The Gret Stet Of Incarceration

I enjoy ragging on the local rag, The Times-Picayune. Its editorials can be annoying BUT it’s actually a pretty darn good newspaper. They’ve been running an excellent multi-part, multi-departmental, multi-reporter series on the state of imprisonment in Louisiana. We not only have the highest incarceration rate in the country but in the world. That’s right: higher than either China’s or Iran’s. Why? Money.

Louisiana has several private pokeys and there are rural parishes that depend on jail income to stay afloat. Now that the state budget is out of whack, the lege is revisiting the Gret Stet’s sentencing laws. I wish I could say it was out of compassion or intelligence butit’s money that matters.

Here’s a link to the Picayune series.

One thought on “The Gret Stet Of Incarceration

  1. MapleStreet says:

    Interested that you said some parishes rely on jail income to stay afloat.
    Here in MO, a lot of comments to the news web sites complain that we don’t charge the prisoners on the county jails enough and repeatedly asking (and getting an affirmative reply)that the prisoners are charged for their medical care. I can’t reconcile that with the idea that someone in the county jail is likely to be someone who can’t make bail and very unlikely to be able to keep a reasonable paying job while in jail – not to mention lack of benefits such as health insurance.
    Yet, the privitization of state prisons seems to be a money maker in many states (see Arizona. Missouri had a group really pushing for more private jails here too).
    Not to mention that as the USA has one of the highest incarceration rates, that means that a lot of taxes are going for jail.
    Of course, the cost of jail could be reduced signiicantly if there were enough that could be low security and run like the ones portrayed in “Lillehammer” But there is also an active case in Macon County, MO as the conditions are so run down plus they don’t pay for jailers in the evening, so the cells are let open at night – with the predictable result of an incarcerated individual not being protected from the others.

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