Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Are Political Leaders Finally Seeing the Light?
In West Virginia of all places?! Steve Canterbury, the Administrator for the state's Supreme Court and former director of the regional jail authority, told lawmakers that privatizing prisons is a bad idea. He discussed how the industry wields political influence through campaign contributions and lobbying to ensure a steady flow of prisoners and contracts. He instead told the panel of lawmakers that they should invest in alternatives to incarceration, including drug courts, to begin to wean the state off its reliance on incarceration as the primary form of punishment. West Virginia, like many other states, faces a crisis over its prison population, so lawmakers should take heed of these wise words and steer clear of for-profit prison entities that ensure their own survival by driving up rates of incarceration.