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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Friday, December 28, 2012

Washington Times: Opinion: New Gingrich and Pat Nolan: Criminal Justice Reform Saving States Billions

GINGRICH AND NOLAN: Criminal justice reform saving states billions - Washington Times

Its not often that I agree with Newt Gingrich on anything but he's dead right about the need for criminal justice reform. In the United States at the Federal and state levels, sometimes it takes something like a Great Recession and mountains. Of debt and deficit to realize that you don't have all of the money in the World and that when it comes to government. Thats funded by tax dollars and when there's a limit in funds that you have to get the best bang for your buck. For all of the tax dollars that you spend and that you can't afford to write a blank check for any part of government. Criminal justice is a perfect example of that, we simply can no longer afford to house the amount of inmates. At our costs rather then the inmates costs that we do in America, which means we not only have to look at how. We house inmates but who we house as inmates but why we  house inmates in prison and how we pay for this. With the rising costs of housing and healthcare to use as examples in our prisons.

Its not about a question if can we afford safe streets and should we house dangerous offenders in prison or not. Of course we can afford to do both and we must do both but we can't afford and shouldn't be housing people. In prison who don't belong in prison, the War on Drugs is highest driver of our prison costs in America. Because we have somewhere around 500K inmates in prison as a result of the War on Drugs who otherwise. Could be functioning as productive people on the outside but some of them have addiction issues obviously. That they don't get the help for while in prison because again there's the cost of drug rehab at tax payers expense. While in prison and also in a lot of cases drug offenders aren't required to be in and complete drug rehab while in prison. And if anything their addiction gets worse while in prison and another problem that we have is that our inmates. Live almost completely at tax payers, when they could be in school and working in prison industries and at least. Contributing to their cost of living while in prison.

Its not a question of do we need prisons in America or not, I'm not a dove and especially not an Anarchist. But we have to be smart about how we incarcerate the people we need to have in prison, as far as who we incarcerate. And for what but also how they do their time and give them the opportunity to do their time in a way that. Would be the most productive for them and their families but also for our prisons and our tax payers.