REDEEM Act: You Pay $260 Every Year to Put a Kid in Prison

REDEEM Act: You Pay $260 Every Year to Put a Kid in Prison

It costs the American public $80 billion dollars every year to keep people in prison. That’s $260 you pay annually to keep murderers, rapists and similar criminals off the streets. Sounds like money well-spent, right? But does that still apply to the large number of kids, especially minority kids, being funneled into the criminal system because they made a stupid mistake? This is where Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul are stepping in with their REDEEM Act.

When it comes to the REDEEM Act, we’re talking about non-violent crimes here. Most of them are from low-level drug use or using their mom’s kitchen to make “special brownies”. This isn’t the hardcore stuff. Think about it. How long do you want to pay for something dumb you did as a teenager or 20-something?

“For someone who has committed a violent offense, we as a society can agree it’s worth putting this person in prison.”

But when it comes to “putting a person in prison to reduce the chance they will commit a low-level crime, such as dealing a small amount of drugs, the benefits aren’t as obvious,” said Ben Harris, co-author of “Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States. (Yahoo! Finance)

These ex-felons have served their full sentence, but that doesn’t mean they’re all paid up. If you’re having trouble finding a job, imagine what it’s like for one of these former felons. They can’t get a job (or business license) because of what? Selling brownies as a kid 30 years ago? Is keeping someone from a job really worth your taxpaying money?

Have you been affected by the unfair “tough on crime” policies from the last few decades? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook! Meanwhile, hear from Booker and Paul firsthand about why criminal justice reform is needed and how their REDEEM act will accomplish that.

LISTEN: Cory Booker on the REDEEM Act

WATCH: Rand Paul on the REDEEM Act and Criminal Justice
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