Thursday, February 01, 2007

Radio station poll on treatment vs. prisons

A reader alerts me to a non-scientific poll on Houston's KTRH news radio station's website posing the treatment vs. prisons question - Go let them know your opinion.

So far, more prisons is slightly ahead. But I must say I thought they posed the question in an odd way. "How would you rather your tax dollars be spent?" implies we'd spend the same amount either way. If they'd attached dollar figures to each of those options: $125-150 million per year for new prisons, e.g., or less than half that to expand treatment beds, I'll bet you'd have gotten quite a different answer.

I also bet if you told folks the relative recidivism rates from prison vs. treatment, it would make a difference, too. Not to mention the fact that we can't find enough guards to staff the prisons we've got.

Would some be less hostile to "treatment" if they knew Whitmire and Madden want to add thousands of new beds to the adult system, just different kinds of beds matched to the needs and risk level of the offender?

Would they support prison building if they knew the demand for beds wasn't caused by population growth? In the last three decades, Texas prisons expanded in size 573% while the state population grew 67%.

Would people support more prisons if it meant their promised tax cut could be smaller? I think that might chip a few points off the prison builders' support.

You can't take all that into account in a quickie web poll. For those reasons I'm skeptical of such unofficial, single-question tallies. But it does show there's a lot of education work still to be done for those who oppose continuing Texas' prison building jag.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree there is a lot of educating to do. I admit that in the past, I knew at some level that there are problems with the prisons. My knowledge was not important until it began to impact my life when someone I know was imprisioned.

It really is a crime to be poor or mentally ill in the State of Texas. This is because these are the very people that do not have a voice in the decision making process? Political tepresentatives only listen to rich people that can contribute to their campaignd! The courts are our best hope and they're hands are tied by awful laws! It is a pretty dismal situation. This blog performs a very important function of making information available at the click of a button. Thanks for your good work! I hope your efforts help fix these injustices.

Anonymous said...

For all those who voted for more prisons, my suggestion would be the same for you as it was for the Gov and Lt. Gov. go spend 6 months in one of these prisons, no air conditioning, no circulating air and the food is full of roaches. Sound good? They should try it sometime as well as thos who voted for more prisons.

Evidently they do not read the news, prisons are 62% below the status of safety as guards are leaving in droves and those who stay are ready to retire and don't want to lose what they have worked for. Then there are those who are not worth the money they are paid and are the ones who cause the cruelty and mistreatment of people who don't deserve to be there.

I am sure there could be a bed found somewhere for these people, but wait, we are 500 over capacity and county jails have informed TDCJ they can no longer take any more of their Inmates as they are full to the brim.

You who voted for more prisons need to be educated in the real world and come out of your ivory towers and look at the real world.

Anonymous said...

that is why i am a laaw abding person so i dont have to gor to rpison. and by the way people who are in prison are all innocent right. OK if you think so. i know one thing i do not want to constantly look over my shoulder thinking when is it my turn to get robbed or car jacked. i work hard for my money and i dont mind building more prisons to keep us safe.

Rusty said...

anonymous #3,

No they are not all innocent. Yet how many have been turned lose and found to be innocent using DNA??? How many have we wrongfully killed that will never have a chance to be cleared by DNA? How many can't afford the justice others can!

If you think the system we have now is in any way fair, your not living in the real world! If we didn't make fear based laws for those who have claim the right to force their beliefs and fear on others, our jails and our prisons and courts wouldn't be overloaded!!

And your mistaken you do need to look over your shoulder. Because the very UN-AMERICAN biased and bigoted fear based laws you support. Are creating those that will FEED upon those who have wrongfully ruined their lives WHEN THEY GET OUT!

You think your actions teaches them a lesson. In part your correct it does! But it is a lesson of justification for retaliating against those who have violated Americas values and Individual Freedoms to force others to bow to the self perceived self righteous agendas!

These people don't go away, they do get out! And if they didn't know how to do crimes before they went in they WILL when they get out! And after being feed upon by the very system that claims Individual Freedoms for all, and those REAL ANIMALS in prison for nothing more than a non violent drug rap! While losing their families and their chance of ever getting a head, You can bet they are going to be ready for revenge when they get out. And your probably one of those who is wondering why there is so much crime today, right? Just before you walk in to your house of worship and proclaim your commitment to HIS beliefs and teaching and your fellow man, right!

Welcome to the new America you can have as much justice and freedoms as you can afford. Or seek revenge form those who manipulated their bigotry and biases in to laws for their own belief and self serving agendas!
Still got that warm and fuzzy feeling about locking people up, then don't whine when it comes back to YOU!

Justice in this state and country is no longer blind, it is also a disgusting LIE! The whole world is watching as we sacrifice our sons and daughter for a dream WE DON'T EVEN HAVE HERE!! How utterly disgusting is that!

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