Sunday, July 01, 2007

Good times for prisoners

The United States now has more than two million people behind bars, a number that has been rising steadily for decades. But state lawmakers who once would have rushed to build new prisons have begun to see that prison-building is not the best or most cost-effective way to fight crime or protect the public’s safety.

Several states have instead begun to focus on developing community-based programs that deal with low-level, nonviolent offenders without locking them up. And they have begun to look at ways to control recidivism with programs that help newly released people find jobs, housing, drug treatment and mental health care — essential services if they are to live viable lives in a society that has historically shunned them.

I'm quite excited that people are thinking about this stuff, especially in the great state of Texas, home to many a criminal. I'm not entirely sure what the feds have to do with it though.


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