Monday, July 11, 2005

More on prisons

The Times Picayune has an excellent editorial this morning focusing on Louisiana's high prisoner incarceration rate. It begins, "Nobody believes that Louisianians are naturally more criminal than people born in other states. So it should concern everybody who lives here that Louisiana imprisons a higher percentage of its residents than every other state does." It concludes, "A high prison rate isn't so much a disease as it is a symptom. And if state officials and lawmakers are as embarrassed by our dubious distinction as they should be, they'll do more to fix our schools, bring down the high poverty rate and create better jobs. Having the highest percentage of its citizens in prison doesn't make Louisiana safe. It means that the state has failed in many ways." See my post from yesterday about how Louisiana is actually marketing this dubious distinction. The bottom line is this: Louisiana's high prisoner incarceration rate deserves far more attention than it currently gets.