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Do "Alternatives to Incarceration" Work?

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In a word, no.

We should have learned this decades ago, in the Sixties and Seventies, when the legal world was awash with "alternatives to incarceration" and crime skyrocketed by well over 300%, as shown here.

In the new push to reduce the prison population, fueled ostensibly (but not actually) by cost considerations, we have repeatedly been told that public safety will not by harmed, and might indeed be improved, by giving "low level" (have you ever heard of any other kind?) offenders early release.  "Technocorrections" will keep tabs on them, and they'll "re-integrate" to become productive members of society (for the first time, but no one seems to get around to mentioning that).

And how well do "technocorrections" actually work?  About as well as any honest person would have expected.  My friend Doug Berman, in his SL&P post here, spills the beans from today's LA Times story.

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Electronic monitoring has been oversold as an alternative to incarceration. Protection of the community is limited to the ability to track the whereabouts of a supervisee-it can not prevent anyone from selling drugs on their front porch or from pulling a bank job on their way back from an approved activity.

When/if a supervisee decides to remove a bracelet,there is often a significant lag time(especially on the weekend) before a PO can respond. In the interim, public safety is jeopardized.

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