Since the “Great Recession” with State Budgets absolutely plummeting as a result. And the fact that our Prison System both State and Federal are very expensive. With roughly 2m people locked up in prison. A lot of these offenders being Non Violent as well. States have been looking for ways to cut costs in their governments. One of these ways have been to privatize some of their prisons. As a liberal I’m a big believer in freedom and Free Markets. But when it comes to Public Safety and Law Enforcement, this is something the Public Sector does better and should be running. With States as well as the Federal Government facing such huge losses in Tax Revenue. They are and should be looking for ways to save money and to cut costs. Including in corrections but we shouldn’t be doing this by privatizing our prisons. But doing this by cutting costs in our prisons and keeping them public. Through Alternative Sentencing for Non Violent offenders. And making our prisons Self Sufficient financially. So they aren’t such a drain on our budgets.
Alternative Sentencing for our Non Violent offenders would save us a lot of money. Because instead of locking these offenders up where we would have to babysit them. We could put them on Halfway Houses, where they would work and pay for their Room and Board. Or Drug Rehab where they would pay for their rehab. We would actually make more money doing these things and it would be one less expense that we would have to pay for. We could make our prisons Self Sufficient for the people we must incarcerate like our Violent Offenders.We could do this by putting these people, the ones that can do their time in General Population. We could educate these people, instead of leaving in their cells all day. And put them to work in Prison Industry’s, where we could sell these products to Government Agency’s. As well on the open market. Having business’s like Wood Shops, cafeteria’s, Prison Agriculture, Clothing Factory’s. Where they would produce the clothing for the prisons. As well as sell them on the open market. Programs for At Risk youth and other occupations. Pay these inmates for their Market Value and then make them pay for their Room and Board. The prisons would pay for themselves with their industry’s, as well as their inmates paying for their Room and Board.
We need to make our Corrections System more affordable. But we need to do it in yes a Cost Effective way. But a way that protects our Public Safety as well. It can’t be one or the other but all of the above.