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The High Cost of Prisons


Publication Date: 
April 01, 2009
Op-Ed or News Article
Bibliography: Kara Dansky, The High Cost of Prisons (Letter to the Editor), New York Times, April 1, 2009.



As “To Trim Costs, States Relax Hard Line on Prisons” (front page, March 25) notes, one main impetus for states’ efforts to reduce prison populations is the impact that the economic recession is having on state budgets.

Many of our states’ corrections budgets are out of control. But long-lasting improvement of our criminal justice system won’t come from a short-term crisis response to a shrinking budget alone. It will come only as a result of a reorientation in the minds of Americans about the purpose of criminal law in a democracy.