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Word Count: 900
Dear House of Representatives It has recently been brought to my attention that many citizens of the United States have been greatly concerned about the criminal justice system These citizens are concerned that funding for federal prisons is taking away from the funding of schools and education for their children I am going to make a proposal that will hopefully give you a few ideas on cutting prison funding to make way for the funding of schools A major concern these citizens have is the overcrowding of prisons The overcrowding of prisons is requiring that new prisons be built The cost of building prisons is expensive and the citizens feel that upper education for their children is more important than the comfort of prisoners To solve this problem I propose we set a law to delay payment of debts on new prison construction I suggest we cut nonviolent prisoner population in half over the next five years This delay on new prison construction must be implemented immediately until states can determine which prisoners might be better served by a nonprison sanction If the current prison build-up continues officials will never have the opportunity to utilize their resources more effectively Instead they will continue to fill these new prisons with nonviolent offenders Corrections officials have stated that 50 of their entire prison populations could be released into programs such as intensive supervision and drug treatment Reducing nonviolent prisoner populations by 50 is a more conservative step toward evaluating the effectiveness of such a proposal1 The millions of dollars saved by the diversion of appropriate inmates could be used partially to establish a range of intermediate community options of such offenders and to offset taxpayer costs for other needed state services such as higher education2 Another thing that can be done to help this funding is reallocate the prison construction funding from the 1994 Crime Act as seed funding for community corrections The majority of offenders imprisoned
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