Monday, March 2, 2009
Prisons in the Economic Downturn
The construction of a new prison is about to begin soon in Alaska. An article in New York Times states that 1 in every 31 adults is in prison, which brings the total number to 7.3 million American people. While most budgets are getting cut in the economic downturn, the budgets for prisons continue to rise up to a total of 47 billion dollars in 2008. According to the director of Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project Adam Gelb, the reason to maintain the growing cost for prisons is that “cutting them may appear to save a few dollars…it will fuel the cycle of more crime, more victims, more arrests, more prosecutions, and still more imprisonment.”
One inmate prisoner costs an average of 29,000 dollars a year while average cost for a parolee and or probationer is around 1,250 to 2,750 dollars. But states have shown a preference for prison spending even it’s much more expensive than community correctional programs. The executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Evidence Based Practice Peter Greenwood stated that “prisons and jails, along with powerful prison guard unions, service contracts, and high-profile sheriffs and police chiefs, are in a much better position to protect their interests than are parole and probation officers.”
Are prisons profit-chasing corporations? Or are they still parts of the society that maintain the orders for us? Is it right when we have to cut off budgets for education and health care to increase the budget for prisons? How can parolees and probationers find their places in society?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html?ref=us Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid
http://newsminer.com/news/2009/mar/02/states-urged-improve-probation-parole-programs/ States urged to improve probation, parole programs
The picture is of a Sacramento, CA prison. Prison officials there are asking the state to consider alternatives to prison due to the unmanageable crowding.