That means 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2% of America's population is under some form of correctional control.
Even more interesting to note is that the prison population in America has quadrupled from the year 1980 to 2013. (500,000 to 2.3 million people)
Does this mean that our society has actually become four times as dangerous since 1980 because we now have four times as many prisoners? Or does this simply mean that our criminal justice system has become more strict and broken?
So what do we need to actually change about our criminal justice system ?
A little over a decade ago, Portugal took the brave step in decriminalizing possession of all substances - from marijuana to heroin - and started treating their citizens with addictions medically as opposed to throwing their citizens in jail. Surprisingly enough, this brave legislation provided a society with a lot less drug addicts. They currently have the lowest rate of drug abusers in the entire European union.
Why Does Hardly Anyone Die from Drug Overdose in Portugal?
The resources that were previously devoted to prosecuting and imprisoning drug addicts are now available to provide treatment programs to addicts."
America could learn a lot from Portugal's legislation with this more humane approach to people struggling with drug addictions.
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