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COST EFFECTIVENESS OF IMPRISONMENT VERSUS REHABILITATION

Incarceration in the United States has, in the last 20 years, come under scrutiny for being too costly to taxpayers. Comprehensive and reliable studies have shown rehabilitation to be a less costly and more practical approach to coping with offenders. In a series of reports entitled “Locked Up: Corrections Policy in New Hampshire,” and “Options for Reducing the Prison Population and the Cost of Incarceration,” by Richard A. Minard, Jr., Co-Executive Director of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy, written back in February of 2004, there are some startling statistics revealed about the costs associated with incarceration. There are also some shocking revelations about why corrections reform is so difficult to accomplish. The consensus remains that there are too many players in the game and, regardless of the costs to taxpayers; it is far too profitable in other sectors to make any changes.