Whither prison reform?

By Cate Long
August 22, 2011

I expect to see a lot more discussion about reform of the state and local prison and jail systems in the coming months. Some states are privatizing jails, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered California to release prisoners due to overcrowding. Here is an interesting paper published in the journal Criminology and Public Policy that talks about how unions can be an impediment to change. From the abstract:

Prisons and the social fabric

By Cate Long
June 3, 2011

Let there be no mistake: when you produce so many criminals that you can’t afford to lock them up, you are a failed state. Virtually every important civil institution in society has to fail to get you to this point. Your homes and houses of worship are failing to build law abiding citizens, much less responsible and informed voters. Your schools aren’t educating enough of your kids to make an honest living. Your taxes and policies are so bad that you are driving thousands of businesses away.

Muni sweeps: “Intergovernmental downloading”

By Cate Long
May 23, 2011

“Intergovernmental downloading”

Lisa Lambert of Reuters writes about a report issued by Fitch Ratings. From the Fitch report: