If you live in America you know innocent people plead guilty or are wrongfully convicted, and guilty can go free.
If you don’t, brief run down of the justice system here.
I can threaten you with a three-ish year trial period not including time if you’re convicted, or offer a five month sentence plus time served if you plead guilty.
Rape in the 2nd, or texting with intent?
Aiding a felon, or accessory to murder?
I can threaten to charge you with a greater crime than I believe you committed in order to get you to agree to a plea bargain.
The majority of criminal cases end in plea bargains, a small percentage actually go to trial.
So maybe they DIDNT COMMIT THE CRIME but circumstances like depression, not being able to afford bail, desperate to get out, have a child growing up without them, cause them to agree to SAY THEY DID IT even if they didn’t.
Not always true, bad people are also caught and punished. But stop assuming all ‘convicted criminals’ genuinely did something criminal.
PS we DO charge our inmates for assistance they receive. They come out with debts to the system.