The Cost of Prison: It's the Humanity, StupidBy Philosopher's Beard
As has been frequently noted, the cost of incarcerating large numbers of people is exorbitant. The Atlantic for example recently published a nice graphics laden piece comparing (unfavourably) US prison costs per person to college tuition rates.
It's a nice factoid, but let's not let the prices obscure the real cost of the prison system: It's the humanity, stupid.
What numbers like this illustrate is how far wrong the US government's (and thus the American people's) priorities have gone. i.e. university education appears less of a priority than locking up stoners. But portraying this cost in terms of price is misleading. It suggests that the problem with the prison system is not the senseless waste of human life and dignity (compared to other civilised countries), but the price inefficiency of US prisons. The problem is budgetary, especially in these times of recession and government debt. But if only America could halve the costs of keeping so many people in prison, all would be well. For example, if the techno rapture about the scope for electronic tagging is justified, it could replace the bricks and mortar prison for many convicted prisoners with a kind of panopticon surveillance system at a tiny fraction of the cost.
This is the trouble with thinking that the only costs that matter are prices, not human beings; and the only people who matter are taxpayers, not criminals. If society wants to sentence criminals to life in prison because of its paranoia and the only thing holding it back is the taxes it would cost, then technology like this will assuage all its qualms and allow it to 'virtually' imprison even minor offenders for life for less money than the present system costs. What a world to look forward to.
You Might Also Like :
These articles might interest you :
This is the “Hanukkah Bush” or as I have now dubbed it… The Bush of Judiasm! Happy post Thanksgiving Day everybody and hopefully your bellies are filled and you... Read moreThe 02 December 2013 by Steveonline
BUSINESS, MARKETING & ADVERTISING, SOCIAL MEDIA
Everyone knows about the big names: Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Instagram. Countless others have transformed mobile apps from a... Read moreThe 05 December 2013 by Palmgear
Charmian (left) & Kaye last month on the Ganges in VaranasiIf you are going to perform for over three weeks at the always potentially rainy and windy... Read moreThe 07 December 2013 by Thejohnfleming
// Ha, ha! I knew it, I knew it would be a shade of purple. Pantone Color of the Year 2014 was announced and it is, drum roll, Radiant Orchid. Read moreThe 05 December 2013 by Bridgetteraes
The Reason To Dress I’ve written about Modena’s Philosophy Festival (FestivalFilosofia) before here, but just incase you did’t read that post it is basically... Read moreThe 04 December 2013 by Reasonstodress
JAKE: ‘a big ask, but it would be a mighty win’ John McCormick writes: I remember us beating Chelsea many years ago, when the world was young and the Busty... Read moreThe 03 December 2013 by Colin Randall
Our new London Walks Podcast comes out this week, on the topic of Christmas London. And Podcaster Andy has been busy in the Christmas kitchen. LW's Foodie exper... Read moreThe 08 December 2013 by Lwblog
MOST POPULAR FROM DEBATE
- The Most Common Grade Given To Harvard Undergraduates Is An ‘A’ by Eowyn
- Additional Proof that More Guns Means More Overall Deadly Violence by Mikeb302000
- Nelson Mandela: Black racist who wanted to kill all whites by Eowyn
- Homeowner Shoots Intruder To Death In East Islip by Eowyn