California gulags in “state of emergency”

California prisons are so overcrowded that Gov. Terminator, in an emergency move, wants to ship prisoners to private prisons in other states.

Wouldn’t a better plan be to get prisoners off alcohol and drugs? More than 50% of prisoners did their crimes while drunk or high. If they get clean and sober, chances are, they won’t return to prison. But the politically powerful prison guards union is openly hostile to such ideas, and a reformist head of the prison system was recently purged.

Prisons are big business; building, staffing, and supplying them runs into the billions of dollars each years in California. Politicians get re-elected by gittin’ tough on crime. Thus, there are entrenched interests who do not want prisoners getting clean and sober – because fewer prisoners means less money, power, and influence for them.

[tags]California prisons[/tags]