Being an ex-felon of a non-violent crime myself; I spent over 2 years in very overcrowded prison while sex offenders and car jackers were being paroled. My charges were for a lot of bad checks I had written to run away from a very abusive ex-husband. No matter why I did what I did; it was still a crime and I deserved to pay for it. However, I had never been convicted of a felony before yet some of the people I was incarcarated with were on their fifth or sixth stint; yet they were getting paroled and I ended up doing most all of my sentence.
When I was in prison I actually saw several people come, go and come in again; all the while I was begging for my very first parole date. Before I was finally paroled, there were 2 female child molestors paroled, 4 car jackers, 17 armed robbers and 15 drug dealers released. Trust me, I counted every single one as I waited patiently for my shot a a second chance. What kind of justice system allows this to happen? Now who would you rather have in jail? A violent sex offender or a person who wrote $600 worth of bad checks that they could be working to pay back the debt had they not been put in prison? Yes, non-violent crimes are crimes too and that person should definitely recieve punishment but prison? Really? The prison system is so overcrowded all across the country and non-violent offenders are the last to be released.
Not too long ago I read where the jails were so overcrowded in one of the western states that a judge actually let a RAPIST free on a leg monitor and he did it AGAIN while on that monitor! Now, I may not be the brightest person in the world but it seems to me that prisons should be releasing the non-violent offenders and making dang sure that the violent ones don’t get out before their sentences are up.
Personally, I believe that prison sentences have gotten way out of hand. “Society” demands swift justice but they don’t always stop and consider the validity of the crime. Judges who are up for re-election think the only answer is putting everyone that comes across their bench in prison no matter how overcrowded the system is. It makes no sense to put a non violent criminal in prison when they continue to set the violent ones free on a regular basis; especially if it is their first offense. Now, if they continue to commit same crimes over and over, non-violent or not then yes, they should do jail time but a first offender of a non violent crime shoud not.