Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Louisiana: "The World's Prison Capital": The Alternative to Private Prisons
I wrote a blog last night about Private Prisons, so back to back blogs about the Private Prison Industry. But its a very important issue that deserves to be addressed multiple times, because of how big a problem its costing. And it just doesn't effect Prison Inmates doing time in these places, as well as the Tax Payers that have to fund it. But it also effects our broader Crime and Punishment problem, where we now have 2M people in Prison in America. One of the reasons why some States are looking at Private Prisons in order to cut Prison Costs. But it also goes to our War on Drugs, which is one of our reasons why we have 2M people in Prison. With the 500K or so Prison Inmates who are in Prison, for drug related offenses, for simple things like. Simple Drug Possession, even if they haven't used any of the drugs they were convicted of possessing. And you can end up in Prison for years, for simple Drug Possession, even if you don't use or sell the narcotics.
Of course we need to cut our Prison Costs in America, thats as obvious as we have to have food to eat. And water to drink in order to live, thats not the question, the question is how do we do that. Without adding even more people to our Prison Rolls, who are in Prison that don't need to be. Who are Non Violent Offenders, whose offenses have little if anything to do with economy. Meaning they aren't major threats to the economy, people in Prison for Drug Obsession to use as an example. We and those inmates would be better off in a combination of Drug Rehab or a Halfway House at their expense. Then locking them up in Prisons for several years and then we can save our limited Prison Cells for offenders. Who do represent a serious threat to society and need to be locked up for the sake of society.
What we need to be doing instead with our Corrections Systems, is to make our Prisons Self Financed. Meaning they would no longer need Tax Revenue to fund its operations, other then maybe paying the Prison Staffs. And we do this by first getting our Prison Inmates into school, so we prepare them to work. While in Prison but also so they have some valuable skills once they leave Prison. They would now not only have an education but valuable work experience that they obtained while in prison. And make them much better candidates for parole, because they will now have the skills that they need to succeed on the outside. Without breaking the law and once they get those skills, put them to work, return Prison Industries. Have our Prison Inmates produce the things that are needed to run a Prison, as well as doing the work thats need to run a Prison. Outside of what they Prison Staffs do but also sell products that can be used by other Government Agencies as well.
You return Prison Industries, you pay the inmates for the work that they do, that they would make on the outside. For what they produce and then have them pay for their Living Expenses from the money they make legally while in Prison. As well as being able to send money home to their families and pay whatever money they over their victims. And put money away into a Savings Account, that they could use for once they leave Prison. Or if they are serving life without parole, put money away to cover their Living Expenses. In their Senior Years.