Monday, January 4, 2010

Prisons and Budgets

Today's NYTimes editorial "Prisons and Budgets" at lauds state legislatures for corrections policy changes with positive fiscal impact. The piece calls 3-Strikes "overly harsh" and calls the Florida law mandating serving certain percentages of sentences "dubious corrections policy and terrible fiscal policy."

My favorite citation is their use of the ACLU National Prison Project's new report "Michigan Breaks the Logjam: A New Model for Reducing Prison Populations." Michigan reduced its prison population by over 8% in about half a year, primarily through justice reinvestment. This leads me to think about how many more teachers, students, doctors, nurses, patients, etc. California could afford to subsidize, were we to reduce our state prison population by as much as 8%.

1 comment:

Hadar Aviram said...

This is fascinating and important. Of course, now Michigan is seeking to fill those depopulated prisons with out-of-state inmates as a method for revenue enhancement...