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Reducing Crime

February 25, 1990

Right on, Vincent Schiraldi! ("Life Behind Bars Is No Way to Build Character," California Commentary, Feb. 12). Prisons do not reduce crime--they do increase budget deficits and open the revolving door leading to careers of crime.

We need to provide meaningful alternatives for judges to use when sentencing nonviolent offenders. Sanctions should include restoration of victims and the community as well as intervention with the offender to prevent future criminal acts (job training, drug treatment, counseling, etc.). These measures lead to genuine justice at an affordable price. The Foundation for People has implemented alternative sentences with remarkable success. More than 85% of the "graduates" of our CARES program have remained crime-free. Restoration with accountability leads to criminal justice that works for everyone.

ELIZABETH NEPSTAD

Executive Director

Foundation for People

Los Angeles

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