Yglesias proposes:

I think the most promising solution here is to replace funding for ever-growing prisons with funding for other measures that are just as indubitably “tough” on crime. Most of all, more police officers. At this point, there are very good reasons to believe that an extra cop would have more crime control impact than additional prisoners, and preventing crime by having cops on the street deterring bad behavior and perhaps convincing criminals to find some other way of getting money is a lot more socially beneficial than preventing crime by letting criminals commit bad acts, and then locking them up for years.

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