The United States has embarked on an unprecedented incarceration binge. Since the last decade our nation's prison population has more than doubled. Billions of dollars are being allocated to construct tens of thousands of new cells in a futile effort to catch up with the increasing prison populations. But despite this historic prison construction program, state prison systems will continue to be overcrowded. If we are serious about solving the crowding problem we must come to grips with its true causes and the most direct solution to the problem. We need to re-examine how much time is enough for which offenders within the resources available to our state agencies. And we must ask ourselves if we truly want a society that imprisons an increasing proportion of its black, Hispanic, and disadvantaged citizens with no improvement to public safety. It's about time we chart a different course.