Jails, and prisons are built to house criminals who require incarceration. As the number of criminals increases, so does the number of jails.
Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for prisons to stop being built. She concluded that the only way to stop violent crime, is to stop building jails.
“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them,” the New York Congresswoman said. This claim, was quite a leap.
Reducing the number of jails and prisons would reduce the number of prisoners, but only because they wouldn’t have a place to be imprisoned. This however would not prevent violent crime from occurring.
Cortez continued that the money that would otherwise be used to build prisons, should be spent on hospitals and counselling services. If this happened, and current prison capacities were at the maximum, new violent offenders would have nowhere to go.
Counselling, and incarceration have two separate utilities and are not alternatives to each other. Incarceration serves not only as a punishment, but also as a means to remove a dangerous individual from society so that they cannot cause harm.