January 21, 2002
Slowdown in a growth industry, and that's a good thing

From today's Chron, a story about how hard times are forcing states to spend less and even cut back on prison building. All I can say is it's about time. Building more prisons has got to be the least efficient way of dealing with crime. I'm not arguing that some people shouldn't be locked up for good or at least for many years, but I am arguing that our ever escalating git-tuff policies have mostly filled the jails with folks who aren't hardened recidivists. Much of this is due to ridiculous mandatory sentences for drug possession and use.

I've long wondered why no one has ever run for state office on a platform of more fiscal responsibility in criminal justice. Surely someone could make the case that handing out 30-year sentences to pot smokers translates to higher taxes for prison construction as well as early releases for violent offenders. Maybe now someone will finally try.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 21, 2002 to National news | TrackBack