>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    


Ending Mass Incarceration in the United States
By John D. Rees, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Corrections (Retired)
Published: 05/28/2018

Inmates a Can we end mass incarceration in the United States without being smart on crime and interject some good old common sense? I don’t think so.

Many states are trying to reduce the number of people in prison some are having success. Surprisingly, it is one area that has bipartisan support including the United States Congress. Other jurisdictions are not having the success; or not obtaining the benefits of what they thought was the right approach. All of this in the face of a huge and deadly drug addiction epidemic. As one who has spent fifty years working in the field of corrections, I have seen many changes in crime and punishment some for the better some for the worse. What probably was the worst being the politicization of crime and punishment. Whether it was Nixon’s War on Drugs 1971, Mothers against Drunk Drivers 1980, or Clinton’s Violent Crime bill in 1994; all ideas that had good intentions when they started and contributed to a heightened level rhetoric about crime and safety. Elected leaders responded with longer sentences, mandatory minimums, abolished parole and the list goes on. The result unprecedented growth in prison populations. The growth is not just the result of the burgeoning drug crisis it is the result of mandatory sentences that are a death sentence for many offenders. The number of offender’s male and female over 55 is growing resulting in a situation where not only is the state department of corrections is the largest mental health provider in a jurisdiction but also a major Nursing home provider; neither of which they are prepared to accomplish in a cost effective and humane manner.

Recently, I noticed two articles in the Lexington Herald Leader. The first was a story about a young high school student 18, who had been described by his teachers as a good student and considered the class clown. He had just been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for saying “he was going to shoot up the school”. The prosecutor’s response was in this environment that we are in he had to send a message to deter future school shootings. The second article was about an Amish man in his forties who had been convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for not putting the correct wording on the labels of his natural skin lotion. The six-circuit court of appeals denied his appeal.

Really, an 18-year-old immature class clown and a forty-year old member of a religious sect taking up expensive prison cells that should be for people we are afraid of, not angry with. Yes, what the young man did was wrong and dangerous, no doubt about that. It required action by the police and possibly the prosecutor; but surely, we as society can use our collective common sense to take a deep breathe and come up with another sanction that would send a message that this type of behavior would not be tolerated without ruining a young man’s future.

Yes, we need the FDA and as an agency it protects our society by having regulations that require various wording on product labels. But lacking the required verbiage on a label for a natural salve simply doesn’t equate with six years in federal, prison; sorry it just doesn’t.

If we are going to address mass incarceration, and I strongly believe we must; then we must let our legislators, criminal justice professionals know that we want our criminal justice system and future legislative changes accomplished in a bipartisan manner with a great deal of common sense and compassion. We need to help those that need help and lock up those who pose a threat to all of us.

John D. Rees, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Corrections (Retired)


Comments:

  1. weddingmagazine111 on 05/01/2020:

    If you have got any kind of business, then having a website for the same is a vital part of it. It is because all the customers will first try WEB DESIGN

  2. weddingmagazine111 on 05/01/2020:

    This is a state of affairs: An individual needs to start out off a enterprise Advertising

  3. weddingmagazine111 on 05/01/2020:

    Are you expecting that your extraordinary someone is going to get down his knees very soon? Hmm, so it is the time to start thinking Love

  4. weddingmagazine111 on 05/01/2020:

    Planning a wedding isn’t easy. Some couples even prepare for the big day a year before it happens. The problem... Friendship

  5. weddingmagazine111 on 05/01/2020:

    Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! But are they actually? In this efficient era of life, is it wise to Marriage

  6. Women Health on 04/25/2020:

    Enjoy a nice vacation getaway in Linthicum without blowing your budget. Linthicum, known as Linthicum Heights in the past hotel accomodation Many of the articles talk about how difficult menopause can be, and we rarely hear about some of the positive Women Health The school year is coming to a close. For the upperclassmen that means prom is about here. There are many steps to cover to have a fun, WEDDING How usually do you consider your ex girlfriend? When you nonetheless love her, that is a loaded query. The reply is inevitably going Breakups and Separation

  7. home401 on 04/20/2020:

    When you are building your custom home, there are so many different features and options to consider that it can simply get overwhelming. Whether you are thinking about expanding your kitchen, creating a his and hers master closet Home Improvement

  8. business ideas on 04/08/2020:

    The benefits of new technologies are always welcomed with open arms, and VoIP is no exception. This internet-based method of conducting phone calls has a wide range of benefits in terms of quality and reliability whilst also offering business ideas

  9. amnaseo on 02/24/2020:

    If so, then there is no need to worry anymore because in this article we will explain how to opt for a dissertation service that will guarantee your degree.techedesign.com

  10. leahmelda on 12/06/2019:

    Write My Research Paper Services is there for those clients searching for Who Will Write My Research Paper and Custom Research Writing Services.

  11. tiffremont on 11/18/2019:

    Talking about the body of an exemplification essay, one should remember to include arguments, facts, and statistical data regarding the discussed issue. You should tread some examples of exemplification because it will help you to write your essay rapidly and with quality.

  12. sarah009 on 09/16/2019:

    I have many documentaries and read different article on mass prison, and it is true that the need of FDA and as an agency it protects our society by having regulations has become very much necessary. dissertation writing services

  13. Rodney on 09/07/2019:

    Good post who invented the cell phone really like it

  14. lifetime on 09/27/2018:

    Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog. Quercetin

  15. lifetime on 09/27/2018:

    I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all,.. Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

  16. lifetime on 09/27/2018:

    After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. Boost Your Metabolism

  17. lifetime on 09/26/2018:

    I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. Glutathione

  18. lifetime on 09/26/2018:

    Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. Schizophrenia

  19. lifetime on 09/26/2018:

    I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. Weight Gain Foods

  20. lifetime on 09/26/2018:

    Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!! Cold

  21. lifetime on 09/26/2018:

    Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. High Blood Pressure

  22. shawnkemp on 09/18/2018:

    O yah I was looking for this post for my son. He is working on tenses these days for improving his writing skills. leather jackets for women Your precise and guided content always helps me in teaching my son. Thank you.

  23. Sue on 08/31/2018:

    This article by John D. Rees is written by someone who has some COMMON SENSE! I didn't think that happened these days...

  24. screepl on 08/31/2018:

    omg i just wrote the very similar work on THE SAME topic. this is the first time when i came across people who think like me check it https://uk.edubirdie.com/law-essay-writing if you are interested in my thoughts. i will be glad to talk to you

  25. natalia on 08/30/2018:

    This is the direct result of the value relative, "Do what you feel" mentality. Radical Liberalism, (not Liberal minded people who merely wish the world was a better place) has a fervent disdain for stability, discipline, tradition, morals and any kind of codified value system .. Assignment land uk


Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   

Password:       


Forgot password?





correctsource logo




Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2020 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015