Trend to Lighten Harsh Sentences Catches On in Conservative States

Too bad California and Florida have not caught on to this trend. However, in both California and Florida prisons are about jobs and not about public safety. To my way of thinking, the two paragraphs listed below are the most pertinent.It also bursts the myth that high incarceration rates equal low crime rates.

New York Times link to full article

“As a result, the Texas prison system is now operating so far under its capacity that this month it is closing a 1,100-bed facility in Sugar Land — the first time in the state’s history that a prison has closed. Texas taxpayers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars, and the changes have coincided with the violent crime rate’s dipping to its lowest level in 30 years.

“In Texas for the last few years we’ve been driving down both the crime rate and the incarceration rate,” said Marc Levin, the director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which helped draft the state’s corrections overhaul. “And it’s not just Texas. South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ohio in the past year or so have done major reforms. These are certainly not liberal states. That is significant.”

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