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Friday, April 1, 2011

Prison Alternatives Could Save $350 Million In 4 Years

Wagner: Prison Reform Needed

Auditor General Jack Wagner said today that Pennsylvania could save $50 million in the upcoming fiscal year, and $350 million over four years if the state better utilized alternative-sentencing programs and implemented other reforms.

“With Pennsylvania facing its greatest budget crisis since the Great Depression, we must look for sustainable savings in every nook and cranny of state government, and that includes the criminal-justice system, which is one of the three biggest drivers of increased spending over the past decade,” Wagner said.

In 2009, Pennsylvania had the fastest-growing prison population in the nation, adding 2,122 inmates. Florida was second, adding 1,527.

On WESB’s LiveLine today, Senator Joe Scarnati said the state’s prisons have too many people in them who would be better off in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs or mental health facilities. He said getting those inmates to where they should be would save a significant amount of money.

Graphic from the auditor general's website, where you can also find more information.


Anonymous said...

blame those damn windmills.

maybe state prisons should get slammed with budget cuts too. eh i'm just an idiot. nevermind.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind my tax money going to prisons-I would rather have the crimnals behind bars........

Anonymous said...

What has caused the jump in numbers? Is our population less law-abiding? Have the laws become more stringent? Are the prisons more comfortable than they used to be?
Undoubtedly there are many answers to each of these questions, but until greater minds than mine can decide on solutions the law-abiding citizens will just have to pay more to support the growing prison population.
Incidentally what creative measures have worked in other states? Could senior law students do that research and get credit towards graduation when their findings are presented to law-makers?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I don't mind my tax money going to prisons-I would rather have the crimnals behind bars........

What about the ones in DC?

Anonymous said...

prisons are more comfortable than ever....look how many years a murderer is on death row getting room and board....if your convicted without a doubt of murder, than you should receive the same....punishment fits the crime

Anonymous said...

Why does the state have to feed prisoners... the family members should have to cover them with food and clothing. If no one of the family will help them out oh well death will come at a price .....

Anonymous said...

We need to seriously look at the death penalty for murderers.

Rapists, predators and molesters. its hard to prove sometimes, but if you have them, jail for life.

Don't give non violent drug offenders jail time.

2 meals a day.

white collar criminals need a good whooping not time.

Work them. Its not summer camp.

Rehab. If they are ready get them out. if it isn't working, we need to cut our losses...