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Balancing the Costs of Incarceration with the Goal of Rehabilitation

The United States seems to go through periods when the government cracks down on crime, arresting people and seeking imposition of jail time for even minor offenses. Then it swings to the other side, and we see those who should be incarcerated receive probation. To avoid overcrowding of jails and to keep costs reasonable, a balance must be met between incarceration and rehabilitation. The goal of the criminal justice system is to mete out punishment appropriate to the crime while educating and rehabilitating people who don’t otherwise pose a risk to society. Allowing people to learn from their mistakes and to be reintegrated as productive members of the community are examples of the justice system working as envisioned by our founding fathers.

The cost of incarceration in the United States is higher than that of any other country. Yet, we still have one of the highest crime rates. This information shows that the current state of criminal justice and the rate of incarceration are not moving in a positive direction. Taxpayers pay for the following to house our country’s inmates:

  • Facilities: Inmates need “room and board.”
  • Medical care: Prisoners are entitled to medical care, at a cost to the taxpayer.
  • Education: Many facilities offer GED programs, and some even allow inmates to enroll in post-high school programs.
  • Necessities: Bedding, meals and other basic necessities of life are provided for all inmates while incarcerated.
  • Safety and staffing: The number of employees needed to safely run a prison facility is a huge portion of the total cost.

The right attorney will be dedicated to working toward a resolution that is best for you. Nonviolent crimes are not crimes for which jail time is necessary. A lawyer can help you fight hard to stay out of jail and to give you the tools necessary to have a future free from criminal investigation and charges.

If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, call a knowledgeable Berks County criminal defense attorney for help.

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