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May 2006
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and the cracks in the facade begin to show

Fayetteville Observer Editorial”

… We have been at this for decades. Americans are now the most imprisoned people on the planet. The pace is picking up. And we seem to have no other main-line defense in prospect.
That burdens supporters of the lock-’em-up ideology with the duty of answering a few questions. Is this what we’re supposed to regard as success? Have we taken back the streets? Won the “war” on drugs? Made our homes safe from invasion and our families safe from deranged people and drug-crazed brutes?
Maybe this is the best we can do, and we should tone down the extravagant predictions and trudge onward. But even if there’s no alternative, nothing that would do away with the need for prisons, there are other approaches to lawmaking and sentencing. Wouldn’t it make sense, for the sake of public safety and government economy, to explore those with the same kind of vigor we display in cheering the latest conviction and mandatory prison sentence?

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