Prison reform brings to the forefront heart wrenching issues we will have to face to stabilize the economy.
From “Vermont’s Prison Reforms Tamp Down Incarceration Rates” by Taylor Hobbs in VTDigger.org (excerpt)
[Governor] Shumlin said the key to lowering the incarceration rate is breaking the cycle of crime among non-violent offenders.
“We are winning this war on recidivism by a very thoughtful approach of ensuring that we have the preventive programs in our communities – drug and alcohol counseling, housing, education, job training, internships – to ensure that we stop the revolving door back into prison,” Shumlin said.
Incarceration is also down in Texas and in “Are Americas Prison Towns Doomed?” by Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones, private sector attempts to take over the industry has led to charges of impropriety of officials involved.
From “Are Americas Prison Towns Doomed?” in The Atlantic Cities (excerpt):
The profit motive involved in running a “dungeon for dollars” has led to accusations that prisoners are intentionally being incarcerated longer under trumped-up charges. The best example of this is the recent “Kids for Cash” scandal, where two Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, judges were found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for sending more juvenile defendants to local, privately-run facilities, independent of their guilt, innocence, or severity of the crime.
The title speaks for itself-
From “Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America”, by Pete Brook, and published in Wired (excerpt):
“Many of these children should be out in the community getting better services and treatment where they stand a chance of rehabilitating and being corrected. From lockdown facilities we’re not going to see a change in behavior. Maybe society needs this to gain retribution against kids that they think have gone wild? But for the most part, these are vulnerable kids who come from dysfunctional families. And, for the most part, the crime is a crime of lack of expectation, a crime of a lack of opportunity,” says Ross.