What if all prisoners in the US were released

What would happen if the entire US prison population were to be released, what would be the immediate repercussions? What about long term effects? I have tried a search on this here in the forums and elsewhere but have not found a answer to this particular hypothetical situation.

The United States has 2,019,234 prisoners as of 2011. If there were to all be released at the same time would we have a “noticeable” rise in crime rate or would the newly released criminals just be buffered by the population of the US which is 312,772,855 as of 2011. I believe that there are many people in prison that aren’t violent offenders and would not pose a problem but what about the violent offenders that get released? Do they all go on rampages or do they try to blend and integrate into a community forging a new honest life for themselves. Do they attempt to flee the country just in case someone changed their mind?

For the sake of the discussion lets not talk about why this happened to the prison system, or if they will be going back to jail. To keep the thread pure, just answer how you would think things would turn out and what you would do in this situation, but don’t talk about how this came to be. You just woke up and turned on the news, and you see that all the US prisons were released overnight, and there is nothing you or anybody can do about it. In fact the prisons were all destroyed or leased for some other purpose so there is nowhere to send them back to. What happens now? What are you going to do?

I’m going to assume you’re including jails and other types of detention facilities, and not just prisons.

It’s really hard to ignore the aspects of why this happened, why the rest of society isn’t freaking the hell out over it, etc., but I’ll try. Most prisoners wouldn’t have a huge impact on society. Yeah, they might go committing petty crimes and just otherwise being a nuisance, but they’ll do that between periods of incarceration anyway.

Some who would have otherwise become lifelong criminals would instead becoming contributing members of society.

You’d suddenly have an influx of people trying to be involved in the drug trade, which could have some interesting consequences, such as low-level drug dealing becoming less profitable than it is currently.

Of course there would be some former prisoners who would immediately go out and start committing sensational violent crimes. They’d be the minority, but I think it would be the most obvious impact.

There’s another big issue here. Can prisoners be put back into the prison when they commit new crimes? Or are laws not applicable anymore for the time being? Because I can see a lot of us law-abiding citizens going out to commit crimes if there’s no stopping us, but if laws were still applicable and we could get jailed, most of us wouldn’t take that as an opportunity to do crimes

And even if they could, wouldn’t prison become sort of joke where you expected to eventually get releases wholesale - kind of like large banks failing, they take risk because they “know” they are going to get bailed out.

I’ll suggest another option: Vigilantism would skyrocket.

There are a shitload of criminals who are only alive because their victims and victims families can’t get at them.

This, also large scale panic because people would be afraid of more crime, with a possibile increase in accidental shootings [go out get a gun, someone shows up unexpectedly and gets shot, shit happens.] and also the crime would spread out in ripples around the prison sites - the criminals who are going to continue working will be spreadng out headed back to their comfort zones, stealing and what not along the way. Sort of like an evil christmas carol.

“A large increase in crime” mainly drug offenses.

A lot of the prisoners aren’t really dangerous. A few are.

The scary thing is the reaction of elements of the public who were not in prison, such as those who’d had them locked up in the first place.

Happy New Year to you – in JAIL!

Where do we get the idea that non-violent offenders aren’t a problem? I promise you, the guy who broke into my car the other day certainly caused me problems even if it wasn’t a violent offense.

Realistically, you’d see vigilantism come back with a vengeance. Part of the reason why don’t string up criminals these days is because we have an expectation that the state will punish them. If the state won’t do it then we’ll do it ourselves. ’

Yeah except for the fact that my camera system has caught this neighborhood punk 20 something year old wanna be gang banger break into my friends car 3 times over one summer just to steal his IPOD. Friend called cops with footage and went and knocked on his door and his parents gave him up and gave up the IPOD. Police said they were going to arrest him but never did. It has been a year since this happened and the IPOD is once again missing. So the state does not always follow thru on charges. BTW it was one of those expensive ipod touch model with a high GB storage so it was not cheap, i would assume it should have been grand theft (500 or over) with burglary on a unoccupied vehicle. Good for at least one night in jail but NO.

Even if you assume some prisoners are non-violent, how “non-violent” do you think they are going to be after being locked up for awhile. Ex-cons are always commenting on the only thing they ever learned in jail was how t be a better criminal.

Crime rate would definitely go up. Every time a non-violent drug dealer gets locked up, another takes his place. Now you’d have two or more people jockeying to get that position back. Do you think they’re gonna flip a coin to decide?

As other noted an increase of drug dealers means more addicted people. These people have to get their money somewhere, where? From you.

Our company does hire ex-cons and I can only think of two that lasted a year or more. Both are still with us and are excellent employees. The others and there were a lot, simply got fired, basically for lack of people skills, or got rearrested and that was that.

You have to remember prisoners don’t have to think much. They are told 24/7, what to do, when to do it, how to do it. They don’t even have to think about a simple little thing like cooking lunch.

My daughters had a time adjusting to home, to college dorm to real world apartment. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for any prisoner to be thrown out in the world and have to cope.

The odds of success are definitely stacked way high and all against them.

Is it your contention that there are great numbers of people who would both get addicted to drugs and turn to crime to support their habits–if not for a shortage of suppliers?