Many of the country’s inmates shouldn’t be imprisoned, the Brennan Center concluded. In particular, nearly 40 percent of the country’s inmates are being incarcerated “without a sufficient public safety rationale. They include low-level offenders who should never have been jailed, according to the center, and violent criminals whose sentences are too severe.
If those 576,000 prisoners were released, taxpayers would save about $20 billion a year.
The nonprofit’s suggested solution is a mix of reducing maximum sentences for violent offenders and not jailing low-level criminals at all.