The justice system is designed to create criminals, not stop crime. So many people are in jail or prison for petty crimes, when tyrannical white collar criminals roam free. If we truly wanted to end crime, we would focus on rehabilitation, not punishment. The justice system just subjugates and enslaves the working class.
The United States just can't seem to get it right. We incarcerate people for things that are very minor offenses, and when people steal from banks, give out fraudelant loans, cheat on their taxes, etc. we do not take any real action to punish them. It would be much cheaper to help and teach people than lock them up.
Of course there are too many americans in prison, the governement has been too strict on its population and uses all the dirty tricks in the book to imprison more and more. The correctional facilities are such big players in the voting process that all levels of law enforcement is in the same situation.
Many people have been incarcerated for things like drug possession. In addition, people get arrested for petty crimes like theft and get these excessive sentences. There are essentially two issues. The first is we lock up people who need help for things like drug addiction instead of helping them. The other is that the penalties are too stiff. Asian countries put people in prison for a year or two years for very serious crimes. We have to reconsider the rough and tough prison approach and remember that these are people who can contribute and make a difference to our society.