Skip to comments.As Prisons Squeeze Budgets, GOP Rethinks Crime Focus
Posted on 06/21/2013 12:08:20 PM PDT by lbryce
GAINESVILLE, Ga.Weeks after his election as Georgia governor in 2010, Nathan Deal was pulled aside by a conservative state lawmaker with urgent business to discuss.
Rep. Jay Neal, a small-town pastor, said he had the seeds of a plan to cut Georgia's swelling prison population, which was costing taxpayers over $1 billion a year. The governor-elect didn't let Mr. Neal get far. Associated Press Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has led the drive to reduce prison populations in his state.
"The minute I mentioned what I wanted to do, he jumped in with what he wanted to do," Mr. Neal recalled. "And it turns out we were talking about the same thing."
That pairing of a pastor with a former prosecutor, both Republicans, helped pave the way for dramatic revamping of Georgia's criminal code. New rules enacted over the past two legislative sessions are steering nonviolent offenders away from prison, emphasizing rehabilitation over jail time, and lessening the penalties for many drug and property crimes.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
First and foremost, it's about money. Budgets are being busted and there's simply not enough money to maintain the standard of prison culture any more. Secondly, the Republicans are getting hot under the collar seeing their support of a harsh penal system one that runs counter to their interest where people voting to take a more lenient approach to dealing with crime.
The worst rationale of course is that with the down turn in crime now is a good time to cut back. First of all, if you read the article the big, whole dam fall in the crime rate in some states who were expecting increases is a measly 1%.
1%? Is that hardly enough to give you the sense of security that with the lessening of penalties and going easy on criminals, crime will not do a 180 within a few months? Most definitely will.
But then there's a whole other perspective besides money these politicians aren't addressing and that is the issue of morality. Shouldn't sentences be meted out harshly simply based on the immorality that a crime was committed?
What about the morals we need, morals we need to be strong, to mete out the punishment deserved, simply and only because of the morality involved? Shouldn't morality alone be enough to validate harsh sentences, longer prisoner terms?
The downturn has been particularly welcome in states that had projected a continued surge in prison numbers. Ohio, which was bracing for an inmate population of over 57,000 by the end of the decade, has seen its number fall by nearly 1% a year since 2009.
So, who is going to sell their soul for ONE PERCENT??!! The people who are going to be victimized will never be the same. Do you want that on your conscience?
Well, I've got the solution for any politician who advocates just such an approach. If morality in meting out punishment, jail time, lessening of penalties, is not an issue for you, and you're desperate for money, the one perfect solution that will encompass all your problems and the solutions to solve them in one neat little package is right there in front of your eyes. The government itself went with this system after seeing how their original plan failed miserably.
They prohibited alcohol via the Constitution, demand not dropping off at all, supply was there for as much as was needed and the only people happy and making out big time were the bootleggers. That's how Seagram's of Canada got to amass a fortune, by smuggling alcohol through Canada.
By the same token, legalizing drugs only certain drugs, would make a huge dent in crime, in the number of criminals all while amassing a fortune on the taxes the government will collect.
Of course, I am not at all ever advocating legalizing drugs under any circumstances but I simply used it to demonstrate the hypocrisy of those Republicans who while lacking money don't see the terrible consequences of those individuals who won't be made to make it up to society to the fullest extent.
How many prisoners are in prison for things that wouldn’t have gotten prison time a generation, or two, ago? Did we really lock up people for MJ possession or minor property crimes back then?
I recall reading that, for minor crimes, justice was often administered immediately through corporal punishment.
So, how much is it going to cost the taxpayers per year to leave the criminals out on the streets?
What we have here... is a failure to communicate...
Chain gangs for all non-violent offenders.
Don’t forget felony DWI cases that get prison time. Back in the day cops used to take the keys and drive the drunki home, or if it was bad, make him sleep it off overnight in a cell. These days, the quest for dollars has turned DWI into big business... and helped fill the jails.
One-way bus tickets to California?
Non-violent crimes of theft, fraud, embezzlement, etc. may seem minor to some, but to the victim who worked and sacrificed for that money it means that a hunk of their lives has been taken from them. Dreams may have to be abandoned, retirement funds may have disappeared, and so forth. I'm for making the perpetrator of that sort of crime work until he or she has paid the last stolen penny back to the victim, and I don't care how long it takes.
Then, the criminal can start rehabilitation.
Chain gangs for all non-violent offenders.
Are there no rocks to crack, ditches to be dug or toilets to be cleaned?
Yep, the Clayton Williams approach, Introduce them to the “Joys of Bustin’ rocks.”
I would say let them police dog poop in the blue towns that pass pickup ordinances, but I like seeing dims pick up sh_t.
Simple solution, Death Rows should have no more than 5 convicts....One moves in, one moves out.
If I can’t get a cop to come to my house that is being broken into because a cop is babysitting some idiot, I’m gonna be ticked.
That’s a question you won’t see one bleeding heart answer.
An easy and inexpensive alternative is the Joe Arpaio tent city solution. By international law, “military field conditions” are *not* cruel and unusual, not do they violate human rights.
Here’s how it would work. Such field prisons are placed where the inmates can do productive work, like planting forests, improving eroded land, or even on Indian Reservations, making basic hard labor infrastructure improvements that can then be finished by tribal companies at great cost savings.
The type of inmates put there are in good physical condition, have extended sentences, have exhibited good behavior, and have no pressing need to be in a brick prison to meet trial dates, get medical care, etc. So it is *not* punishment.
However, it radically reduces brick prison overcrowding, and related problems. Prisoners no longer get early release, and sentences can be as long as needed to protect the public.
Other of Joe Arpaio’s ideas also work, such as feeding prisoners with inexpensive foods that meet nutritional guidelines, and is purchased in bulk from surplus.
If they were going to jail for a violation of the Ten Commandments, it might be fair to consider their crime a moral failing. Instead they are going to jail for a violation of a law passed by politicians and signed into law by a politician and enforced by union members. They are judged and prosecuted by lawyers. Morality rarely enters into such considerations.
“One-way bus tickets to California?”
Huh? California has THE LARGEST prison population in the country. And we have a larger percentage of our population incarcerated than any other state as well!
Thirty-five percent of our prison population are illegals, mostly from Mexico, thanks to the government and probably your Senators and Congressmen who have supported the policies that let them come here! BTW how’s life in your double wide, and do you really like taking a crap outdoors?
Care to support that if they start executing political prisoners or those who violate the rules of political correctness?
The prison problem has nothing to do with too many murderers.