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Economics Trumps Retribution in Minnesota Prisons

In an Opinion piece contained in the May 19, 2011, Minneapolis Star and Tribune, Hennepin(Minneapolis) County Sheriff Rich Stanek co-authored an article advocating that tough budget times dictate that we consider releasing non-violent offenders from prison and, instead, use some of the $33,000.00 spent on each inmate each year towards rehabilitation in community-based programs.

If escalating costs drive the argument for reducing prison expenses through utilizing community-based programs, so be it. The recognition that citizens simply cannot afford to subsidize this folly of warehousing  non-violent offenders, regardless of the costs-including sheer economics-is way past due.

Non-violent felons is one of the most exploitable groups by politicians who wrap themselves in the mantel of law and order, to say nothing of the fact that this group politically impotent. Yet, repeatedly, most return to their communities and try to regain some semblance of normalcy while struggling with their demons.

If society as a whole is concerned only with costs, then the most efficient and most rewarding means to dealing with this nagging problem in our prisons is to reduce the inmate population by utilizing community-based programs.

Simply put, we can no longer financially afford to subsidize the illusion of security through incarceration. It is a concept that, if not abandoned, will drag down our economy while continuing to prop up a very wobbly and demonstrably inefficient fallacy.

156 thoughts on “Economics Trumps Retribution in Minnesota Prisons

  1. That is a super-peachy-keen post. Thanks for really blathering on like that! Seriously, I don’t think I could have spent more effort wishing for something heavy to fall on me to erase that nonsense from my mind!

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  13. Have you ever wondered who posts some of this stuff that you come across? The internet never used to be like that, recently though it has turned around. What do you think?

  14. It’s pretty interesting that the mainstream media has changed the way it looks at this recently dont you think? What once seemed like a never discussed issue has become more prevelant. It’s that time to chagnge our stance on this though.

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  16. Outstanding! When something works, just reinforce it,right? Point out how well everything went when they chose a certain action and how if they choose that again they can have a similar result. but i dont understand why the viewpoint changed drastically.

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  23. i had to go through it again since i could not grab the entire escence of the post in one go.That was a very articulate and logical point you make there.I appreciate you letting me know your thinking on this.

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