This essay has a total of 551 words and 4 pages.



In today’s society criminals have learned that unless they are involved in a serious
crime, their punishment will not be sever. Almost all long-term sentences have to deal
with felons who have committed serious offenses. So were do we draw the line on giving
out short-term sentences to criminals.

Prison overcrowding has become a big issue lately, and lots of money has been spent to try
to solve this problem. There are a few right answers to this problem and a few wrong
ones. One answer sounds logical but in the end will backfire on itself. This answer to
fix prison overcrowding is described here by Rufus King.

Rufus King believes we should let first-time offenders off the hook with just a slap of
the hand. He explains that it will save money for not having to hold non-violent
offenders for their full sentence term. This is true, having to keep these first-time
offenders with their whole sentence will cost more money than letting them go early. He
states his proposal in answering this problem by saying, “My proposal to relieve the
problem is simple: systematic use of pardon and commutation powers to clear out worthy
first-offense long-termers to make room for serious felons” (Newsweek 10). He believes
that these pardons should be given out with a review of the inmates prison record. And
that if you portrayed good behavior then you should be let free.

This is not a very relevant way to think. Criminals will start to understand that they
will be able to commit their crime and not worry about going to jail. Criminals already
understand that if they break the law that they lose their rights. So making it even
easier for them to get out of trouble and then just to commit that crime again is not a
good answer. Only by telling an offender that he/she broke the law and he/she must serve
a minimum sentence to pay for his/her crime is not the answer. And if we did decide to
let criminals out early for non-violent offenses what would the proper definition be for
“non-violent” compared to violent.

As far as his explanation for there not being room for serious felons, is completely
wrong. When has a murder been told that he will be let go because there is not enough
room in the prison for him or her? There will always be room for these felons.

It seems like to answer the question to prison overcrowding a different view is needed.
Not a compassionate view towards the criminal, but rather a tougher punishment, no matter
what the crime. This is already being tried in California with the three strikes and
you’re out law. These criminals in this state know that if they commit more than three
felonies in there lifetime the will be there for the rest of their life, no excuses. The
basic reasoning for this solution is that criminals know that if they get caught breaking
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