Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prison Programs Take Innovative Approach To Reducing Recidivism

The ignored conversation is not about prison programs that can rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders back into society; it is about why state governments, especially California, are not acting. There are hundreds of ideas, programs, and policies known to save lives and families, reduce recidvisim, increase community safety, and reduce the enormous taxpayer burdens of the prison system ($250,000 per inmate per year in California). Like so many other important public policy issues, prison reform and rethinking the entire criminal justice system has become politicized and polarized. Too many jobs are now at stake to think about reducing prisoner populations. Too many politicians are dependent upon "Tough on Crime" or "Endorsed by the Deputy Sheriffs' Association" for re-election. As a result, anyone who questions the current policies and asks for a civil public conversation is marginalized as a left wing liberal wacko with no common sense. Ad hominem attack, rather than considered discourse, is the preferred method of dealing with intelligent, thoughtful discourse.

The solution is education and awareness. How long do even the most conservative anti-tax partisans want to fund a failed system that trades off education dollars for children for imagined safety, "justice," and "vengeance?" When will the media step up and stop using crime as cheap news fillers on the 5:00 pm news and the metro section of the local paper? When these shifts start, perhaps we will see the ignored conversation become the important conversation of social change.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


At December 11, 2009 6:31 AM , Blogger cliff said...

If you would like to see forward thinking go to poeticjusticeproject.org. The facts is 95% of California prisoners WILL be released. Less than 40% have access to treatment and or education programs. CDC gives them $200 and send them back to the county where they got in trouble. eedless to say, more than 7 out of 10 are back in prison within 1-year.

The woman who started PJP, I think has tremendous vision. Thanks for writing on this topic.



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