Throw’em in the clink and smelt the key.

Friday, April 15th, 2011 @ 2:01 am | Clueless Conservatives, Deficit, Drugs

Hey, budget hawks, turns out all that bullshit about throwing ever more Americans behind bars, usually over the insane Drug War on America that we can never seem to find the will to truly end, costs us something dearly. But hey, we better bust up some teachers’ unions…

Not all the money spent on incarceration was wasted, but the Pew study makes it clear that we’re now beyond the point of diminishing returns. Even as the prison population has ballooned, the study states that only about a third of the drop in crime is attributable to incarceration, and notably, 19 of the states in the study that cut their prison populations also experienced a drop in crime. The recidivism rate alone doesn’t always tell the whole story, since some policies can make it look like states have developed effective policies for preventing people from reoffending when they’re really just incarcerating more people who are less likely to recidivate.

And…

…the point here is that when ex-offenders don’t recidivate, that means they’re more likely to get jobs and be parents to their children. There is a serious negative cumulative impact created by ex-offenders being unable to find licit employment and lead productive lives, one that has a drastic effect on the poor communities in which their populations tend to be concentrated. So states have a public safety and fiscal interest in getting this right, but there’s more at stake here than just money.

Of course, the Drug War, while usually acceded to by cowardly Democrats, is and always has been driven by the very people who are so vehement about Big Government Spending. Well, seems to me that letting the government break the bank throwing people in jail for preferring kicks besides booze violates every tenet of such a belief system, but this would be, again, giving them some actual credit for meaning anything they say.

-hw

2 Responses to “Throw’em in the clink and smelt the key.”

  1. AJKamper Says:

    I like the idea in theory. I even like the idea in practice. And goodness knows I’d love to see the drug war ended or seriously curtailed. But good gracious was that article poorly written.

  2. Henry Whistler Says:

    Better a poorly written article than poorly written laws;)