Narrator: This is Science Today. A new study on crime policy says legislators should focus more on locking up violent criminals, as opposed to non-violent felons. University of California, Berkeley law professor Edward Rubin led the study.
Rubin: There are alternative ways of punishing non-violent offenders that are more cost-effective, equally effective in terms of punishment and do not create a risk of public safety because essentially, youíre dealing with a relatively non-violent population.
Narrator: Rubin agrees that non-violent offenders such as burglars or drug users should be punished, but says prison alternatives and treatment programs may be more effective and are not as costly.
Rubin: For example, prison typically costs 22 thousand dollars a year. Boot camp programs, which have lower security, but just as effective in terms of stopping people from committing crimes, cost about half that. House arrest with electronic monitoring costs a quarter to a third of prison.
Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.