Prison Overcrowding? Lack of Rehab Programs / Need For Labor

In an Austin American Statesman article today titled “A quick solution to prison overcrowding?”, and subtitled “Statistics show prisons house thousands of inmates who are good candidates for parole”,Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire is quoted on the lack of funding for inmates to complete drug and alcohol programs pre-release:

"There are long waiting lists for those programs, so people sit in prison much longer than they should," Whitmire said. "We have 900 or so who are approved for parole but who have not been paroled because the programs they have to complete as a condition for parole are not available."

Whitmire said he is convinced that the large number of parole-ready trusties is a case of prison officials not wanting to lose valuable help. Outside trusties work as porters, help in offices and do field and community service labor. Inside minimum-security prisoners serve as cooks and janitors and do laundry and other chores.

"I'm convinced the reason we're not paroling more of these people is that they're the workers," he said. "If they're a low-enough risk that they are allowed outside without close supervision, why not parole them and put them on a monitoring bracelet, and open up that bed for someone else?"

"Based on these numbers, I think we should take a look at every bed we have, and who is in it, before we build any more," Whitmire said.

Taxpayers spending more on incarceration than they could on proper rehabilitation programs is, unfortunately, nothing new.  But inmates not released because the prison industry wants to use more labor? It’s getting downright Dickensian out there…

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
http://blog.austindefense.com/admin/trackback/19468
Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
theresa blakely - January 23, 2008 11:29 PM

i havent been in trouble in 14 yrs i got deferred lived it down, my po told me when asked if ever been convicted say no but if and when im accused of falsifying applications,what can i do?help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

theresa blakely - January 23, 2008 11:30 PM

i havent been in trouble in 14 yrs i got deferred lived it down, my po told me when asked if ever been convicted say no but if and when im accused of falsifying applications,what can i do?help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

emily - April 22, 2008 6:53 PM

more than likely, you wont be accussed of falsifying applications, HOWEVER, if you are applying for a job that does a CORI (criminal background check) whatever you did 14 years ago will pop up. in that case, be up front with whoever the job is with.

Ric - January 3, 2009 12:14 AM

Redistricting is also something to look at when a large number of inmates are counted in a small county for vote-redistricting. I know that while we had politicians wrangling over the map, no one moved from our facility for several months. After a Judge stepped in to get the map finally drawn, then transfers resumed. Cause and Effect? You tell me.

akromatino - September 6, 2009 4:55 AM

Hi , it is Labor Day! I'm happy with my extra day off, and I am planning to doing something fun that will probably involve a bike ride and seeing something new in Ann Arbor I haven't seen yet.
You write something new on this Monday at the labor day? ... HAPpY BLogGing!

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.







Remember personal info?
Send To A Friend Use this form to send this entry to a friend via email.