September 6, 2012
Imprisoning the Economy
Education and housing key to cutting crime rate
Submitted by Wendy Bales, FVRD Dir Area C
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
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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