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Philadelphia Prison Overcrowding

Apparently Philadelphia’s prisons are filling up.   I have to wonder about this:

The increase in prison population comes at a time when the city has had a spike in fatal violence. Experts say, however, that the rising inmate count has more to do with a long-term crackdown on drug offenders in the city and tougher prison sentences.

Some small relief may be on the way. State legislation has been devised to reduce overcrowding across Pennsylvania, and part of the change could send at least 700 Philadelphia inmates to state facilities.

Well, at least the state is pitching in to keep non-violent drug offenders off the street, you know.  It’s not like the city has a problem with violent offenders or anything.

The Goldkamp report also pointed out that 88 percent of inmates serving sentences were nonviolent offenders, mostly doing time for drug convictions. “When the role of drug offenders and nonviolent offenders is so pronounced, there is a sizable pool of offenders who could potentially be candidates for alternative sentencing options not now employed,” the report said.

This is more evidence that the war on drugs, which we will never win, as long as people want to do them, is something we ought to reconsider.  If the state is going to have to spend money here, I’d much prefer if it were to keep violent offenders off the street, rather than drug offenders.

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