A modest proposal on prisons | Arkansas Blog

A modest proposal on prisons



Blog regular Elwood leads the letters page in the Democrat-Gazette today with a modest little idea on prisons — assess a local charge for the cost of every prisoner sent to state prison. Local government governs best, right? He'd earlier sent me a copy for publication as well.

Solution for prison funding

When the Arkansas Legislature meets in January, it will again face rising prison costs and a bed shortage. It’s past time that a solution is found to the ever-spiraling costs of prisons.

Like most of my fellow citizens, I want convicted prisoners who threaten us and those who make us mad to be sent away for as long as possible.

The conservative solution is to work at the local level, for it is at the local level that citizens pay close attention to costs and exercise good judgment. This has been the conservative trend for a few decades and it appears to be working as more costs are shifted from federal and state jurisdictions to local collection and jurisdiction.

Funding larger prisons, hence putting more criminals behind bars, is a simple matter. Assess each judicial district or county a monthly fee for each prisoner it sends to the state Correction Department. This would let local citizens see justice at work and see which local judges and prosecutors are working for their benefit.


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