No one wants to be sent to jail but laws and punishment for violation of laws are part of every society. Unfortunately, USA is the leader in percent of population imprisoned. Based on current projections, by 2011 the U.S. prison population will increase by 13 percent, which is triple the growth of the entire population as a whole, to more than 1.7 million. Supporting that increase in incarcerated people will cost American taxpayers and local/state budgets an estimated $27.5 billion. This results in an enormous burden on society. Our research attempts to evaluate what effects this prison overcrowding has on Idaho's economy through cost analysis and comparison along with a look at true effectiveness of punishment methods based on recidivism rates. We focus on the non-violent drug offender population and offer an alternative to imprisonment.
Dr. Samia Islam