Save money by streamlining the state penal code

Even the Bainbridge and Decatur County Post-Searchlight publishes news about their very own state legislator explaining one of the biggest reasont why prisons are a bad bet for a local economy: because we can’t afford to lock up so many people anymore.

Brennan Leathers wrote 6 January 2012, Georgia legislature going back to work State Senator John Bulloch (R-Ochlocknee):

“We’re still struggling to find revenue to pay for operation of the state government and its services,” Bulloch said. “We’re going to have to fill holes that we filled during worse economic times using federal stimulus money and other temporary money.”

Bulloch said he also understands Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has instructed Georgia’s department heads to include 2-percent cuts in their budget requests for this year.

One way in which legislators might opt to save money is by streamlining its criminal penal code. According to Bulloch, Georgia has a very high number of people serving supervised probation or parole.

“A lot of those people who are in prison or under close supervision by state officers are serving sentences for non-violent offenses or minor felonies,” Bulloch said. “We may look at alternative means for dealing with them, such as creating drug courts or setting up drug-testing centers that would monitor drug offenders without imprisoning them.”

Which would mean fewer people in prison. Which would mean no need for new prisons. And some existing prisons might close.

Do we want a private prison in Lowndes County so more prisoners can compete with local workers here, too? If you don’t think so, remember CCA says community opposition can impede private prison site selection. Here’s a petition urging the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authorithy to stop the CCA private prison. Spend those tax dollars on rehabilitation and education instead.

-jsq

1 thought on “Save money by streamlining the state penal code

  1. Robert Nagle

    My darling 22 year-old daughter wound up with a second DWI, because the first one was a wrist-slap. Don’t hate me as a parent because of it. But she went to DWI Court in Austin. The year of intense supervision and no-nonsense attitude and her willingness to not fight it (much) has turned her attitude and Life around. Did it suck for her? Why, yes. But, who knows but what it saved someone else’s life? And maybe it saved her own. I have become a Fan of *Very* Supervised Probation. If she’d gone to jail for six months, I suspect she’d have just come out hating society and gone right back to what put her there.

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