Today's NYTimes editorial "Prisons and Budgets" at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/opinion/04mon3.html?ref=opinion 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%.
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...
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