S.J. Van Sickle wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Jan 2001, Brian D Williams wrote:
> > What's wrong with people who commit crimes serving their full
> > sentence?
> I don't have a problem with the old and feeble being paroled...such as the
> British 1950's organized crime figure who was recently paroled about a
> month before his death (cancer I believe). Perhaps *very* occasionally in
> the face of overwhelming evidence that the prisioner has turned his life
> around and no further good is ocomplished by incarceration.
> There may also be other rare circumstances for parole...possibly
> participation in dangerous medical experiments? Though the bioethicists
> have ruled that one out.
Prisons are sad. Imprisoning each of the 2 million prisoners costs American
taxpayers about 60,000 a year each, not to mention prison construction and
labor costs. Two million times 60,000 is 120,000,000,000 dollars a year.
Maybe the cost per prisoner is actually only 15,000 dollars a year, which it
is not, then it would cost thirty billion dollars, a year. Perhaps these
numbers are lower and higher, but they are illustrative.
American has the highest rate of imprisonment of any democratic country, which
is absolutely pathetic. Even ninety-nine percent of extremely violent
offenders are not violent ninety-nine percent of the time.
Not having been imprisoned, I wouldn't want to be. Not being a criminal, I
see less reason to imprison anyone.
When I was a high school student, the debate topic for the year was prison
overcrowding, and how to resolve it. Plans included decriminalizing drugs.
We argued for the complete year the entire issue of prisons. The other annual
debate topics were space and the elderly.
Sometimes this list talks about "transparency", where for example public
cameras help deter crime. Here's how it should be, all the on-duty cops and
prison guards are videotaped regularly, and only them, as it can be expected
that they would be in the vicinity of crime reports. This video wouldn't be
available to the general public, nor any other public or private entity, but
it would be available to any court proceeding.
-- Ross Andrew Finlayson Finlayson Consulting Ross at Tiki-Lounge: http://www.tiki-lounge.com/~raf/ Confucious says, "My name is Confucious."
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