The Corner

Measuring Stick

Jonah, of course there are budgetary constraints on rehabilitation just as there are for everything else, but I’m not sure that we are getting the numbers right. Rehabilitation is no miracle cure, but recidivism is very expensive. Equally, while it is right to say that bad people go to prison, not all people in prison are bad (not least those pesky drug offenders). The state has a right (and, in a sense, a duty) to jail people who are a menace to others, but it also has a duty to ensure that those it imprisons are held in safe conditions. As Churchill once said, the measure of a civilized society is how it treats its prisoners. The US, I fear, is failing that test.

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