It is an old saying, describing when you get a bad result not because of many things going wrong, not just one. Death by a thousand cuts is a good description of how this country ended up leading the world in how many people we lock up in jails or prisons. All over the country, every day, in thousands of different cases in courtrooms coast to coast, people are sent to jail or prison who often do not need to be there. Judges, prosecutors, and others in the system assume that locking more people up will make us safer. The problem is, it has not, we have one of the world’s highest violent crime rates, decades of leading the world in locking people up have not made us any safer. If locking more people up made us safer, we would have one of the world’s lowest violent crime rates, not one of the highest.
It is time that everyone in the system started looking at some other options. We can keep wasting billions of dollars on our jail and prison system, or we can put that money somewhere, it will do us some good.