Yes there is a disproportionate number of minorities in jail. Yes there should be alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. The problem I think you are seeing is that the criminal justice system is reactive, not proactive. They do not become involved until after the crime has been committed. What I think is really needed is a discussion on how to prevent these people from commuting these crimes in the first place.
Amanda - happily married wife to N
and mother to B