Letters to the Editor

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PRISONS: Those life sentences are costly

Letter by Tom Martin, Sumner on March 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm | 25 Comments »
March 28, 2011 3:12 pm

When state money is so very tight, do we not need to spend it where it will get the best results?

When programs are expensive but yet produce negative results, is it not time that we direct our money elsewhere?

When our “3-Strikes” law was promoted, it was supposed to apply to the “most violent criminals.” On a scale of 1 to 16, we find that some 72 percent of those serving life sentences under this law have been convicted of low-level-4 offenses. Each one of these life sentences has a cost to the taxpayer of at least $1 million. Some 200 people currently imprisoned for low-level offenses represent some $200 million.

We need money to spend on preventive programs, on education, on health care. We need to spend our money where it will get the best results.

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