I know we're building more prison space in AZ to reduce overcrowding, but that's also to account for a similar rate of incarceration as the general population grows (1/100 adults is in jail or prison in AZ, which is about the national average).
More beds really aren't the solution; we need to decarcerate. We should just commute sentences of those in minimum security (who really aren't dangers to society) to be completed on probation, close down those beds, use some of the savings to hire PO's/train CO's as PO's to do community supervision for those released, use some of it to supplement community-based drug treatment and mental health programs for former prisoners, and use some of it to improve the remaining prison facilities.
Sounds way too simple, I know, but it can't be worse than our current trajectory.
New York Times Editorial
August 11, 2009
Around 200 inmates were injured, 55 seriously, over the weekend in an 11-hour prison riot in
Last week, just days before the riot, a three-judge federal panel ordered the state to reduce its prison population of more than 150,000 by about 40,000 within the next two years. That was the only way, the panel ruled, to bring the prison health care system up to constitutional standards.
The 184-page order painted a grim and alarming picture — with some state prison facilities at nearly 300 percent of intended capacity and some prisoners forced to sleep in triple-bunk beds in gymnasiums. “In these overcrowded conditions,” the court said, “inmate-on-inmate violence is almost impossible to prevent.”
Given the serious budget problems that
The riot in