Overcrowding in our prisons and jails is a huge problem, both locally and nationally. But no matter what’s suggested as a solution, it seems guaranteed to enrage a large number of people.
The first thing that comes to mind is build more prisons. But while that may sound like a good idea, try finding many voters who’d enjoy paying the extra taxes to pay for such a project.
Of course, we could stop sending so many people to jail and prison in the first place. You know – sentence more convicts to home incarceration, or let non-violent, low-risk offenders out on probation.
But then what do you say to accusations of not being “tough on crime?”
Then there’s the solution that I’m sure lots of folks would favor -- don’t worry about the problem at all. Just keep stuffing criminals in cells on top of each other, and when they complain, tell them they should have thought of that before they broke the law.
But the trouble with that is that we have this thing called the Constitution that takes “cruel and unusual punishment” pretty seriously. And the people in charge of those overcrowded facilities don’t need those kinds of headaches, anyway.
I’m usually here to offer my opinion on such a question. But on this one I’m stuck. So if you think you have the answer, give us a call and share it.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.