In a little more than 10 months, 12 inmates and a guard have been
stabbed to death in Georgia prisons, a dramatic uptick in violence
that law enforcement officials and human rights advocates agree
points to increased gang activity.
“We cannot remember a time like this when we were getting this
volume and severity of violence,” said Sara Totonchi,
executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which
monitors prison violence.
People who go into such prisons, if they aren’t already violent,
are likely to be taught to be violent, and some just don’t come back out.
Yet those that do get out can be bad for the rest of us:
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.
Presumably this was for driving while intoxicated (DWI) with alcohol.
We tried Prohibition for alcohol back in the 1920s, and repealed it
in the 1930s, because it produced criminal gangs while failing
to stop people from drinking alcohol.
So instead we criminalized the misuse of alcohol such as while driving
and legalized, regulated, and taxed purchase of alcohol.
And now we mostly don’t actually lock people up for DWI:
we put them on supervised probation.
It’s time to do the same for other drugs.
We can’t afford to continue to spend more taxpayer dollars on
locking people up than on education.