While private prisons profit from harsher sentencing, evidence suggests that rehabilitation programs are much more effective. The incarceration rate in Oklahoma is one of the highest in the nation. Many individuals, especially women, are serving a jail sentence for drug charges. This is expensive as well as ineffective. While each inmate costs the state approximately $17,000 a year, the state accrues additional indirect costs from this high incarceration rate. Not only does the state pay to care for foster children while their parents serve time in prison, evidence suggests that children whose parents are incarcerated are more likely to end up in prison themselves. We must find a more effective way to prevent drug offenses and preserve public safety.
- provide rehabilitation services.
- provide vocational training within the prison system so that when inmates are released they are more likely to succeed rather than returning to prison.