population is growing too dense in Wisconsin, though, and that puts pressure on everyone, from those inside to those paying taxes to support them.
A March 2 report describes how other states have reduced their prison populations and even began shutting down prisons. Data has shown no downturn in public safety, either. Despite that, politicians in Wisconsin want to build a new prison with another 2,000 beds. It would cost $350 million.
How would they fill the prison? They want to see people convicted of certain crimes end up there, regardless of the individual’s circumstances. They are seeking mandatory minimum penalties, which could mean that nonviolent and first-time offenders end up in prison despite not deserving the penalty.
Incarceration isn’t a great way to reduce crime overall, according to studies. Prison doesn’t necessarily encourage recovery from drug abuse or teach people inside how to handle difficult situations. Better alternatives to prison sentences actually help, like drug and alcohol abuse programs. These programs give people the education and methods needed to handle their lives in more appropriate ways.
The unfortunate truth is that American prisons don’t just house the most violent of people. They house many people, including those addicted to alcohol or drugs, guilty of public order offenses and others. Prison doesn’t have to be the solution, but for some politicians, it appears that it’s the best solution. The data doesn’t support that ideal, but yet it’s still making headway in Wisconsin.
Prison isn’t for everyone, despite what some believe. Your attorney can help you protect yourself, so you can avoid going behind bars.
Source: Sheboygan Press, “Building more prisons will not reduce crime in Wisconsin | Casey Hoff,” Casey Hoff, March 02, 2018