“Three-strikes” laws, which impose mandatory prison terms for drug crimes and felonies, are unfair, ineffective, and extremely costly, argues John Cloud in the following viewpoint. Imprisoning young first-time offenders only ensures that their role models are hardened, older criminals, he asserts. Furthermore, criminologists maintain that better policing and a declining population of young men are responsible for the falling crime rate, not mandatory sentences. Cloud is a staff writer for Time magazine.
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