FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. I don't have a family member that is incarcerated how does this affect me?
First of all, it affects all of us as tax-payers. The U.S. spends approximately 80 billion dollars a year or $35,000 per inmate/per year on our jails and prisons. If we were able to implement fair sentencing, where the sentence fits the crime, we could lower the incarceration rate and save tax-payers billions of dollars. Instead of spending that money on warehousing people, we could reallocate these funds to make our communities safer by investing in emergency services, schools, recreation centers, parks, and job training and placement. It is fiscally and socially more responsible to place our efforts and funds into our communities.
2. How will A Day Closer help to make a difference?
A Day Closer's mission is to keep families intact. By preserving the family connection with face to face visits, this will nourish a tight family bond that will develop a resilient, healthy support system that will help in reducing recidivism once a loved one is released. This in turn lowers the incarceration rate.
3. How many people are incarcerated in the U.S,?
Approximately 2.3 million in 2017 (most recent data). The United States has only 5% of the world's population, but we have 25% of the world's prison population.
4. Why is our prison population so high?
There are several reasons (in no particular order):
During the 1980s and 1990s rising crime called for touch-on-crime legislation, increased funding for enforcement, and caused a dramatic rise in the incarceration rate.
The lock up of innumerable low-level drug offenders through the "war on drugs" caused non-violent offenders to receive 10, 15, 25 years, even life sentences through aggressive mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
Increased prosecutorial toughness when it comes to charging people is also a contributing factor. Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of unchecked power. Federal prosecutors gloat a 96% conviction rate, but this is not due to a fair trial, evidence, or circumstance. It is due to forcing one's hand into a plea agreement.
The rates of recidivism continue to rise due to not having a support system when returning to society, broken family ties, and a feeling of irrelevance after having been dehumanized in our prison system, along with lack of inmate programming in our prison system to prepare for re-entry into society.
5. How many children in the United States have a parent incarcerated?
Approximately 2.7 million children (1 in 28 or 3.6% of all children) have a parent incarcerated. Less than 50% of incarcerated parents have received a visit from their children. This is usually due to the financial burden of traveling to where the parent is incarcerated.