I just wanted to make a quick thread about the United States policy of being "tough on crime" The pew research center recently did a study, a very in-depth one, on the current condition of the United States penal system (HAHA...'penal'). Its findings were very interesting if not a bit aggravating. Below are the sources I used: United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2010 Study: Prisons failing to deter repeat criminals in 41 states - USATODAY.com (see "Recidivism Report") http://www.vera.org/download?file=3542/Price%20of%20Prisons_updated%20version_072512.pdf The Cost: 40 states participating in the Vera study - keep in mind that leaves 10 states' costs out of the equation - these 40 states reported an annual cost of $39 billion ($39,000,000,000). A single inmate incarcerated for a year costs us taxpayers $28,000. Efficiency: So, for all that cheese how efficient is our system? Not very. All that dough and 4 out of every 10 inmates ends up returning to prison. Well that's just for the recidivism rate, how about for our crime rate? Its up by 2 million per year since 1970, up by some 8 million annually since the 1960s. And for the incarceration rate? Just look at the chart below. I guess what I'm saying is why is America being tough on crime when it costs the taxpayers billions and has been dismally ineffective for nearly 5 decades? And that maybe we, the people that is, should make this a bit more of an issue as opposed to sweeping it under the carpet?