Just as they favor giving convicted criminals stereos, digital cable TV, and free clothes and meals, liberals now support unmerited freedom of the duly incarcerated.
According to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, leading the charge to release Ohio’s prisoners is Gov. Strickland. Throwing prisons out of their cells and into Ohio communities was supposed to take place
May 4. I guess Gov. Strickland chose Sunday to give his conservative and religious critics something to pray about.
That is how I read the Eagle Gazette’s special report.
With a near-record 50,919 inmates behind bars this month, as of May 4 Gov. Ted Strickland said he has no choice but to start releasing people because the state just can’t afford otherwise. His proposal is more than scare-tactic rhetoric. Ohio State lawmakers are considering sweeping prison reform in which prisoners will be sent to live in halfway houses in communities.”
A halfway house has no barred doors and windows. Consequently, the bad guys could leave and do more crime in our communities.
Why, then, our lawmakers bent on endangering Ohio communities. There are two reasons: (1) Prisons are overcrowded, and (2) the state says it can’t afford to our communities or provide for the welfare of so many criminals.
As an example, the Eagle Gazette claims that their own prison, the Lancaster’s Southeastern Correctional Institution, “houses 1,628 inmates when it is meant for 1,385.”
“Strickland predicts his proposed changes could reduce the prison population by 6,736 indefinitely and save state taxpayers nearly $28 million a year.”
The Eagle Gazette, however, refutes his claim. The report states that cost are about the same. But even if it did save the state $28 million, it would only reduce total costs by about 1.5 percent of it total prison budget.
What the Eagle Gazette didn’t mention was the underlying problem of state lawmakers criminalizing non-crimes. Not all crimes were crimes in the past and some laws that regulated moral corruption and crime have been repealed. There are crimes in which community rehabilitation would have been more effective and may have not only reduced future crime but also reduced the total costs.
The attitude of some goes something like this: It’s better to keep deadbeats and criminals off the street. Helping them find their place among the prison population makes the economy look better. High employment and growing GDP statistics attracts investors. Besides, it’s probably cheaper to imprison deadbeats than keep them on the more respectable welfare programs.
Source: Lancaster Eagle Gazette, May 9, 2009.