Find better way to fight crime —Rev. Chuck Arnold

Another Sunday, another preacher against private prisons. Unlike some, this one is not famous; Rev. Chuck Arnold is pastor of Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ in Vandenberg Village, CA. He wrote in the Lompoc Record 20 May 2011
Going to a RAND Corporation study, in 1994 higher education received 12 percent of the state budget, corrections 9 percent, other services 9 percent (which included controlling environmental pollution, management of parks, fighting of brush fires, regulating insurance and other industries). By 2002 higher education took the biggest hit, along with “ other services,” both of which were virtually eliminated from the state budget. Corrections on the other hand went from 9 percent to 18 percent of the budget.
Which means that California, like so many other states, including Georgia, spends more on prisons than on education.

And not just public prisons anymore:

The United States now has a $3 billion-a-year industry in private prisons. There are several studies showing no savings of the taxpayer dollar to the states by privatization.
How did this happen? Partly like this:
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington DC-based public policy organization, develops model legislation that advanced tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization of prisons. ALEC receives funding from the corrective Corporation of America and G.E.O., the two largest private prison systems in the United States. ALEC also receives funding from the billionaire Koch brothers. So, unfortunately, maybe Dr. Barnes was wrong, there may be new horizons in penology — an industry that needs crime, and criminals to sustain its business model.
Remember, Georgia was just the first of many states ALEC lobbied with anti-immigration bills to be stupid enough to follow AZ in passing it.

Regarding new horizons, Rev. Arnold is referring to

H. E. Barnes, co-author with N. K. Teeter, of “New Horizons in Criminology,” first published in 1943. The book had become the premier work in the field. Asked what the new horizons were, his response was, “There are no new horizons in penology.”

Rev. Arnold recommends a different new horizon:

The new horizons that are needed are new ways of treating social ills, such as the “drug court” model highlighted in the Tuesday, May 17, headline in the Lompoc Record. “For the past 11 years Judge Rogelio Flores, the senior judge in the county, has overseen the North County version of Drug Court, also known as the Substance Abuse Treatment Court, along with specialized courts for mental health and Proposition 36, another Judicial drug diversion program.”
Even Georgia is experimenting with sentence reform and drug courts.

Rev. Arnold continued:

We as a society must continue to educate ourselves about and support programs to break the circle of insanity based on fear, punishment, and revenge. With the recidivism rate between 70 percent to 80 percent, it is obvious that what we have going now is not working.
And it’s designed not to work, because rehabilitation would decrease customers for private prisons.

Let’s not contribute to the insanity by letting CCA build a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. Spend that tax money on education instead.