"The incarceration of so many drug-only offenders makes no economic sense." Since the 1970s, a "prison build-up" began in the U.S. Since 1980, incarceration costs have grown from $ billion annually to $45 billion. Drug offenders make up the largest area of growth in prison populations. By comparing the social and real costs of certain crimes, it would seem that locking up drug offenders is very inefficient while programs that teach new work skills seem to show lower rates of recidivism.
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