A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS

The over-criminalization of drug use is a huge problem in the United States. Drug offenses account for the incarceration of almost half a million people in the U.S. alone, and nonviolent drug convictions remain a defining feature of the federal prison system.

 

Police make over 1 million drug possession arrests each year, and many of these arrests lead to prison sentences. Drug arrests give individuals permanent criminal records, hurting their employment prospects and increasing the likelihood of longer sentences for future offenses.

Ending mass drug incarceration must begin with reforming the criminal justice system. 

As part of this change, the consideration of a Complete Picture video along with all other relevant components of the defendant's case could have a major impact on lengthy prison sentences and in many cases, could even completely avert incarceration all together. This would have a domino effect on communities -- citizens who stay to support their families also pay taxes and continue being beneficial members of society.

Prison Inmates at the Pelican Bay State Prison, in Crescent City

behind-bars2.jpg

While every state has different minimum sentencing guidelines, it is still ultimately up to the judge to determine what the appropriate punishment is for the committed offense. That's why it is absolutely critical for the judge to know all of the facts. 

Sometimes, we have to spend hours with a defendant to unlock key circumstances that can shed a whole new light on their case.  A particular action, incident or crisis that may have been easily overlooked could be a pivotal factor in how the judge will make her determination.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper

We have seen many defendants go out of their way, even before they have been caught, to change their sabotaging behavior, such as going back to school to earn a degree, finding a good job, attending NA/AA meetings, getting therapy and even going so far as to make reparations to a victim.

prison  graph.jpg

Today, the cost of incarcerating prisoners has reached an all-time high. In California alone, the spending plan for the corrections facilities next year is over $12 Billion. Even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the prison population by about one-quarter, salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers have driven much of the increase.

 

The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest, and is actually $2,000 above what it would cost to attend Harvard (and that's including tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses). 

Ending mass drug incarceration must begin with reforming the criminal justice system. 

As part of this change, showing judges a Complete Picture of the defendants offences, could have a major impact on lengthy prison sentences and in many cases, could even completely avert incarceration all together. This could also effect community's in that citizens would be back to support their families, pay taxes, and continue being beneficial members of society.

Inmates at the Kern Valley State Prison

Breakdown of costs per year for incarcerating prisoners:

The The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons,109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

THE NEED FOR REFORM

Focusing on the policy changes that can end mass incarceration, and not just put a dent in it, requires the public to put these issues into perspective. While it’s true that current laws continue to punish people harshly for nothing more than drug possession and account for the incarceration of almost half a million people, there are viable actions that can change the justice system. These are positive and proven methods, such as rehab programs, medications, therapy, and sentencing mitigation videos.

It is our intention to help defendants return to their families, friends and communities with a fresh new start. Not only do we show why they are worthy of a second chance, but a Complete Picture video becomes instrumental in getting the defendant necessary counseling, therapy or rehab that can help them to secure a happy and rewarding future.

 

Treating the defendants with empathy, friendship  and genuine assistance provides a unique opportunity to decrease substance abuse and reduce associated criminal behavior. Emerging neuroscience has the potential to transform traditional sanction-oriented public safety approaches by providing new therapeutic strategies. We believe that if these steps are implemented in the criminal justice system, it would exponentially improve public health and reduce criminal behavior.

prison_cost.jpg

COMPLETE PICTURE

Headquarters:   Redwood City, CA  94061     323.683.5689