It's the (Prison) Economy, Stupid

Reasons to keep a prison open...

From a New York Times article about possible closings of prisons:

On Jan. 11, the Spitzer administration announced plans to close Camp Gabriels, two other corrections camps and a medium-security prison, all of which have been operating below capacity since 1996 because of a decline in the number of nonviolent felons, the state’s corrections commissioner, Brian Fischer, said.

Closing those prisons, Mr. Fischer said, would save the state millions of dollars, free up money for the treatment of sex offenders and mentally ill inmates, and finance programs like anger management and vocational training, meant to prepare prisoners for their release.

Boils down to saving money, because there has been a decline in nonviolent felons. Wait, those are reasons to celebrate closing a prison. That’s actually the best reason: it’s not needed.

But the name of the article is “Plan to Close Prisons Stirs Anxiety in Rural Towns”. So what are the reasons to keep it open?

As rural economies across the country crumbled in the 1980s and the population of prison inmates swelled, largely because of tougher drug laws, states pushed prison construction as an economic escape route of sorts. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, an average of four prisons were built each year in rural America; the rate quadrupled in the 1980s and reached 24 a year in the 1990s, according to the federal Agriculture Department’s economic research service.

The boom, experts say, provided employment, but it also fostered a cycle of dependency. Depressed rural communities came to rely on the prisons as a source of jobs, economic sustenance and services, with little effort devoted to attracting other viable businesses.

It’s the economy, stupid. Maybe longer prison sentences for drug offenses? Could that cure our current economic woes?

We don’t want to put all those guards out of a job.

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Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer - April 9, 2008 5:02 AM
Forget the immorality of imprisoning drug addicts. Blow off the damage done to family members by having Moms, Dads, siblings and children incarcerated for marijuana offenses.The argument that will eventually convert the most people to a sensible drug p...
Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
MATTIE NERO - April 1, 2010 9:52 AM

Re: Kevin Harris


To whom it may Concern;


In 1996 an innocent man was sentenced to 60 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Now, on March 26, 2010, that same innocent man was told that he tested positive for having the Aid’s virus, which was transmitted from a fight he had 5 years ago while prison.  It’s hard enough having to deal with no one wanting to assist with his innocence and how they can allow him to rot away in prison, but now to speed up his death because of the prison negligence. He has already tried to take his life before he even knew hear had contracted the Virus. So what do you think he is going to try now? This innocent man is my son and a father of 4 beautiful daughters. Can someone please help guide and/or assist me in saving my son I am a sick old woman whose time on this earth is limited, but I would love to see my son a free man before I pass. So, I am asking for your help in helping me bring him home.  My son has been fighting for his freedom since day one back in 1993; now thanks to these prisons, my son has a life sentence that he didn’t ask or sign up for. I live in NY and it’s very difficult for me to go and see my son thanks to my illness and him being in CT, but I do love my son and I will do whatever it takes for me to bring him home.

 
Sincerely Yours,
Mattie Nero
872 Niagara Street
Elmont, NY 11003
(516) 825-0985

Heart broken Mother - April 1, 2010 10:03 AM

To whom it may Concern;


In 1996 an innocent New York man was sentenced in Connecticut to 60 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Now, on March 26, 2010, that same innocent man was told that he tested positive for having the Aid virus, which was transmitted from a fight he had 5 years ago while prison. It was hard enough having to deal with no one wanting to assist with his innocence and how they can allow him to rot away in prison, but now to speed up his death because of the prison negligence. He has already tried to take his life before he even knew hear had contracted the Virus. So what do you think he is going to try now? This innocent man is my son and a father of 4 beautiful daughters. Can someone please help guide and/or assist me in saving my son I am a sick old woman whose time on this earth is limited, but I would love to see my son a free man before I pass. So, I am asking for your help in helping me bring him home. My son has been fighting for his freedom since day one back in 1993; now thanks to these prisons, my son has a life sentence that he didnot ask or sign up for. I live in NY and it is very difficult for me to go and see my son thanks to my illness and him being in CT, but I do love my son and I will do whatever it takes for me to bring him home.

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