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August 12, 2008

"You can't handle the truth" ... about prison overcrowding

This AP article from Oklahoma, headlined "Speaker denies requests for prison studies," makes me think of the great scene from "A Few Good Men" in which Jack Nicholson's character famously rebukes an effort by Tom Crusie's character to get at the truth.  Here are snippets from the article:

With an annual budget approaching half a billion dollars and a population of more than 25,000 inmates, some lawmakers want to take a closer look at the state's prison system.  But all six of the interim studies lawmakers requested to examine the issue were denied by House Speaker Chris Benge.  Such studies, held between sessions of the Legislature, generally involve expert presentations and help lawmakers craft legislation.  Some studies approved this year include the possibility of banning cell phones while driving and another on preserving nuclear families....

"Overcrowding is serious in that they've made longer prison sentences but not supported it financially," said Sgt. Randy Lopez, a guard at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. "If you're going to lock everybody up for everything, you've got to pay for it."  With staffing shortages leading to many prison guards working two or three double shifts each week, the situation is a ticking time bomb, Lopez said.

August 12, 2008 at 06:53 AM | Permalink


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The truth is that we live in a world with walls, and those walls sometimes have to be a bit closer together, relative to the number of people inside, than you'd like to talk about at your parties.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 12, 2008 12:53:06 PM

If I wasn't a defense lawyer, I would invest in private jails, like CCA.

Posted by: CJA | Aug 16, 2008 4:03:10 PM

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