Detention alternatives proposed in mayor’s budget also include programs for mentally ill offenders.
One of the reasons why we have 2M people in prison in America and we have overcrowding in our Corrections System. Both in our prisons and jails, at the Federal, State and Local Levels. Is because we lock up a lot of people who aren’t a threat or much of a threat to anyone, other then maybe themselves. Like Drug Addicts, gamblers, Shop Lifters, prostitutes, Mentally Handicapped people etc. Where it would be better for these offenders and society as a whole. As well as a lot more Cost Effective, if we found other means of Public Supervision for them. Like in Halfway Houses, Drug Rehab, Mental Hospitals, House Arrest etc. And we could save our limited prison and jail spaces for the people who should be there. Like actual dangerous criminals, like batterers, Child Molesters, Gang Bangers, rapists, murderers, terrorists etc. The people who need tough supervision for themselves, for their victims and society as a whole. That they could only get in a jail or prison setting.
Alternative Sentencing would be a more effective way of Public Supervision for multiple reasons. We would save money on our jails and prisons. Because we wouldn’t be sending as many offenders there. And our jails and prisons would then only have to worry about supervising the people who deserve to be there. Instead of worrying about supervising them, as well as Non Violent offenders who are easy targets in jail or prison. Who can’t protect themselves and now Corrections Officers have to worry about supervising the violent offenders. As well as protecting the Non Violent offenders from the violent offenders. Also Alternative Sentencing unlike Traditional Sentencing would pay for itself. Because in Halfway Houses, the offenders have to work and pay for their Room and Board. Drug Addicts could be forced to pay for their Drug Rehab. People on Home Arrest could be forced to pay for their Room and Board as well.
I like what Richmond, VA is considering to deal with its overcrowded Corrections System. Sending Drug Addicts to Drug Rehab, moving Mentally Ill offenders to Mental Hospitals. I believe they should also look at Halfway Houses as well Home Arrest for their Non Violent offenders as well. As long as they have the resources to pay for this. Without raising taxes that could hurt a fragile recovery. Or making cuts in key Public Services. I believe this is an excellent and creative idea.