Reader Opinion: Win-win situation
The U.S. has more people in prison than any other country, and yet we aren’t the safest country.
Some politicians would have you believe that the Minnesota administration’s plan is to suddenly empty the prisons. This is simply not the case. The Minnesota Rehabilitation and Reinvestment Act, proposed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections is included in Gov. Tim Walz’s revised budget. The department is asking to “reallocate resources they already have to encourage inmates to participate in programming and rehabilitation efforts to earn an early release.” Rehabilitation efforts would be targeted to the inmate’s risks and needs, begin earlier in the sentence, and progress will be tracked, resulting in a briefer supervised parole at the end of the sentence. This is a policy that has been tried in 38 other states. It will save “the state an estimated $10 million per year.” (Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press). Educational and vocational programs can reduce recidivism by 10% or more ( www.knowablemagazine.org ). This is a win-win situation: It reduces the amount of money spent on repeat incarceration and parole, and returns the inmates to the community with skills they can use to support themselves and their families.
Some politicians would have you believe that more prison time makes for more public safety. The U.S. has more people in prison than any other country, and yet we aren’t the safest country — we are the 129th.