High incarceration rates take toll on families

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Americans wanted to get tough on crime, and we did.

Starting in the 1980s, in reaction to rising crime rates and drug problems, sentences and the number of prison inmates began a sharp and sustained climb. There were about 1.8 million people in jail, prison or on parole in 1980. Today, that number is almost 7 million, more than three times the level in the ’80s, according to the Justice Department.

Just looking at prison population nationally, the numbers are even more dramatic – almost five times the level in 1980. We have heard about this mostly from public officials who have been concerned about the cost of housing all these people, and certainly, many states have a problem with overcrowding.

But a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation asks the country to also look at the high incarceration rate from another perspective – that of the families and children affected…

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address