Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thinking out loud. . .

Fact:  $140 per day to keep a person locked up in a Texas Department of Corrections prison facility. 

Annualized cost for this "service" per inmate:  $51,100.00.

Is it just me or, with these kinds of readily available resources, might there be a better way to respond to much of the prison population than the manner in which we currently work? 

Given the rippling, better, long term tidal wave affect of incarceration on families, neighborhoods and individuals, I know there is a better way to use these funds. 

Just thinking out loud.


Daniel said...

But, but, they're all hardened criminals...

There are many people who do not need to be in prison. Our country has the highest incarceration rates in the world -- partially due to privatization of prisons, but there are a number of other factors.

Anonymous said...

Given our "war on drugs," I would bet a significant majority of those locked up are thee because of non-violent drug offenses. They had $50 worth of drugs on them, so we spend $50K a year to lock them up. This "war" hasn't worked since first announced by Nixon in the 1970's. It's not working now.

Texas Monthly recently ran an excellent article arguing for the legalization of small amounts of marijuana. Advantages cited, in addition to not locking people up for behavior no worse than having a few drinks, include that 60% of the profits of the Mexican drug cartels come from marijuana; so, legalize marijuana and overnight you gut the profits the cartels are killing thousands over right across our southern border.