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August 16, 2011

"Trend to Lighten Harsh Sentences Catches On in Conservative States"

The title of this post is the headline of this New York Times piece from last week covering a story that should be already well known to long-time readers of this blog.  Here is how the piece begins:

Fanned by the financial crisis, a wave of sentencing and parole reforms is gaining force as it sweeps across the United States, reversing a trend of “tough on crime” policies that lasted for decades and drove the nation’s incarceration rate to the highest — and most costly — level in the developed world.

While liberals have long complained that harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses like drug possession are unjust, the push to overhaul penal policies has been increasingly embraced by elected officials in some of the most conservative states in the country.  And for a different reason: to save money.

Some early results have been dramatic. In 2007, Texas was facing a projected shortfall of about 17,000 inmate beds by 2012.  But instead of building and operating new prison space, the State Legislature decided to steer nonviolent offenders into drug treatment and to expand re-entry programs designed to help recently released inmates avoid returning to custody.

August 16, 2011 at 07:52 AM | Permalink


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I am currently under a Life Sentence for a first conviction Robbery which occurred in Idaho in 1991. I have been on and off Parole since 2002, for non-arrest able rule violations. The system is broken in Idaho, and severely needs reform. I now blog about my latest experience in the Corrections Alternative Placement Program at dangerousprograms.blogspot.com , so please feel free to check it out. I feel it is my responsibility to advocate against this and other harmful programs Idaho is implementing. I am currently a student at Treasure Valley Community College.

Posted by: m. mccoiy | Aug 16, 2011 11:53:54 AM

Is the Corrections Alternative Placement Program run by a private corporation?

Posted by: Jason | Aug 16, 2011 9:20:51 PM

Yes, the CAPP is run by Management Training Corporation, and they run the place like a Gulag. It is very harmful to those forced to attend, as I can personally attest to as a former inmate. see more at dangerousprograms.blogspot.com

Posted by: m.mccoy | Aug 21, 2011 3:43:48 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB