Good Homes, not More Prisons is the Answer.
Most people who populate our prisons come from substandard homes. Homes, that instead of being havens where one replenishes one's strength to be able to live as a productive member of the community, are a source of existential anxieties, mostly because "homes" are becoming less and less obtainable due to their ever-rising cost, which causes an ongoing decline in quality of what a "home" should be: "an environment offering affection and security" (an apt definition according to WordNet Search - 2.1.).
A very simple remedy of this situation would be to recognize that human physical bodies have basic requirements that must be met for humans to be able to function properly. If those basic requirements are not met, then the stress thus caused generates various physical and mental dysfunctions that impair the capability of humans to function well and to be effective in meaningfully contributing to the welfare of their communities.
To be able to take care of one's basic needs is a natural, unalienable human right, because without honoring this right the whole society suffers. As it is now, this right is not being honored, to the extend that even just to sleep and rest is not legal, unless one is able to purchase this right.
The benefits of honoring and defending this right would be far more greater than could ever be assessed on monetary basis. Without having this right our social miseries will keep on escalating to the point of destroying the whole of humanity.
That this right is not being recognized and honored is due to the fact that the right to pursue happiness at the expense of others (read: the right to pursue profit at others' expense) is placed above more, for the benefit of the whole system, important considerations.
A physical place, where the very basic requirements necessary for one properly being able to function in one's community could be very simple, with no frills--not much more than a safe and a sanitary campground--for a start.
It is still not too late for us to become fully humane. All we have to do, is to give ourselves a big break. Honoring the very basic natural human rights will be, even in the short run, immeasurably cheaper than the cheapest prisons possible.