This sends me to a %age change in expenditures which pretty much has
nothing to do with discussions about whether or not it is cheaper when
all of the costs/benefits to society are added up. Especially since this
doesn't control for the two big variables:inflation and increases in
population (assuming that some %age of the population tends toward the
criminal the more people you have the more criminals you will have and
the more expenses you will have).
I get off on '57 Chevys
I get off on screamin' guitars
I think "The War on Drugs" has been the largest contributor to the increase
in statistics of non-violent crimes. I wonder what the 3rd chart would look
like if marijuana was legal?
I'd like to see the red line just below the blue line. Only incarcerate the
hard-core drug dealers. IMHO it's obvious we're doing something wrong.
Interesting graph - but it represents national averages, not Texas.
California, for example, the cost is a bit over $47,000 per inmate per year
compared to Texas' $18,000. (Others I've found: Massachusetts - $46,000;
Michigan - $30,500; National Average - $23,000)
There are several reasons the cost here is lower: As I mentioned, prisoners
grow their own food. We don't have an all-powerful prison guard union in
Texas. And unless the bone is sticking out, prisoners don't get much medical
Further, the cost of corrections is like the cost of termite protection. It
costs more today than it did ten years ago, true, but the cost is still much
less than allowing the insects to run loose.
Bottom line: Even at California or Massachusetts rates, locking 'em up is
still a bargain for the community. A bargain in preventing loss, a bargain
in insurance rates, and a bargain in emotional trauma.
If the guy is on a hunger strike, let him go a week or ten days and
let him dictate his immediate future. 2100 calories daily will keep
him alive. When in medical danger - force feed him with medical
approval and check his weight. BTDT
Like the old saying: "If you don't grow it, you don't eat it."
I tried to find your stats but I ran across this:
Doesn't appear to back you up.
"2008 Corrections Percentage of Total State Government Expenditures
Taxpayers paid 1% higher than than the national average in 2008."
Wow...TX has the highest % in jail. Yet the crime rate is still higher than
the nat. avg.
The site made me remember a news story about the folks running
the prison system complaining about costs because inmates were
refusing parole. It seems that the inmates wanted to do their
time and be done with it so they wouldn't have to be supervised
when released from prison.
"Prisons cost Texas taxpayers $49.40 per inmate per day, which is $18,031
per year. is is lower than the national average of $24,656."
"Avg Yearly Cost: per inmate, $49,000"
And others. Keep looking.
Regrettably, that's true. That figure is but a strong indicator that we need
MORE prisons and need to lock up MORE people. Still, there are several
reasons, beyond our immediate control, for the statistics:
* Texas does not release people because the jails are overcrowded, as
California must do under federal court order.
* Texas does not release people because the state can't afford to keep them
locked up as was the case in Michigan this past year.
* While all states have an influx of illegal immigrants, the ones in Ohio
are there to work while many in Texas come across the border merely to kill,
maim, and mope. Then they go back to Mexico.
* We don't ignore as much law-breaking as some other places. Many Katrina
evacuees, for example, found their ordinary daily activities, ignored in New
Orleans, were felonies in Texas.
* Also, Texas contracts with other states to hold their inmates. Our state
could charge, say, Minnesota, $60/day to hold one of their criminals. We
make a profit of $10/day and Minnesota saves over $40/day (1996). It's a
Plus, we've got at least 31,000 federal prisoners in our lock-ups.
Point is, not everybody locked up in Texas prisons are there because they
broke Texas law. Idaho, for example, may have a smaller percentage of their
population in their prisons than Texas, but that's partly because the Idaho
criminals are in Texas jails!
Here's an interesting way to save money:
"Every inmate in a California prison costs taxpayers over $47,000 a year.
Because of the state's astronomical prison costs, a new Reason
Foundation-Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation study finds California could
save $120 million a year for each 5,000 inmates it sends to private prisons
in other states. "
We'll be glad to take 'em.
<g>.....pretty interesting material. I'm all for it. I don't like the ratio of violent vs. non-violent inmates, but I'm more of a libertarian than a
Republican. To me, locking up a marijuana dealer, is putting an entrepreneur
out of business.
There are other things about TX stats that bug me but it sounds like we have
some progessive ideas about costs. As far as bring them here; fine as long
as they don't stay.
There was a study done in the NY prisons a few years ago, looking for the
percentage of people incarcerated for drug violations where there was no
violent crimes committed. They found one (no, not one percent).
Ordinarily - parole supervision is served in the court of
jurisdiction. That can be changed.
For the record, if one serves time in prison he has already past the
probation stage of the courts.
IOW prisoners don't get probation from prison, but get parole.
Parole was hampered when authories stopped parole.
I can hear it now!
"Boss, I gotta take it to the door!!"
It means he walks out without a supervision. Time served.
"People get convicted not for what they did, but for what can be proved, and
often what is proved is not what they did," so says Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz went on to say "Most criminal defendants cannot be convicted
without violating some fundamental right. This rule is known to the judge,
the prosecutor, and the defense.*"
It makes sense to put a $100/day Heroin addict in prison for possession of
narcotics (a non-violent felony) thereby preventing an armed robbery a day
(a violent felony). Or three burglaries. Or one car theft.
* Here's how changing ONE LETTER in an offense report can send a person away
While this all is interesting, the original point began with the cost of
locking up more people. So f$%king what if TX can lock them up per inmate
cheaper if we are still paying 1% over the national average as a % of total
The bottom line is all that matters to me. I'm not going to prison anytime
soon. Good for f$%king Texas; they can lock them up cheap. Lower my f$%king
taxes TOO! Too many motherf$%kers are in jail in Texas....PERIOD!
What if the reason Texas has above-average % of budget being spent on
incarcerations because their budget has below-national-average spending on
excesses, waste, and pork?
However, I might want to look into whether Texas could make a move
towards drug treatment programs, methadone, or the like.
One more thing: It appears to me that USA is worst-in-the-world with
drug laws. I think USA needs to move to one of two extremes:
1. Have drug laws like those that Germany had in the late 1970's
according to my highschool German teacher. Get caught with half a joint,
spend 2 years in "the joint".
2. Have recreational drug laws like those that USA had in 1900. Back
then, marijuana, cocaine and opiates were legal.
- Don Klipstein ( email@example.com)
We tried that...at least when the smokers were black.
"Natural selection" might take care of the problem in the long-run.
Last week, the St. Pete Times ran an article about oxycontin overdose
deaths...there were more than 100 last year in Hillsborough County
(Tampa) alone. I don't recall for sure, but I think some of the other
area counties had more deaths than HC in the same period. The article
also gave some numbers for visits to "pain clinics" that dish out
prescriptions at alarming rates.
When medicaid for "everyone" kicks in, it probably will take off like
free gold bars....death is the only sure "cure" for addiction.
I hope they again ban TV ads for pharmaceuticals..."This drug might
cause dizzyness, nausea, vomiting, death, but it sure as hell will make
you feel better".
Because drug treatment programs are, in the main, feel-good endeavors.
There are two federal drug treatment prisons. The BEST results they've ever
obtained - graduates being drug-free after one year - is a piddly six
Conversely, a significant percentage of Viet Nam veterans returned from Asia
addicted to Heroin. Virtually all kicked the habit on their own.
Druggies are druggies.
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