Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Reducing prison populations

I met Bernadette Candalaria tonight at the Progressive Cafe at 38th and Tennyson and she had an interesting idea about one way to reduce our prison population. Her idea? Let certain qualified prisoners, probably those who accumulate "good time" or some other qualifier, serve some time in the military to complete their sentence.

I don't know if the military would be willing to take some of the prison population, and there are legitimate reasons why they might not want them, but I think this idea warrants more investigation. First, it increases the military strength which would offset any recruiting shortfalls. Second, it offers offenders a fairly structured environment to prepare them for the real world. Third, it reduces the prison population and associated costs. There are definitely issues to be thought through, like how much additional burden on the military command this causes, what if they screw up real bad (back to the pokey?), and so forth, but we ought to think about it.


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