Do you think that intermediate sanctions are acceptable to the general public in our current political climate?

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Americans across the political spectrum recognize that the penal system in the United States desperately needs reform. In 2018, a law to reform at least some aspects of the system—essentially creating funding for job training opportunities for inmates—passed Congress and was signed by the President.

Liberals tend to stress racial disparities within the system, where prison populations have ballooned in the decades following the so-called "War on Drugs." They also point to the role of for-profit prisons in the system. Conservatives see the penal system as an example of bloated government and decry the expansion of bureaucracy. But this bill did not specifically call for intermediate sanctions—though it did, in general, promote flexibility in sentencing and the possibility of early release programs. Intermediate sanctions have been implemented at the state level, not the federal (though federal judges have significantly more discretion and flexibility in sentencing). They include...

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