Friday, November 05, 2010

Real conservatives aren't afraid of prison closures

Yesterday I'd rhetorically asked "What would Ronald Reagan do?" about high corrections costs, and in response Jake Horowitz of the Pew Charitable Trusts emailed to point out a related sidebar in this 2008 policy brief (pdf) which reads as follows:
The history of state-local corrections partnerships is often dated to California’s 1965 enactment of the Probation Subsidy Act, which provided counties up to $4,000 for each prison-eligible adult or juvenile offender who was supervised, sanctioned and serviced in the community. In combination with other reforms, the act led to several successes achieved under Governor Ronald Reagan.

Between 1969 and 1972, the state placed nearly all nonviolent property offenders under local supervision, cut its inmate population by 30 percent, closed eight prison facilities and drove recidivism (within two years of release) down from 40 percent to 25 percent. In his Second Inaugural Address, in 1971, Governor Reagan stated: “Our rehabilitation policies and improved parole system are attracting nationwide attention. Fewer parolees are being returned to prison than at any time in our history, and our prison population is lower than at any time since 1963.”
The is an issue that distinguishes between latter-day Big Government Conservatives and conservatives in the tradition of Reagan and Goldwater who actually believed in less government as opposed to merely giving the idea lip service. If Ronald Reagan, the archetypal modern conservative, could close 8 prisons in California 40 years ago when their system was much smaller, Texas should be able to close 8 of its 112 prison units in the current environment without harming public safety.

RELATED: "What would Ronald Reagan do about too-high prison costs?"


Anonymous said...

Just a tip Scott. When you communicate with conservatives realize that we don't take every word of the New York Times or the prophets in San Francisco as gospel. This left wing bunch engages in a great deal of deception (and self deception) which you may see as so orthodox in your circles that you aren't aware of it.

One example was yesterday when you used the term "anti-immigrant" to describe those of us who are opposed to open borders. This is how I think the reasoning begins: immigrants are good, people who enter the country illegally are immigrants so violations of the border suddenly becomes good. Now, anyone who opposes illegal immigration becomes, as you say, "anti-immigrant."

That is just one little example, but there are a dozen other ways in which you give yourself away probable without ever knowing it. By listening only to other left wing elitist you are able to maintain a pure leftist vision.

You probably perfected this skill when you led that snide little bunch at the Daily Texan.

Hook Em Horns said...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

2:34, here's a tip for you: Don't make things up.

Looking at yesterday's posts, I didn't use the phrase "anti-immigrant," either in the way you describe or in any other context. Why would you lie about something that's so easily checked?

Setting aside for a moment your mistaken allegation, are you trying to imply Reagan did NOT close 8 prisons or reduce California's prison population while he was Governor? If so, you're wrong as a matter of history, ideology aside.

Anonymous said...

2:34 is a Big Government Conservative. A true Reaganite would support Amnesty for illegal immigrants, just like Ronnie did.

doran said...

Grits, 2:34 didn't actually LIE. He, or she, is just hallucinating and confabulating. Contemporary conservatives do that. A lot. They are so arrogant, so self-centered, and so self-delusional that if they think something happened, they say it did, even it did not.

Truth for them is whatever they think or say it to be. They never lie, because they don't know what the objective reality of a given situation is.

Patches and slow release injections for most of them are definitely called for.

Anonymous said...

That anti immigrant thing is sort of like someone who stands by the constitution so they must be a racist.

Anonymous said...

Your words (11/04/10) in the comment section:

Whether it's a mandate for "conservative bills," it depends on what you mean. I'd guess Voter ID will get through, but some of the wackier anti-immigrant stuff, etc.,

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Okay 5:06, I'll take the bait.

Like Reagan, I support amnesty for illegal immigrants. Reagan was an anti-communist and knew the history of Soviet transmigration, so he knew that mass arrests, roundups and detention camps are anathema to liberty and American values. Modern-day Big Government Conservatives have forgotten those lessons.

There are those advocating such totalitarian tactics who say they're not anti-immigrant but simply oppose illegal immigration. However, a lot of folks who say that also oppose a) amnesty and b) expanding immigration quotas. Taken together, as a practical matter, those positions ARE anti-immigrant - their goal is not just to make sure the rules are followed but to actually prevent immigration, legal or otherwise.

Prison Doc said...

This thread has gotten pretty far afield from prison closures...but as a non-anonymous conservative I maintain that most of my ilk is pro-immigrant", but opposed to unrestricted, open border immigration. I don't see that as a contradiction. I also think most of us righties would be pro-amnesty if and when the border is secured. You can't leave the border porous and still have a blanket amnesty for all.

Personally I favor amnesty with border security, because I see no other way to assimilate the undocumented masses already here.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Prison Doc, the string got far afield because our anonymous friend doesn't want to address uncomfortable facts like Ronald Reagan's actual record on prison closures in California, or for that matter on immigration. It's easier to drum up red herrings and divert focus to Culture War topics than to admit that the positions I'm espousing on these subjects are closer to Reagan's than many people calling themselves "conservative" these days.

sunray's wench said...

I'm going to make some generalistic statements here, but they are based on observations.

Most Texans don't feel there is any difference between legal and illegal immigration.

Most white Texans believe that most people who look like they have Mexican ancestry are in Texas illegally.

If all the "illegals" were "sent home", there would be less need for so many prisons because that's where most of the "illegals" end up.

Texas, to me, seems a bit like Poland or the Czech Republic in Europe. It has a proud native population, but the land itself is administrated, shared up and generally abused by peoples from lots of different places, who all think it really should belong to them.

Don said...

Sunray's Wench has it down pretty much except that I would possible substitute "many" for "most". That would be more demonstrable.

Anonymous said...

Sunray's wench: Please broaden your observations!

Most Texans (White, black, Asian or Hispanic to name a few) do NOT believe your general statements!

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

Well I guess it's good to point out the distinction between Big Government conservatives (those who denounce "big government" - as the crowd hurrahs! - but use government to push their agenda which is putting big money - taxpayer dollars - in the pockets of just a few, pushing us further and further into debt) and traditional conservatives. A lot of Big Government conservative talk is really just an opportunity to bash liberals/the left/far left (hear the crowd hurrah!) - us against them mentality, divide and conquer. Meanwhile I'm not hearing much of anything out of Obama (and "Democrats") other than a bunch of empty rhetoric. Actually, those who would be considered (truly) far left have similar views as those who are considered (truly) conservative and both would think leaders of Big Government conservatives as (truly) elites.

I don't know if there will be prison closures, but there will likely be less prison services or sound policies due to lack of money and (true) leadership.

sunray's wench said...

Retired 2004 ~ I'd love to, really I would, but like I said, my opinion is based on observations while I am in Texas. That's not just from the people I'm with (a wide cross-section of the population, not just a couple of middle-class conservatives or some individuals who have seen more time in prison than out), but from listening to conversations in restaurants from the Bay Area to Dallas to the rural communities around Anderson County.

It's hard to draw any other conclusion, when I hear it so often while I'm over there.

And in fairness, there is a similar collective resentment of "foreigners" among the native Brits here too, although we know that most of our "guests" are not illegal but simply come from the rest of Europe because they are able to.