Friday, November 23, 2007

Trying to Break Cycle of Prison at Street Level

Statistics show a revolving door between prison and certain areas.

read more | digg story

The U.S. has more than 2.1 million individuals in prison. Estimates suggest that about 700,000 will be released in the next few years. To use Sykes phrase, we are rapidly becoming a society of captives. Is this the type of society we want to live in? Do we want to continue to spend millions on ineffective (at best) crime control policies?

Crime is not a problem that can be solved. It is a condition that must be managed. Since the 1908s and 90s, we have managed to make the condition worse. It is easy to simply punish individuals and then to wash our collective hands of the issue. Texas has become a prison-industrial complex, adding over 100 new prisons in the last 20 years. At least some of the elected officials realize that this expenditure has been counter-productive and have added funding to programs in the "free world." Too little and too late, the citizens of Texas will reap what they have sown.

When will we learn that we can't incarcerate our way out of the crime condition?

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