The federal prison population is up nearly 800 percent since 1980, while the cost of doing all that incarceration is up nearly $3 billion in the last ten years, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service, which recommends some policy solutions, including:
"For example, Congress could consider options such as (1) modifying mandatory minimum penalties, (2) expanding the use of Residential Reentry Centers, (3) placing more offenders on probation, (4) reinstating parole for federal inmates, (5) expanding the amount of good time credit an inmate can earn, and (6) repealing federal criminal statutes for some offenses."
Source: Reason. Read full article. (link)