More from the picture worth more than 1,000 words department. This graph is from the Sentencing Project with the red annotation added by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation.
we got rid of our drug problem. So it wasn’t all bad.
Pew Charitable Trusts has a poll that says most people think too many are being incarcerated
Although Mass seems to have 1 in 22 under some sort of punishment, the proportion of citizens that are incarcerated is lower than most states.
or it is CBS’ fault. That’s around the time they launched 60 Minutes. Coincidence? I think not.
Really, now. Just because prison population is inversely correlated with not “enough money for schools” doesn’t prove causality. Just as much as sun spots are not a causal factor the AL or NL winning the All-Star Game despite having a high correlation.
… money combined with the axiomatic existence of opportunity costs in any budget decision at least shows a mechanistic link. Of course pinpointing a one on one link is probably unreasonable without more evidence since there are many more things to budget than just these two, but it’s a far cry from calling them as unrelated as sunspots and baseball.
either (i) that the spike in prison population is good; or (ii) that education is adequately funded.
But this looks a lot like cause and effect is adequately established because it corresponds with what is already believed.
My point is that at a minimum they are related in a very real way and that fungibily combined with a hypothetically limited budget means that at some level every budget decision is a ’cause’ of every other budget decision in either a trivial or meaningful way. Thus the sunspots and baseball comparison doesn’t work.
“…axiomatic existence”? “…mechanistic link”? By your standards of probability and statistics, I can prove LBJ had JFK killed.
It’s blatantly obvious that two items that vie against each other are linked – making the sunspots and baseball analogy absurd. I, trying to be polite, basically said your analogy was inapt. Now I’ll go ahead and say it’s stupid. No, moronic.
Moreover, with regard to my ‘standards of evidence’, I’d point out that you should be more careful with your comprehension. I suspect you figured that I was backing up the assertion of the post. If you look at what I said, you’ll see I made no such claim – I made no claim as to the exact ‘level of causality’ you can make from the budgetary link alone. I even said explicitly that the case was thin. But apparently even that’s not good enough for you.
I figured that you might reasonably see the inapt nature of your comparison. I see I now that was wrong.
Hamden County (includes Springfield and Holyoke) spends $540 million dollars per year locking people up. Many are there for drug offenses and over half have children. So not only is this a case of scarce government resources being diverted from schools, but you have a lot of kids whose Dad is not home because he is locked up. These kids don’t do as well in school for lots of reasons: poverty, no dad to help with homework, stress, anger at the system.
but per-student spending on k-12 has roughly doubled (depending on methodology) in inflation-adjusted terms since the war on drugs began.
naturally, we could spend even MORE if prison population were lower.
just thought it’s worth noting how much more we spend on k-12 than ye olde days, since you mention that in the heading.
During the period you cite, the prison population multiplied by FOURTEEN times. While I suppose there might be some economies of scale involved, I suspect that prison spending has increased by a great deal more than the factor of two you cite for k-12 spending.
I suspect that the expected return (to society) on increased k-12 spending is far greater than on incarceration. I therefore have a strong preference for investing this money in education, as opposed to prisons.
As corporations take control of those incarcerated and new uses are developed it is harder to stop the practice.
The corporate need for inmates is easily seen in the war or drugs. To be effective this war should be aimed at the banks laundering the monies and the government security apparatus officials cooperating with the major dealers. Instead the small time users, dealers and those of the periphery are targets. That’s where the corporate needs center. Low cost, high revenue generating slaves. There just aren’t enough bankers and officials to do the required labor.
Who doubts that our elected representatives will pander to the wealthy corporations and ignore the will of the people (again)?
“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. ” –13th Amedndment, US Constitution
Sentence length for all sorts of crimes went up. “Three strikes” laws were enacted in many states in the mid-90s.
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