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Old 06-06-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post

The catch is while these tend to be the kinds of people we think of as "criminals," in reality these crimes represent a tiny fraction of the overall prison population. The majority of inmates are DUIs, simple battery, drug possession, and the like. These are where you can focus on crime-reducing, cost-cutting measures.
Interesting indeed. The funny thing is, that in my research, I find the opposite to be true. Granted, drug offenses top the list, but the second highest percentage is repeat offenders - probation/parole breakers.
We must be looking at different data. Here is a link and a table of what I found in a brief search. The table is especially interesting.









BREAKDOWN OF PRISON POPULATION BY OFFENSE CATEGORIES



Offense Category Inmates Percent

Drug Offenses 3,803 19. 5%

Violation of Probation or Conditional Discharge 2,409 12. 3%

Robbery 1,508 7. 7%

Assault 1,480 7. 6%

Homicide 1,344 6. 9%

Sex Offenses 1,263 6. 5%

Conspiracy/Attempt/Liability for Another 1,211 6. 2%

Burglary 1,110 5. 7%

Larceny 1,001 5. 1%

Firearms/Weapons Offenses 733 3. 8%

Driving Under the Influence Related Offenses 526 2. 7%


This list goes on and on, but I stopped where I did to include DUI.
Exactly where are those tiny factions you mentioned earlier?

No offense, but I am not sure I want you deciding who to let free and who to keep incarcerated. Based on my research, with all due respect, your tiny fraction quote was wack. Way wack. No offense.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,779 posts, read 4,684,610 times
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State prisons are typically where those worst offenders go. City and county jails, by contrast, have a higher percentage of people locked away for petty crimes. Perhaps my original claim was in error, but these jail figures need to be factored in as well before I can revise my claim, as it's the only true way to begin calculating the costs of crime.

Also keep in mind that those costs do not just include incarceration; they also include police tracking and arrest, investigations, DA fees, court fees, and the like. That all adds up. And that's not even considering the most important costs: those related to the crime itself.

Furthermore, be careful what you classify as a "violent crime." The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime statistics do not classify burglary or auto theft as "violent crimes" (I'm assuming this does not include the cases where violent crimes were also committed). Which classifications of crime does your graph include as "violent crimes"?
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021
toll_booth,
I am not arguing just to argue... we just see things differently. Your first post, in a nut shell, claimed that the cost of Georgia's prison system was too high. I gave that to you insofar as mismanagement of funds, corruption and waste. You then suggested we should not imprison criminals for lesser offenses. I then provided a link with data that suggests the second highest percentage of imprisoned criminals are there for at least a second offense (violation of probation/parole). Those are, which I am sure you realize, the folks we let out to become honest citizens. Our system gave these folks a second chance... no doubt without serving their full sentence in the first place. Your latest claim was that the largest percentage of imprisoned inmates are there for lesser crimes... a scale that I assume you have established.

Quote:
Which classifications of crime does your graph include as "violent crimes"?
Of that, I can not be sure. But I am pretty sure violent crimes on that graph are offenses other than drugs, property and public order charges.

I have softened my tone since my first response to enable a continuing discussion... but I am still set in my hard nose ways. We do not have a prison cost problem, we have a crime problem that causes an imprisonment problem. Reducing the prison cost by releasing your so called 'lesser' criminals will, in fact, well heck... you said it best...

Quote:
Also keep in mind that those costs do not just include incarceration; they also include police tracking and arrest, investigations, DA fees, court fees, and the like. That all adds up. And that's not even considering the most important costs: those related to the crime itself.
I am afraid I can only add one more thing to this discussion.
I am Bulldawgfan and I want to take care of your prisoners. Now pay up big time... until you fix the crime problem.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,779 posts, read 4,684,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldawgfan View Post
toll_booth,
I am not arguing just to argue... we just see things differently. Your first post, in a nut shell, claimed that the cost of Georgia's prison system was too high. I gave that to you insofar as mismanagement of funds, corruption and waste. You then suggested we should not imprison criminals for lesser offenses. I then provided a link with data that suggests the second highest percentage of imprisoned criminals are there for at least a second offense (violation of probation/parole). Those are, which I am sure you realize, the folks we let out to become honest citizens. Our system gave these folks a second chance... no doubt without serving their full sentence in the first place. Your latest claim was that the largest percentage of imprisoned inmates are there for lesser crimes... a scale that I assume you have established.
No had feelings--differing opinions make the world go round.

Let's assume, for a moment, that your assumption is the correct one: Violent crimes represent a clear majority of Georgia's prison and jail population. Since releasing them onto the street right away is simply not an option, it's more important to develop strategies to prevent crimes and to rehabilitate as many of them as is reasonably possible. Now, I still want to know if that graph represents prisons only or includes jails as well. That said, according to the article, the number of nonviolent offenders--mostly drug and property crimes--is about 40%. So I stand corrected.

The catch is that even if Georgia finds a way to better rehabilitate its criminals, doing so is a long-term solution. We've only got a couple years before the state is looking at a billion-dollar-plus deficit--more than the entire corrections budget. This means that as tough as this issue is, we simply cannot ignore it or wave a magic wand to make it go away.

Quote:
Of that, I can not be sure. But I am pretty sure violent crimes on that graph are offenses other than drugs, property and public order charges.

I have softened my tone since my first response to enable a continuing discussion... but I am still set in my hard nose ways. We do not have a prison cost problem, we have a crime problem that causes an imprisonment problem. Reducing the prison cost by releasing your so called 'lesser' criminals will, in fact, well heck... you said it best...
I think that's an overstatement of my points. I'm not talking about opening the floodgates and letting criminals walk. Instead, I'd like Georgia to take an honest look at minimum sentencing policies, programs that have proven to reduce recidivism, legalization of pot, etc. If it means reducing sentences for a nonviolent jail population that is only 20% or whatever of the total, then that's still an opportunity to cut costs.

Quote:
I am afraid I can only add one more thing to this discussion.
I am Bulldawgfan and I want to take care of your prisoners. Now pay up big time... until you fix the crime problem.
BD, I can only appeal to other states to look at what they have done. I'd like you to reread the article linked in the OP. See what Texas has done. See what Mississippi has done. Look at what South Carolina has done. These are agreements that both parties have realized has to be done, to maintain an effective justice system that doesn't sap the budget dry. And I see no reason why we can't do it here.

I'm actually a lot less sympathetic toward crime than my posts come across as. Frankly I could care less if a murderer, rapist, or child molester ever gets out of prison. It's not them I'm interested in; it's us that I care about.
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