This legacy from the Reagan era is costing us an enormous amount of money, plus it must be creating poverty and other problems for many families. It seems obvious to me that this is another area where conservative philosophy has failed badly. Their approach has helped lower crime rates somewhat, but at what cost? There must be a better way.... I have it! Let's invest in people before they become criminals. That way we won't have to pay to keep them in prison, and we won't have as many victims. Study: 1 in 31 U.S. adults in prison system - Crime & courts- msnbc.com "NEW YORK - The number of offenders on parole and probation across the United States has surged past 5 million, complicating the challenges for fiscally ailing states as they try to curb corrections costs without jeopardizing public safety, according to a new report. "The Pew Center on the States report, released Monday, says the number of people on probation or parole nearly doubled to more than 5 million between 1982 and 2007. Including jail and prison inmates, the total population of the U.S. corrections system now exceeds 7.3 million â€” one of every 31 U.S. adults, it said." The report also noted huge discrepancies among the states in regard to the total corrections population â€” one of every 13 adults in Georgia and one of every 18 in Idaho at one end of the scale, one of every 88 in New Hampshire at the other extreme. The racial gap also was stark â€” one of every 11 black adults is under correctional supervision, one of every 27 Hispanic adults, one of every 45 white adults.