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Violent Crime Is Down. Prison Costs Are Up. Taxpayers Lose.

Written by Gary North on February 8, 2012

The prison industry is a booming one. Instead of having convicted criminals pay double restitution to their victims, the state locks them up at taxpayer expense. This lets them get advanced training for the day they get paroled.

Now the government is re-defining crime to arrest law-abiding citizens.

From the indefinite detention (without trial) of terrorism suspectsboth foreign and American to the escalating militarization of our nation’s police forces, there’s little to indicate that any level of government is willing to “walk back” the overreach of law enforcement, much of which stems from the Patriot Act’s anti-terrorism aims.

This is where we are heading. “The New Yorker recently published a piece on incarceration in America, highlighting some very disturbing facts about the “land of the free:”

The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades
is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about
two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans;
by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No
other country even approaches that. In the past two decades, the money that
states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher

The main crime today is now drug possession and sale — not violent crime against the public. Violent crimes are at the lowest level in nearly a half-century.

The war on drugs is a failure, yet it absorbs the money that should be used to reduce violent crimes.

“Zero-tolerance” policies have taken any sort of perspective or judgment out of the hands of judges and turned possession of minor amounts of controlled substances into 30-year sentences. Zero-tolerance is creeping into other areas of life as well, evidenced by public schools punishing 4-year-old students for hugging each other (“sexual harassment”) or the fact that the highest percentage of additions to sexual offender registries are teen boys between the ages of 14-16. Between the growth of zero-tolerance and the expanding definition of such terms as “cyberbullying,” “sexual assault” and “terrorism,” it’s not likely that our nation’s incarceration rate will decline any time soon.

The big winners are private firms that build prisons.

Perhaps as a result of declining violent crime statistics, many law
enforcement entities are expanding their surveillance areas with the use of spy drones.
It’s tough to justify budget increases if you don’t have enough arrests to back
up expenditures on military weapons and vehicles. The solution seems to be to
cast the net wider and worry about sorting out the innocents after a few hours
(or days) in lockup. . . .

The worst part is that we’re all paying for it. Our tax dollars are being used to put our friends and neighbors in prison. Our money is used to turn 14-year-old boys into sexual offenders and incarcerate large numbers of minorities. It’s extracted complicity and as long as those in power continue to see no reprisal for these actions, it will continue until it’s truly too late.

The solution is the restoration of restitution for economic crimes and capital punishment for murder. The liberals who run the criminal justice system want neither.

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7 thoughts on “Violent Crime Is Down. Prison Costs Are Up. Taxpayers Lose.

  1. Bill Shakespeare says:

    These inmates should be put on manual labor jobs such as picking up litter, cleaning off graffiti, and doing hard labor for the betterment of the communities. Make them earn their keep, do menial jobs, make them productive and ideally to make them pay their way. Instead, we have Prezidunce O'drama creating a jobs program for Veterans on the order of the CCC. Sure, he can make Veterans grovel at the feeding trough, give them shovel ready (read that as shovel-carrying) jobs alright, and treat them worse than the criminals. This is a topsy-turvy America we live in, and the head monkey in the White House is bananas.

  2. The last sentence makes sense to me! I also agree with "Bill Shakespeare". (what a good name)!

  3. Myrtlelinder says:

    I can not figure out why all prisoners should not have work to do. I do not mean washing county vehicles, I mean productive work. I do realize when any such attempt is made the ACLU will jump and scream, unconstitutional, while they themselves do not honor the constitutional. I would never make the mistake to think that the ACLU would ever consider paying on penny toward this expense.

  4. A young man who with two of his friends ran over deer with their snowmobile's just got sentanced to 10 years in prison. If he would have shot the deer with a gun he would have lost his hunting rights for 5 years and fined $1000 per deer ! If he would have killed someone with his car he most likely would have minimum of 5 years !

  5. Patriot Diva says:

    Gee, that means I could have been arrested this morning. A deer ran about 20 feet in front of my car while returning from a doctor's appointment. If I had hit the thing, I may have spent 10 years in prison. Wonder who would have raised my kids?

  6. Bill McCroskey says:

    The war on drugs is nothing more than a taxpayer funded government jobs program. I have never used ANY controlled substance and do not condone their use. Think prohibition in the 1930's …..all that is being accomplished today, like then is making gangsters rich plus today, prison guarding has become a vocational school degree. Just like criminals don't buy their guns at legal gun shops, penalties and threats won't stop those that want to use…..from using. It is a bad personal choice…but like cigarettes, booze, sugar, fatty foods, bungee jumping or thousands of other 'dangerous vices' that ARE legal…..it is a CHOICE.

  7. Taxpayers should feel outrage with the waste of our Judicial System. The Law of the Land says that a victim that is damaged has a right to be made whole again. The Law of the Land also says that an accuser must have two witnesses to the damage (proof) if they are to proceed with damage charges. The State has no right to ask for damages when there is no accuser, they are a third party entity. These DA's that practice prosecuting misconduct are never held to question because they are making revenue for the county at the expense of the people. The Court System should not be backed up with years of waiting. A particular DA in Texas sent an investigator out of state to intimidate a young lady with health problems 5 years after the accusation so that he could win his case (which he said they were going to dismiss) and run for Dristrict Judge. Check the cost to the taxpayers for this abuse of power.