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Old 05-30-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,779 posts, read 4,684,610 times
Reputation: 3503

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A billion-dollar burden or justice? *| ajc.com

In times of tight budgets, it's important that everything get looked at. With so much money going to our prison system, surely there are ways to cut costs without sending violent criminals onto our streets. That's exactly what other Southern states, such as Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas have done. Why not us?

Ultimately, any corrections system reform must accomplish two goals: Cut costs over the long term, and reduce the number of offenses committed, particularly violent crimes. This is not just something we can brush aside or continue to do as we already have been doing. Georgia has the fourth-highest incarceration rate, and of the set of people in prison, on probation, or out on parole, we are worst in the nation. These problems will continue to haunt us, and our budget, until we come up with effective methods to bring down the crime rate, incarceration rate, and cost to taxpayers.
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:43 PM
 
3,754 posts, read 5,444,507 times
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Great article but it's an election year. This means in a conservative area taxes and tough on crime issues are key. Also remember Willie Horton politicians will never let another guy out of jail early due to that POS.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,779 posts, read 4,684,610 times
Reputation: 3503
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellhead View Post
Great article but it's an election year. This means in a conservative area taxes and tough on crime issues are key. Also remember Willie Horton politicians will never let another guy out of jail early due to that POS.
Sadly, I agree. The day that Georgia better manages its criminal justice system is the day that "Get tough on crime" means lowering the number of crimes as much as possible, not punishing the criminals as hard as possible. Not that the latter is necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but the former is what counts.
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Old 05-30-2010, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Sadly, I agree. The day that Georgia better manages its criminal justice system is the day that "Get tough on crime" means lowering the number of crimes as much as possible, not punishing the criminals as hard as possible. Not that the latter is necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but the former is what counts.
Is that it? We just need to lower the number of crimes? How simple. And just how do you propose to do that? Everyone in the judicial system along with law enforcement is waiting on your answer with baited breathe. In the entire world. They have been waiting for a simple answer to that question since the beginning of recorded time. Short of making everything legal, you got no answer... no body does.
I say triple the prison budget. No probation, no work release. No time off for good behavior, no reduced sentences. Our current methods produce multi page rap sheets and revolving doors at the jail house. Six armed robberies? Five DUI's? Nine Breaking and Entering counts? Not in a system ran by Bulldawgfan. Rehabilitation? Nature or nurture? Only time will tell. A lot of time. A full and complete sentence worth.
I am Bulldawgfan and I want to be in charge of your criminals. Now pay up.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,779 posts, read 4,684,610 times
Reputation: 3503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldawgfan View Post
Is that it? We just need to lower the number of crimes? How simple.
I don't mean striking crimes off the book to artificially deflate the numbers. I'm talking real, live, crime-cutting measures.

Quote:
And just how do you propose to do that? Everyone in the judicial system along with law enforcement is waiting on your answer with baited breathe. In the entire world. They have been waiting for a simple answer to that question since the beginning of recorded time. Short of making everything legal, you got no answer... no body does.
^ Brought to you courtesy of The Party of No. (TM) A quick google search should provide volumes information that would answer your question. Your claims here are in error, bulldawgfan.

Quote:
I say triple the prison budget. No probation, no work release.
Triple the prison budget? TRIPLE THE PRISON BUDGET? Are you crazy?? Dude, we spend a BILLION dollars a year on our corrections system, and you want to TRIPLE that? Have you not been paying attention to what's been going on in our state budget? No, you want to triple the funding to a system that is already sucking a billion of our tax dollars? Hell no! I say cut the damn costs already.

Quote:
No time off for good behavior, no reduced sentences. Our current methods produce multi page rap sheets and revolving doors at the jail house. Six armed robberies? Five DUI's? Nine Breaking and Entering counts? Not in a system ran by Bulldawgfan. Rehabilitation? Nature or nurture? Only time will tell. A lot of time. A full and complete sentence worth.
I am Bulldawgfan and I want to be in charge of your criminals. Now pay up.
That mentality is exactly what has been running our prisons for the last few decades, and look what it's done.

You need to lay aside your blood thirst and understand that we need to stop getting "tough" on crime and start getting *smart* on crime. There are solutions out there that reduce criminal behavior as well as cut costs across the board. This isn't a liberal pipe-dream or a utopian wish. It HAS happened. And I know it's a lot to ask of a state that tends to oppose progress, but both criminals and law-abiding citizens are in this one together.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
I'm talking real, live, crime-cutting measures.
So, lets see if I am following you. We have a billion dollar prison budget and all it takes is a quick google search to end crime?
Wow, that is a good one.

Granted a lot of my post was sarcasm, but a google search will not empty our prisons. A google search will not stop crime. You want to know what will lower crime, in my opinion? Real consequences. Deterrence. For instance, you live in Atlanta. Lets say you are the one and only person that does not speed on 285. In my way of thinking, if you want to stop speeding, you raise the ticket costs to $1000 first offense. $5000 second offense. Third offense, loss of driving privileges. In a matter of weeks 60 mph would be the average speed on 285. Will there still be speeders? Of course. But once the word gets out of the real world consequences most people will start obeying speed limits. I look at crime in a similar manner. There will always be the criminal element out there, despite google. We are too soft on crime, not too harsh.
The way our current system seems to work is something like this: Get caught stealing a car, get a five year sentence. Get out in six months due to 'good' behavior (?), 3 days subtracted for 1 day served, and over crowding. There is no deterrence in that, no rehabilitation. There is light at the end of the tunnel as soon as the jail door is locked, and the full time criminals know it. However, at about the beginning of the forth year of that same sentence even the dumbest of criminals are probably wondering why they spent nearly a tenth of their life in jail over a piece of junk Chevy Impala. I did not create the sentence lengths, I simply want to honor them. Fully. It does not take google to figure out you will get less repeat offenders if they are in jail, serving their full sentence. Exactly like it was intended, before people though we could cure crime with google.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,862 posts, read 15,285,591 times
Reputation: 3576
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
I don't mean striking crimes off the book to artificially deflate the numbers. I'm talking real, live, crime-cutting measures.
Just what do you propose? And don't those solutions cost money as well? Nothing is free...prevention and punishment both cost money. What we should not do is release criminals or give them shorter sentences out of some need to "cut costs."

Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
^ Brought to you courtesy of The Party of No. (TM) A quick google search should provide volumes information that would answer your question.
Meaning what? All the Tea Party is asking for is responsible use of tax dollars and the realization that the taxes in this country are paid by only half the population who makes the wages. They ask for a realization that you cannot borrow, tax, and spend the country into bankruptcy. Sorry you see that as a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Triple the prison budget? TRIPLE THE PRISON BUDGET? Are you crazy?? Dude, we spend a BILLION dollars a year on our corrections system, and you want to TRIPLE that? Have you not been paying attention to what's been going on in our state budget? No, you want to triple the funding to a system that is already sucking a billion of our tax dollars? Hell no! I say cut the damn costs already. That mentality is exactly what has been running our prisons for the last few decades, and look what it's done.
We need to look at the overall way that we fight crime and the way we punish criminals. You say "cut the damn costs already" and WTF does that mean? Do you want to let felons out of prison? Do you want to reduce the number of corrections officers who guard them and increase the risk in prisons?

What specifically do you want to do besides bluster generalizations and slogans? Maybe if we "understood" the criminals better and gave more money to their teenage mothers, etc. then crime would cease? What is your profound solution to this issue? I would love nothing better than to shut down all our prisons and return that money to taxpayers, but that's not the real world we live in, at least to those of us living in the real world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
You need to lay aside your blood thirst and understand that we need to stop getting "tough" on crime and start getting *smart* on crime. There are solutions out there that reduce criminal behavior as well as cut costs across the board. This isn't a liberal pipe-dream or a utopian wish. It HAS happened. And I know it's a lot to ask of a state that tends to oppose progress, but both criminals and law-abiding citizens are in this one together.
"Blood thirst" ... are you serious? How about punishing criminals who made a conscious choice to commit a crime? How about locking up people who are a danger to society? That is common sense, not what you called it.

As for liberal pipe dreams....I can't comment on specific changes you would make, because you haven't suggested any. I can tell you that for years, liberals have been pouring huge sums of money into all kinds of programs designed to make society better, and society seems to be getting worse.

As for "criminals and law-abiding citizens in this one together" .... that is absurd on its face. Criminals have shown by their disregard for law and society that they are in it for themselves. We owe them nothing but safety, food, shelter, and basic medical attention. Maybe going back to the days of chain gangs would be a start. Prisons were bad places and people didn't want to go there. We need to get back to that place.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021
Amen brother. Some people think their opinions are like special snowflakes, but the truth is, there are no special snowflakes... they are all different.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:12 AM
 
Location: England
149 posts, read 98,664 times
Reputation: 44
I came across this thread by accident, read each comment withinterest. While reading other sites around America this seems tobe a common worry about criminals. Here in England we haveaprison population of 80,000 with a population of 60 million, whichis much higher than other countries in Europe. I believe theAmerican prison population is much higher than this percentagewise to your population. I'm curious to know why Americansthink this is. Do your courts imprison people for less seriousoffences than european courts?
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Here and there
1,808 posts, read 3,700,307 times
Reputation: 2021
david eckersall,

Very interesting points and questions to ponder. Off the top of my head, with little time for thought, I am gonna guess that you Europeans have simple had more time than us to be civil. Lets face it, we, as a country, have not been around as long as you guys on the other side of the big pond have. And, come to think of it, our Country exists basically because we broke laws, or did not like them and chose to be different. Your Country's laws, as a matter of fact. We have experienced a very rapid growth rate in a very short time in these parts. In that short period of time we have experienced radical changes in all social aspects, especially in financial matters. With the gold rush we got the wild wild west. A period of financial prosperity brought whimsical spending. The whole while, you guys still use buildings that are older than our Country. Not easy questions to answer, but I do agree with you... I am sure our prison population is a higher percentage than yours. With all due respect, given a choice as to where to live, I am staying right here, thank you very much.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.
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