Imprisoning more criminals is not a good way to prevent crime Critics counter with these arguments. 1. The drop in the crime rate is more a function of small numbers of young males in the 15- to 24-year-old age group than a function of the large number of criminals in jails and prisons. 2. More imprisonment imposes opportunity costs (in other words, a tax dollar spent on imprisonment is a tax dollar not spent on education, parks, libraries, recreation centers, highways, universities, and policing) that exceed the costs of crimes prevented by imprisonment. 3. It is appropriate to remove violent offenders from society, but the injudicious use of prison to lock up so many nonviolent offenders (including those convicted of drug possession) undermines family structure by removing a large portion of the males from racial minority communities. 4.
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