Monday, September 7, 2009
The Wall Street Journal had a front page article this weekend about the tough choices faced by the State of Michigan due to the implosion of the auto industry. Michigan is now forced to shut down entire prisons and release thousands of inmates.
The United States now has five times more people in jail and prison than they had in the 1970's. The graphic above shows the spike in prison populations since the implementation of the Nixon era WAR ON DRUGS.
California decided to get tough on crime and enacted a three strikes law and you spend the rest of your natural life in prison. They now have people arrested for stealing cookies in prison for life! All due to the get tough on crime legislation they enacted.
Canyon County now spends about $84/day for each inmate in the Canyon County lock up. Voter are going to get the opportunity to vote up or down a jail bond to build a new jail facility. Initially the facility will be about 650 beds. Ultimately it will be built out at 2,000 beds!
The bond measure to build the new jail will cost homeowners and business people $32.94 per $100,000 on net assessed valuation. Operational costs will rise as the population rises.
How much can we afford as a society to keep nonviolent people behind bars? We hope there will be a lot of debate and exchange of ideas and issues as we move toward the bond election for a new jail.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 4:52 PM