Parole was abolished for federal inmates in 1987 and inmates must serve at least 85% of their original sentence before being considered for good-behavior release. [ citation needed ] In addition, strict-sentencing guidelines were adopted in response to rising crime rates in the 1980s and early 1990s, especially for drug-related offenses.   US violent crime has dropped since then, but some analysts and activists believe that other factors played a much more significant part in falling crime rates. In addition, they hold that strict federal sentencing guidelines have led to overcrowding and needlessly incarcerated thousands of non-violent drug offenders who would be better served by drug treatment programs. 
To help state policymakers protect public safety while responding to budget demands, ALEC members have crafted model policies that draw on proven practices to help control crime and budgets in states. These policies redirect nonviolent offenders from prison to successful evidence-based programs, provide for victim restitution and facilitate a positive reintroduction of offenders into society. The Recidivism Reduction Act , Swift and Certain Sanctions Act , and Earned Compliance Credit Act , among other ALEC corrections and reentry model policies, ensure costly prison cells and strict penalties are reserved for violent and predatory offenders. These reforms can help states protect their communities while giving taxpayers the best public safety return on investment.