Saturday, January 3, 2009
Pragmatism in State Prison Systems
With money-starved states striving to become more efficient, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine plans to take some of the weight off of the state's prison system. With Virginia having the sixth greatest growth in state imprisonment between 2000 and 2007, Kaine plans to release non-violent, model inmates up to three times earlier (90 days rather than 30 days prior to the originally intended release) in order to save money, ease overcrowding, and reward those who have shown obvious reform. This policy has received criticism from proponents of long, retributive sentences; the same people who have created these over-populated prisons and have caused significant need for prison system budget increases. It is great to see new, more efficient and fair policies finally being enacted. To read the Washington Post editorial concerning these prison reforms, click here.