The American jurisprudence system absolutely loves incarcerating its own citizens, and does so to such a large extent, that there is no other western nation, that has even a close approximation to the amount of incarcerated people, formerly incarcerated people, and convicted felons of all sorts that America has. It would be one thing if all that jurisprudence applied so stringently somehow thereby made America a safer and more secure nation, having taught those criminals that crime does not pay in America, but that simply is not the case.
In point of fact, crime as dealt with by the jurisprudence system of America is basically divided into a classification, by social class, and further by whether such a crime is a white collar crime or a blue collar crime. That is to say that first of all, poor and disadvantaged people, that are ill educated, poorly housed, and often are brought up in dysfunctional homes are seen by the prosecutorial authorities and the policing apparatus as being very easy targets to arrest, convict, and put away; which is essentially what is done with scores upon scores of them. On the other hand, those with clever but devious minds, having a strong susceptibility to greed or a deep desire for undeserved shortcuts in life, are, as long as they are not violent people, in which they fraudulently manipulate, or forge, or deceive, or embezzle, are often accorded the benefit of good counsel, good negotiation, favorable terms, and light sentences, with monetary damages often being assessed in lieu of a harsh and unforgiving incarceration.
What this basically means is that if you are poor and are busted for burglarizing a house, that person will probably have to plea to a deal that will involve incarceration of possibly a few years or more, depending upon their record, as well as their ability to competently negotiate a plea deal from a very weak position with the prosecuting agency. Whereas, white collar criminals that embezzle thousands or even millions of dollars, are often able to procure themselves a strong advocate for their defense, that allows them to avoid any incarceration whatsoever, subject only to a monetary fine, community service, and the loss of employment in that industry as being part of the deal, so constructed.
Clearly, crimes in America are divided into categories in which people that have trouble controlling their emotions and temper, or have sticky fingers with bad judgment, or are involved in what essentially are victimless crimes, or wish to transact business with illicit substances such as drugs, are punished rather severely. On the other hand, the people that are the kingpins within illicit businesses, corrupt officials of all sorts, and those that exploit others in underhanded ways, are dealt with as if what they have done is wrong, but not wrong enough to actually involve much incarceration at all.
The jurisprudence system as currently constructed has it wrong. Rather, when it comes to crime, the higher the position of the criminal in society, or the greater in power that the criminal is, or the more impact and negative influence those crimes have on society at large, should be the very basis of how much punishment is indeed meted out. So that, the little fish needs to be thrown back into sea, and the big fish needs to be caught, cleaned, and professionally filleted. Those that have power and position who have abused and misused their authority, should and must truly pay for their crimes, for in their abuse of their power and position, they must face their reckoning, for the bigger they are, the harder they must fall.