Update on “The Price is Wrong: The Long-Term Economic Disadvantages of U.S. Public Policy on Crime”

Currently, I am doing the finishing touches of my research. I have collected data regarding the direct and indirect costs of our current prison system. This includes the cost of overpopulation of our jails and prisons (direct cost) and the cost of the school-to-prison pipeline (indirect cost). I have looked into possible solutions, including the decriminalization of drug usage. Portugal recently made great improvement in drug-related crimes, simply by changing their public policy to view drug abuse as an illness, not a crime. As I am not carrying out my own data collection, it has been quite difficult to not simply summarize what someone else has said. There is already so much information about how inefficient our system is, so that is why I wanted to highlight the problems and then explore the solutions. I am thankful for my professor and this opportunity for allowing me to focus and elaborate on an idea. I would love to do more research in the future. This experience has solidified my interest in economic development and how I can use it to help others.

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