Friday, May 11, 2007

Rep. Turner: Children need insurance today, not prisons tomorrow

As mentioned here, the Texas House and Senate corrections budgets differ markedly in terms of how much money would be spent on prison alternatives and whether to build new prisons. A recent report by Dr. Tony Fabelo calculated that if the Senate's level of diversion funding were approved, no new prison spending would be required.

The conference committee on the budget has agreed on funding alternatives at an amount nearly as great as the Senate recommended (just $13 million shy of their suggestion and $87 million more than the House budget.) But senators, particularly Sen. Tommy Williams, are still insistent on new prison spending.

One hopes Fabelo's new figures should give House conferees greater leverage to oppose new prisons in the next budget, but the matter has not been decided. Listen here to Rep. Sylvester Turner explaining at today's House-Senate conference committee on the budget why he doesn't support more prison building unless needs of children and seniors are met first, or see the transcript. More from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rep Turner just does not get it! If you teach children they will not end up in prison. A minor MJ offense is not prison worthy and if you build new prisons, that will give some Judge the idea he/she can continue to spend our money by incarcerating everyone. That is why our prisons are full. Bad judgement by all involved. Usually a person who has only a small amount of MJ is crying out for help and has a depression problem. Legalize it put under control and help those people and stop wasting our money on something you want. Remember, it is our money and we are tired of spending by breaking up families and keeping those incarcerated from being able to become a citizen again due to the stigma of being in prison. When they have served their time, clean the slate and let them become productive.

Building more prisons is a bad, bad idea and I hope you have a good day!