In many States, it can cost over $50,000 a year to house, feed and rehabilitate criminals. Victim-less crimes, such as drug possession, need to be enforced as ticketed misdemeanors. These people would be fined, not incarcerated, for violating these laws. This would have immediate economic benefits- nationally saving Billions of Dollars annually! Resources would be freed to focus on crimes that leave suffering victims in their wake. These crimes include everything from identity theft to heinous assaults and beyond. Also for along time in America we have thought of prisons of punishment. I'll admit yes imprisonment is not a nice thing and it shouldn't be. But we should create and fund rehabilitation and education programs for those prisoners who need it. This will cause many prisoners to learn there wrong ways and how to fix themselves.
If a person commits two or more crimes that cause victims to suffer, they should be tried by a jury of their "peers" -criminals who have committed similar crimes. This system would use prisoners as jury members because criminals can identify others like themselves. Law-abiding citizens would only be needed to serve as jury members when first-time offenders are charged. During the sentencing phase, the victims and their families should help decide the punishment for these criminals.