Over crowded Prisons

Take a look at this article –

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-me-prisons7-2008dec07,0,498019.story

As you can see the article states that in California alone the federal prison system is 75,000+ over capacity. This has led to the lawsuits that the article concerns. More importantly, the article looks at possible solutions to this problem that is seen in every state.

“Some experts think the state could dramatically reduce overcrowding without a public safety risk if it stopped a revolving door of tens of thousands of offenders who are repeatedly sent from their communities to prison for a few months at a time on parole violations and low-level crimes.

‘We catch people and we release them,’ Jeanne Woodford, a former corrections chief under Schwarzenegger and an ex-warden at San Quentin State Prison, told the judges. ‘We don’t do anything for them while they’re incarcerated, and we’re really just disrupting their lives over and over again, and it really doesn’t add to public safety.’

Woodford and others testifying for the inmates suggest keeping low-level offenders in less expensive alternatives such as county jail or rehabilitation programs.”

So, is it a good idea to let minor violators loose with very short sentences? What sorts of programs do you think would help stop this “catch and release” epidemic? Should drug crimes be considered for early release? Why or why not?