- In 1972, 300,000 people were incarcerated compared to the 2.3 million today.
- The U.S. is the only country that allows life in prison without parole for children as young as 13 years old.
- 1 out of 9 people are exonerated from death row.
- It is 11 times more likely to get death penalty is victim is white, than if he/she is black.
- It is 22 times more likely to get the death penalty if defendant if black, than if he/she is white.
My favorite point that Bryan Stevenson made was about the death penalty in the U.S. vs. Germany. He said that it would be unthinkable to have an organized form of killing criminals in Germany because of the country's history, yet the U.S. continues to execute, more so against African Americans, despite the country's history with segregation.
I am actually doing my final paper on alternatives to incarceration because I think it very important. All of these facts listed above, to me, say that something needs to be done other than prison. Prison is not helpful to anyone if he or she is not learning to become a functioning part of society. Of coarse someone will go back to crime if that is all they know. There are many alternatives to incarceration including, probation, community service, drug treatment, house arrest, etc. I do believe these alternatives at least aim to better a person's life, although they may not do so for everyone. I agree with the focus to lower the incarceration rates.
My mother is a probation/parole officer. Does probation help everyone? No, but most of the time because that person isn't willing to change their path. Parole, on the other hand, may have a higher rate of failure because with parole, a person has already served prison time. On the topic of drug abuse, I believe drug treatment is much more