We already have one of the highest incarceration rates in all the world (and far more than other first world nations).
Ok, so what's the plan? It's not like we're not trying to put murderers behind bars. Not all of them have violent criminal records and some no criminal past at all.
Why do we really need to be throwing more folks in prison? As someone mentioned several posts back our prisons are not meant to rehabilitate. If anything they're networking/training ground for criminals. I've heard arguments that if anything we need to look at who we're sending into prison, where, and for how long and then send less folks there. We could possibly cut costs with no increase in crime and prevent this networking/training/indoctrination by keeping some folks out (some argue we could lower crime with this approach). Unfortunately far too many Americans have a knee jerk reaction of 'hurr durr soft on crime' when anything like that gets mentioned.
An amusing theory, but that's the kind of amusing theory from academics that led to the big bounce in violent crime rates in the 1960s.
In the United States from 1962 to 1979, the likelihood that a crime would lead to an arrest dropped from 0.32 to 0.18, the likelihood that an arrest would lead to imprisonment dropped from 0.32 to 0.14, and the likelihood that a crime would lead to imprisonment fell from 0.10 to 0.02, a factor of five.
By the time a thug has first been sentenced as an adult he has already been exposed to a wide range of violent behavior. Its idiotic to think J. Random Offender won't encounter the 44th Street Ballers if he is sentenced to probation. He lives in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools, etc.
A couple points.
Over in the Trump thread there's been talk of prosecutor misconduct. A lot of folks here on TN believe it. Is that something that just happens at the Fed level when directed at Trump and his associates? The argument I've seen for quite a while now is that similar misconduct (though it's viewed as being 'tough on crime') happens every day at the lowest levels. In order to more likely nab a conviction the prosecutor throws a litany of charges against someone. These are often pleaded down to something lesser (so few cases actually go to trial for various reasons which is another thread of its own). Some of these charges that stick are violent crimes. Depending on the jurisdiction some of these violent crimes really aren't. As an example the inicident with Mesa PD from earlier in this thread... in some places resisting arrest is considered a violent crime and that individual could have been charged with it. Instead he was lucky and the incident was caught on camera and all charges were dropped.
This leads to the next point. Either from an overcrowded or mismanaged system you can have folks who are nonviolent thrown in with violent criminals (we're dealing with a developing story of that going on right here in AZ). Throw on top of that the folks from the paragraph above who are labeled violent but really aren't. You have a recipe where we've simply created a networking/recruitment situation for folks who now have fewer options when they get out for getting by. Sure, there are some who are all around this even without prison. Given the sheer amount we throw into prison compared to other countries we also have plenty who weren't.
I've also seen the argument labeled as more than simply going to jail or getting parole. There's what goes on before and after these folks go to prison. There are arguments we can spend less money now and end up with fewer in prison while maybe actually rehabilitating or preventing some of these folks from going down the wrong path. From a fiscal Conservative perspective (I know, I know... that principle is dead in this country), if that's a possibility, why would we not look into it?
The underlying point that I've mentioned before about this is for our incarceration rate to make sense then America has to be some sort of Mad Max place in the world. It's not. By so many markers this is one of the best times to be alive.
On this subject, it is instructive to talk to cops and COs. And for that matter, psychologists who have worked in state mental hospitals.
We're in a thread titled "When Defending Cops Becomes Impossible" and many of us have opted in that we agree there's an issue with outlook ('us vs them') in the ranks of police across the country. In such a scenario asking them some of these questions may not be the best idea.