Friday, September 30, 2011
When I think of what government should be doing and I'l admit my list is not very long. I'm a liberal and big believer in Individual Freedom and Maximize Freedom. But to Protect and to Serve, as well as Defend and regulate how people interact with each other. So of course I believe government should be running our Corrections System. Our Corrections System should not have incentive to have as many inmates as possible. Or leave inmates in prison as long as possible, thats what leads to overcrowded prisons. As well as sending Non Violent Offenders to prison who aren't a threat to anyone. And I'm thinking of Drug Addicts and other offenders who we and them would be better off with a short term Jail Sentence. Or doing their time in Halfway Houses doing Community Service and help finding work. The biggest issue with Privatization of Corrections, is the fact that their main job is to make money. And the longer their inmates serve and the more inmates they have, the more money they make. Not at the expense of their inmates who live there but at Tax Payer expense. Being paid for by people who are struggling to pay their current taxes. And what you also have as a result, is these Corrections Company's lobbying State Governments and the Federal Government. For more laws so they can have more inmates and longer sentences so they can keep their inmates longer. When thats the opposite of what we should be doing in a country with 2M inmates the largest Inmate Population in the World. Where we have overcrowded prisons across the country and budget crisis's all across the country. Quite frankly we need less laws, we need to eliminate what Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman called "Bad Laws". And we also need less Prison Inmates.
Are our Corrections Systems underfunded and undermanned and overcrowded, of course they are no one will deny that. Are our Corrections Staff underpaid, of course they are. Do they need more money, more personal and less inmates. Of course they do but also need to find a better way to fund our Corrections Systems. Thats more Cost Effective and that makes our Corrections System more efficient and easier to managed. And that gets to stop sending Non Violent Offenders who don't represent a major threat to society and the economy. To prison and that gets to Alternative Sentencing, especially for Drug Offenders users that it. And perhaps giving those current offenders probation and letting them out of prison. To be sent to Halfway Houses to get help turning their lives around and doing Community Service. As well as having Independent Dedicated Revenue for our Corrections System, so they are Self Financed. And no longer competing with other Public Services for Tax Revenue. And this means restoring Prison Industry's back to our Corrections Systems. And putting our inmates to work and selling the products that they make. As well as using those products to run the prison and using this revenue to finance our prisons. As well as paying our inmates for the Work that they do and then making them pay for their time in prison. Room and Board etc.
Privatizing Prisons might sound good in the short term, a way to cut Government Budgets and deficits without hurting society. But it creates other problems in the long term. Because you incentivize Corrections Corporations to make money at the expense of the inmates. Who should only be there to do their time and prepare themselves for life on the outside.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Private Prisons with Thom Hartmann