If something isn't working then you either fix it or replace it. Our prison system is not working. We have tried numerous fixes but none of them have worked. We have had chain gangs, tent prisons in Arizona and federal maximum security lockdown facilities. The recidivism rate, especially among sexual predators, is astronomical. It seems that every day another child is snatched from his or her home, school, playground etc. only to be sexually assaulted and then murdered or buried alive by some fiend.
Just today I read an article stating that California police officers have been instructed not to chase after parole violators because the California prisons are full. They are bulging at the seams. How many times have we watched our local TV news to see the gates open and prisoners scurrying like rats into our streets and neighborhoods because there is not enough space or money to house them. I have listened to and watched frustrated police officers and sheriff's deputies agonize over these prisoner releases. What can they do? The federal courts have put limits on the number of prisoners that can be placed in a cell or facility and there is no money to build more prisons.
My thesis here is that we should not be building more prisons but we should be looking for alternative places to house those that break the law and do not fit or belong in a structured law abiding society. It is time to put these misfits on an Island. No, I'm not talking about Devils Island which you probably are conjuring up in your mind from the fictional movie accounts. Read on.
MSNBC -TV has created a documentary about American prisons. It is called The Lockup Series. It is fascinating, comprehensive and long, very long - 10 hours long. It is divided into different parts and can be watched over various time periods.
This series can be found on the MSNBC - TV Web site . The following was copied word for word from their web site:
Our nation prides itself on its love of freedom, yet we have the highest percentage of citizens locked behind bars of any nation on earth - close to two million men and women. Each year, our society pours 24 billion dollars into this prison system. For the men and women in prison, the daily challenge is simply to survive. But today, society also faces a crucial challenge - with more resources than ever invested in Americas prisons, many experts believe the time has come to find out whether the system is really working.