Tuesday, December 30, 2008

jim webb on prisons

I missed this but Virginia Senator Jim Webb (D) wants to reform American prisons. He notes a lot of problems - incarceration rates that put us in the same range as China, young blacks being in prison disproportionately, too many people in prison for little things like parole violation or holding drugs while violent offenders are out on the street.

Webb is no bleeding-heart liberal. He's identified a lot of problems. The prison-industrial complex will no doubt oppose him - hey, if you are running a for-profit prison, every guy put in prison for being found with pot while on parole is a revenue source. The so-called law & order types and people who are still convinced (despite ALL evidence to the contrary) that locking people up and seizing property without due process is the only way to keep us all safe from the scourge of illegal drugs will also no doubt oppose any reform efforts with scare tactics and innuendo that Webb is soft on criminals. But I wish Webb luck - this is a battle worth fighting.

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