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May 7, 2007

Nevada struggling with prison problems

This thoughtful AP story spotlights that Nevada, like so many others states, is struggling with prison overcrowding problems.  Here is how it starts:

The inmates at Nevada's Warm Springs Correctional were still adjusting to their cramped quarters and new cellmates when Gov. Jim Gibbons toured their cell block.  After walking down a hallway between 12-by-12-foot cells now holding four prisoners each, he urged state lawmakers to vote for bigger prisons. "It doesn't take much more than that to force the system into a meltdown," Gibbons warned of the crowded conditions, and lobbied for lawmakers to pass his $300 million budget request for prison expansion.

But in Carson City and several other state capitols, lawmakers are starting to push back against seemingly continual demands for larger prisons and the hefty price tags that come with them. Lawmakers are finding that the harsh mathematics of prison growth can trump party allegiances.

In Connecticut, Texas, Kansas and Nevada, Republicans and Democrats alike are trying to push some of that prison money into mental health and drug treatment programs, which they say will be more effective at treating the root problems of crime.  "There's a very definite change in the budget tone," said state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City. "It's one thing to say you're all going to jail until the sun comes up, but that takes significant resources."

May 7, 2007 at 08:59 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I am a state employee, a student and a family member of a prison inmate. I am doing reseach for personal and educational reasons. The family member I have as an inmate in the Carson prison is going through some really difficult times. It seems to me what is being done to him is wrong and yet it is so hard to find information as to what is "legally" fair in prisons and what is not. I do agree that more funding needs to go to mental health issues as well as drug treatment centers. My soon to be brother in law is in for burglary and drug related charges. He had been in and out of teen lock ups and prison for half of his life and he is only 30. All due to drugs. If he could have recieved the help he needed in his teen years instead of lock up situations maybe our prisons would not be so full. I know prisons make money for some people (companys and people who cater to them)however it is frustrating that the rest of us are paying the bills, plus the extra money we send him.
Just when he is starting to get his life on track hoping to that when he is release he is on track, some false charges are brought against him to get him a year in the hole! This is a man that for over 5 years now has done everything right and now that new laws were past that would make it so he could get out in only another 10 years, he gets a false claim brought againt him. 30 year sentence for robbery. Yet rapest and murders will get out before him. Maybe if the prison system was not so crooked maybe we would not need such large prisons! It is just hard as a tax payer to believe governmental pleas for bigger prisons and more money when I hear of the chaos that takes place in the system. Just a thought. Your blog was interesting. Thank you!

Posted by: Echo Marshall | Jul 25, 2007 10:12:07 PM

I am an ex inmate of the Nevada prison system. This system is very good to thier prisnors. I did a crime and I am grateful it was in Nevada. I was never abused in any way by the staff. I agree the money shud be spent on prevention except in the case of violent crimes. I say throw away the key. I was also on drugs but my crimes were crimes against property not against people like in the case of robbery. That was many years ago and now I am a responsible contributing citizen. I learned form my mistake but as in the above response this repeat offender deserves exactly what he got.

Posted by: David | Mar 22, 2008 3:16:46 PM

i like your blog

NevadaDrugAddiction

Posted by: John Marker, Sr. | Aug 23, 2008 1:23:05 PM

I agree the money shud be spent on prevention except in the case of violent crimes.

============

george

New Jersey Drug Addiction

Posted by: george | Aug 23, 2008 7:39:47 PM

Hi,
I like your posting,
Its very nice,
Bye...

NewJerseyAlcoholAddictionTreatment

Posted by: john disoja | Aug 28, 2008 3:38:20 AM

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