Legislative leaders threw water on the notion Idaho should follow states including Oregon and California by releasing inmates from prison early to accommodate budget cuts.
The citizens of Idaho should be concerned with the current sentencing policies of this state. The percentage of adults under some form of correctional supervision is second to none (except Georgia). The budget for the Department of Correction has already been reduced and will be reduced again. Yet the number of offenders sent to prison is only slowing slightly.
The comments by Senators Geddes and Darrington show a stark disregard for the situation. The current policies are creating a large underclass with problems such as employability, mental and physical health, child support, and recidivism.
By cutting the budgets but not the supply of offenders, the working environment in Idaho's prisons will become more dangerous and less hopeful. Community corrections will become even less effective as case loads will increase even more. The attitude of these two senators is sure to increase future costs, endanger lives, and cause even more misery for future victims. Instead of investing in programs that work to reduce recidivism, it seems that Senator Geddes is more interested in extracting his pound of flesh at the expense of tax payers, offenders and their families, and correctional employees.
Idaho - a state of jailers - is that what we want to be known for?