Our present system of dealing with crime obviously is not working. We cannot continue as we have been. The costs are crippling and the bureaucracy is overwhelming, often prolonging court cases for years. It is time we find ways to reduce crime, reduce the prison population, and reduce the bureaucratic system that enables criminal activity.
Some changes that should be considered:
Close to 30% of our federal prison population consists of illegal immigrants. We cannot continue to incarcerate criminals from other countries at the taxpayer’s expense. We must stop the tide of criminal importation. This alone would cut our prison costs by almost a third. We must enforce our immigration laws. We must find ways to encourage local law enforcement agencies to aid in stopping the flood of illegal immigrants entering our nation.

(Note: figures above are based on a cost per prisoner average.   Actual cost could vary, individually, depending on the circumstances such as health of individual behavior of prisoner etc.  Also there is a set cost that would exist even if our prisons were empty.)  

Non-violent crimes need different methods of punishment than costly imprisonment. We need to look towards mandatory restitution and compensation to the victims and stiffer fines to deter crime and help compensate for costs incurred.
A proper punishment for the crime should deter repetition of the act. This is not happening. We need to seek out better methods of deterrent.