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January 26, 2007

The Corrections Quagmire

It's nice to see an editorial like this in the New York Times. It's what Prison Fellowship has been saying for years: that mandatory sentencing has pushed the nation's prison system into a quagmire and we must be proactive to dig it out. The editorial explains:

After a tenfold increase in the nation’s prison population — and a corrections price tag that exceeds $60 billion a year — the states have often been forced to choose between building new prisons or new schools. Worse still, the country has created a growing felon caste, now more than 16 million strong, of felons and ex-felons, who are often driven back to prison by policies that make it impossible for them to find jobs, housing or education.

Congress could begin to address this problem by passing the Second Chance Act, which would offer support services for people who are leaving prison. But it would take more than one new law to undo 30 years of damage.

Here are a few more practical suggestions.

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