A Hidden Benefit of Recessions

The reduction in state tax revenue from the recession might, just might, force the government to consider cutting back on imprisoning non-violent drug offenders, if only to save money. From the Washington Post:

Under the proposal being drafted by Senate leaders from both parties, Virginia would expand its use of home monitoring and make it easier for nonviolent offenders to be released after they complete drug treatment programs.

The state would then close one or two prisons, which would free up at least $50 million to help address a $3 billion budget shortfall.

The Senate plan, which is expected to be finalized this week, expands Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's earlier cost-cutting proposal to allow some prison officials to release nonviolent inmates 90 days before the end of their sentences.

It's a start, although it remains to be seen whether this proposal will pass, since, as David Albo says of the House Republicans, "They want to release drug dealers, and none of us are willing to release drug dealers." David Albo, Virginia residents might recall, is the buffoon who views the traffic code as a way to drum up business for his law firm, so maybe he shouldn't be the go-to guy on law and order issues.

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