Thursday, September 6, 2012



Imprisoning the Economy

Education and housing key to cutting crime rate

Submitted by Wendy Bales, FVRD Dir Area C


new report from the reformist Justice Policy Institute concludes that private prison companies have not only benefited from increased incarceration, they have also helped fuel it.


According to Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies, private prisons have increased their "market share" of the overall prison population.


While the number of inmates over the past decade has risen 16 percent, the number in private federal facilities has risen 120 percent and the number in state facilities has risen 33 percent. Meanwhile, the two largest private prison operators, Correction Corporations of America and GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut), raked in a combined $2.9 billion in revenue in 2010."

*Note: Stats for Canada are included in Wendy Bales comments below*

In reference to the article posting above and commitment by the NDP:

I think that this is a good direction and proposal. It is sad to think that some of our brightest students can not afford the burden of debt from school loans. It is hard enough for them to afford the cost of living while getting an extended education. 

Statistics show in many ways that a better education can reduce tax costs and social burdens as well as reduce crime, the need for more social help, policing and prisons. Statistics show that a large majority of those in prisons have had a learning disability, or some form of brain damage or mental disability.

Similar statistics show that housing the homeless can also reduce taxes and policing burdens. Look at the statistics in some of the Scandinavian countries as an example. Funding for a better affordable education will make a more holistic society overall.

Recent Canadian crime rates have been down and yet we are preparing with new and bigger prisons. Is that really the direction we want to go? I prefer a more hopeful future that is built on measures of prevention!

For some background on this, see



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