After New York passed the Rockefeller drug laws in 1973, a mandatory sentencing movement swept the country, raising the nationwide prison population to nearly 2.4 million, from 300,000. This experiment in mass incarceration was a failure. There is no conclusive evidence that it enhanced public safety, and some research suggests that time in prison makes people more prone to violence. It wasted billions of dollars a year. And it has devastated the low-income minority communities where most of our prisoners come from.Something to think about.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Reduced Crime = Less Prisons
This article in NY Times entitled "The High Cost of Empty Prisons" caught my eye today. It is a surprise to see the prison population falling. Is this another demographic trend. Should New York be considering turning them into "retirement villas"? (that is only half as funny as intended).