Lizzie Buchen: Keeping low-risk inmates behind bars does not enhance public safety; in fact, doing so may endanger the public, as excessive prison terms hamper reentry, damage families, and weaken communities.
Mark Naison: You cannot beat down and repress such a large number of people without generating a response. Where it comes, and when it comes may be a mystery, but come it will. And when it does, it will shake this nation to its foundations.
If we can’t make sensible reforms to save money in our corrections’ system, then more children will lose their health care, more teachers will be laid off, and more health and safety programs will be cut. Inevitably, we will have more people stealing more pizza and headed off to the only government program left: prison.