Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Corrections" System So Wrong

(Guest post by Kendra Mon)

Correcting California's so-called “corrections” system could reduce budget woes and help people turn their lives around. In the last 20 years our prison population tripled. We waste billions of dollars yearly, locking up thousands of nonviolent drug offenders though community-based treatment is cheaper and actually gets people off drugs. We throw away hundreds of millions of dollars annually on the largest, most dysfunctional death penalty system in the country even though permanent imprisonment is cheaper and no less effective. We pay over $380 million every year to lock up more than 1,600 young people in youth prisons, even though local programs like Sonoma County's Restorative Resources are cheaper and more effective.

The Youth Promise Act is Congressional legislation that could help turn our youth corrections system around. House bill H.R.1064 and companion Senate bill S.435 would provide funding to local community councils to spend on effective programs that reduce youth crime, violence and incarceration. This bill has remarkable bipartisan support as well as endorsement by officials and organizations concerned with law enforcement, civil rights, education, and the U.S. Congress of Mayors. The knowledge about effective rehabilitation programs exists. It's a crime not to use it to save lives and taxpayer dollars.

To learn more about the Youth PROMISE act and send your Representative and Senators a letter asking for their support, visit and sign the e-mail petition.

1 comment:

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