- a booming economy in the 1990s;
- to the end of turf wars over lucrative new drugs, such as crack cocaine;
- and to the greying of the baby boom generation, whose members were far less likely to commit crimes as they aged.
Imprisoning more people for longer periods will not make societies safer, but will cause more harm than good. Overcrowded prison conditions caused by mandatory minimum sentences have an adverse effect on inmates and lead to increased levels of violence within the prison which transfers to the outside when they are released. Longer sentences have been proven to increase the chances of inmates re-offending, which is not in society's best interests and which does not make society safer, but more dangerous. Inmates become institutionalized where they are dependent upon others, have no life skills or decision making skills and no skills to cope with stress or life challenges. Overcrowding also means less programming and resources and less funding for those programs to be distributed among those inmates who need them most. This leads to inmates being released from prison with no rehabilitation, unemployed, no housing, no support, financial difficulties, substance abuse issues and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety from prison.