Tuesday, January 10, 2012
"1 in 4 Americans Have Criminal Record": Why Bad Laws are Harmful
I don't know for a fact that 25% of the people in the United States have a Criminal Record. But I do know that according to the US Justice Department, we have roughly 2M people in Prison in America. Which is too may if you consider the fact that we are a Liberal Democracy and we have what Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman called "Bad laws". Laws like in the failed War on Drugs now forty years old, that try to protect people from themselves. We have laws that make gambling illegal, people can actually get arrested and go to Prison. If they are convicted of gambling, even gambling their own money. Which is starting to change in my State of Maryland at least to some extent. As we now have some casinos and have Legalized Gambling at least to some extent. Hopefully Same Sex Marriage will be next and perhaps one day even marijuana. One can only hope, I mean we are called the Free State, so we should be trying to live up to that. We are also called a Liberal State, I'm doing my part to see that we are a Liberal State. Hopefully we'll do a better job of living up to that as well. We simply arrest too many people for things that aren't harmful to anyone. Except for maybe the person thats doing them and then we wonder why we have so many people in Prison in America.
Well you want some ideas in how we can reduce our Prison Population, well I;m going to give them to you anyway. Legalize Marijuana and transfer all of our Prison Inmates who are in Prison for marijuana use, selling or making. Who have solid Prison Records and haven't committed other felony's while in Prison. To Halfway Houses where they can get help transitioning back into society. Transfer our other Prison Inmates who are in Prison for other narcotics use. Who also have solid Prison Records and haven't committed felony's while in Prison. To Drug Rehab where they can get help with their addiction, if they aren't addicted, transfer them to Halfway Houses instead. Where they can get help transitioning back into society. Stop sending Narcotics Addicts to Prison and send them to Drug Rehab instead, put their Narcotics Usage on their Medical Records. Not Criminal Records and give them an opportunity to get past their addiction and move on with their lives. We could drop our Prison Population by the hundreds of thousands with a program like this, perhaps 500K from 2M. Legalize Gambling and Prostitution at least at the Federal Level. Get those people again with solid Prison Records and no new felony's out of Prison and into Halfway Houses. And regulate and tax those enterprises instead.
We have so many people in Prison in America, because we have too many laws, get rid of the "Bad Laws". And we can bring those numbers down instead. And also do things like rehabilitating our Prison Inmates that need to be in Prison. Get them in school, get them a real job in Prison, producing things. Pay them for it and have them pay for their Living Expenses and not only could we bring down our Prison Population. But we could make our Corrections System more affordable as well.