The New York Times had a piece in the editorial section on recidivism’s high cost to the taxpayers. Correction costs has risen to 52 billion dollars annually.It’s the fastest growing budget item other than medicare.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts Center on the States , 43 % of prisoners nationally return to prison within three years of release. The study looked at prisoner release data and found the highest states and the lowest states recidivism rates . The lowest recidivism rate was in Oregon.In the 1990’s , the Oregon State Legislature enacted a rating system that allows probation officers and parole officers to use a wide range of sanctions for offenders that did not present a danger to society. A person can violate probation or parole on simple things like a failed drug test or missing a appointment with a parole or probation officer .

Judges and prosecutors take a hard stance on some probation violations and send the offender to prison for a small infraction. Maybe it’s time Tennessee looks at solutions to problems in the field of corrections rather than increasing sentences and putting people in prison instead of trying to cure the root cause.The jail population in 2010 reported over 1.4 million people were in jail in America.