TalkLeft links to the Sentencing Report’s new study titled Big Prisons, Small Towns: Prison Economics in Rural America.
I have not read it yet, but apparently Jeralynn has, and states that “rural prisons produce no positive economic benefits for local communities.” Once I read it, I will comment more, but you should go check it out.
Regardless of your political affiliation, it should be clear that we have a problem in this area. No one comes out of prison a better person (Shawshank Redemption be damned), and unless we intend to just start locking everyone up for life, we have a serious problem. We need education programs, drug rehabiliation, and programs that SUCCESSFULLY transition inmates who have served their time and paid for their crime to become full, productive citizens once again. There are others who can speak more eloquently about this than I can, but I think the notion (and reality) of prisons serving only a punitive function is helping no one.