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“Over-Criminalization:” When “Tough On Crime” Costs Too Much

“There must be a cheaper, more efficient way to handle a probationer caught with a forbidden beer in his refrigerator — other than to send him back to behind the razor wire to finish out his term.”

Georgia Republicans prepare to change direction on crime



Have you ever heard the term “Prison Industrial Complex?” Being tough on crime is almost always a politically effective strategy for politicians…often playing on fears that are actually baseless. Did you know and do you feel as if crime is decreasing?  Well, it is, but you wouldn’t know that from media coverage of crime nor from the speeches of numerous politicians.  Don’t believe me?  Checkout this site:


FBI Crime Stats


“In 2010, all four of the violent crime offense categories—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—declined nationwide compared with data from 2009. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.”

So, crime is going down, but incarceration is not and it costs money to put folks in jail – I’m sure you knew that, but do you know how expensive? This AJC article from 2010 reports that:


Georgia operates the fifth-largest prison system in the nation, at a cost of $1 billion a year. The job of overseeing 60,000 inmates and 150,000 felons on probation consumes 1 of every 17 state dollars.
Statistics also show that we spend twice as much per inmate in this state as we do per student (K-12)…does that seem crazy to you? So, do you think reform of ou penal system in Georgia is warranted?  How do we work to reverse the amounts of money spent on prisoners vs. students. Do you think that non-violent drug offenses should be decriminalized? s
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This entry was posted on November 27, 2011 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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