Opinion

How to reduce our prison population

In an April 29 speech at Columbia University, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton cited often-used statistics. “It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population,” she said, “yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population.”

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul noted the same thing earlier this year, so it’s a bipartisan thing. The Washington Post found the numbers to be roughly correct.

So, what do we do? How do we reduce our prison population? Or do we not worry about it even though the politicians do?

Clinton says we have 25 percent of the world’s prison population as if that is a bad thing.

By her twisted logic, that would mean that Mexico, with its horrible prisons and overcrowding and all the cartels killing people, has less crime than the U.S.

Could it mean that we actually enforce our laws?

— Corbin Douthitt, Hurst

Contempt for God’s laws and exalting vileness among people have produced our crowded prisons.

Things will only get worse unless our society returns to its Christian heritage.

— Jean King, Fort Worth

Leaders of oppressed societies do not tolerate crime — death sentences, hands chopped off, deplorable prison conditions.

We coddle criminals, giving little incentive to stay out of prison.

Setting felons free because of overcrowding encourages repeat offenders. Prison should be punishment.

Don’t compare this nation to the rest of the world as if they are doing things better than we are.

— Eva Snapka, Arlington

When we’re faced with a situation that is totally untenable, what do we do?

We just keep on keepin’ on! Result: nothing improves.

Those involved seldom change their ways when, if sentencing allows, they’re discharged back among us.

Do we just have to become desperate enough to create an alternate way, to offer our so-called “career criminals” a different path that works, for them?

Or can the enlightened among us construct a viable way of life for those who will accept it?

— Peggy Meade-Cohen, Fort Worth

A unique solution: Obey the law.

— Walter H. Delashmit, Justin

There will be no change until we learn that the punishment fits the crime.

We have yet to learn that you cannot legislate morality.

We have eliminated God and the Ten Commandments and replaced them with government. We do not have balance or justice in our judicial system. We have politics.

— Wyman Bess, Roanoke

Create programs for inmates to channel energy by working.

A salary would pay for the cost of a prison stay, provide family funds, build self-esteem with training, pay taxes.

Early release with proven accomplishments while incarcerated with no serious offenses should be evaluated.

— Patricia Lira, Fort Worth

Parents, parents, parents. Childhood training and guidance. Teaching right from wrong, to love one another and to be helpful, not destructive.

— George J. Anthony, Fort Worth

We have to invest in intensive educational/job skills training and limit who can see the criminal records.

There are convicts who will change if they can get a job that pays a fair enough wage to support them and a family. Invest in them or they will return.

— Jerry Moody, North Richland Hills

Studies show that young men who grow up with no fathers are 15 to 20 times more likely to go to jail.

They have no one to discipline them, teach them self-control or to inspire them to be their best.

So the health of our families is reflected in the high prison population. Our families are where our citizens are formed.

— Curt Lampkin, Azle

Abandon the failed “war on drugs,” which accounts for the bulk of those incarcerated.

— Jack Muller, Mansfield

We need to decriminalize drugs and prostitution and tax people who use those products and services.

It would improve healthcare, prison overcrowding, violent crime (to name a few), and it would help balance the budget. It’s the only sensible thing to do.

Take God out of government and use 21st century logic.

— Jodie Wright-Tepfer, Bedford

We have one of the freest and safest nations in the world because of constitutional law and its mainly civilized, voluntary compliance by citizens.

But Hillary Clinton is little more than a pandering liberal who would return legally incarcerated criminals back into society to again pollute the environment of innocent citizens.

That America might statistically lead in jailed criminals only indicates the more civilizing status of those opposed.

— Richard M. Holbrook, Weatherford

All Points

All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, mnorman@star-telegram.com.

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