Monday, January 28, 2008

Prison, Inc.

Everyone would probably agree that having fewer people in prison would be a good thing, right? If we could close a bunch of facilities because there were fewer people in need of being shut away, people would cheer, right? Well, not everybody. As this New York Times article from yesterday makes clear, closing prisons has economic effects on the (often rural) communities that tied their fortune to them.

While I have sympathy for anybody who loses a job because business dries up, we shouldn't let that sympathy blind us to the realities of incarceration. Locking people up as an economic development plant just isn't sound. No person's job is worth another person's freedom.

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