Prison system needs overhaul
March 4, 2011 · Updated 1:47 PM
Over the past 20-plus years, we have been incarcerating more people for non-violent crimes and for offenses that are a direct result of mental illness or drug dependence. With 5 percent of the world’s population, America now incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. One in every 31 adults in this country is in prison, jail or on supervised release.
Colleges for crime, our overcrowded prisons are poorly managed and are places of violence, abuse and the resentful behavior they’re sadly failing to reform. In retaliation for recent tragedy, paranoid and thus overzealous supervision is creating even more dangerous situations in Washington. One brittle diabetic, prone to seizures, had the audacity to insist he was out of blood testing strips, a hazard to his health. Everything he said, written-up completely out of context, resulted in “the hole” (solitary confinement) where he has been the past 17 days and still counting.
Hopefully our current economy with limited funds will force reform in our criminal justice system. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws have many serving lengthy sentences which they do not deserve and which are not a deterrent to crime. Besides being very costly, our justice system is not fair and needs to be fixed.