From the Daily Southtown
Business Group Warns About Rising Prison Population
A skyrocketing prison population, spiraling drug crime and juvenile crime rates come under fire in a major study of Chicago-area crime and criminal justice published today.
Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed think tank, warns most of the 40,000 prisoners released in Illinois this year are “ill-equipped” for life outside prison.
“More than half will likely end up back in prison within three years if present trends continue,” the group’s 2006 Crime and Justice Index warns.
A shortage of rehabilitation programs for inmates, the large distances between downstate prisons and prisoners’ Chicago-area roots and a massive increase in parolees help account for the high reoffending rate, the report said.
While reported crime in the state has fallen since the early 1990s, the prison population has continued to grow steadily since the early 1970s, the report said.
And despite 70 percent of Americans believing the war on drugs is not working, most of the increase in prison numbers is made up of non-violent drug offenders, it said.
I don’t know how anyone with an IQ equal to or greater than a turnip could read that and not conclude that the drug war needs to end. It’s like somebody is beating you over the head with the sledge hammer of truth.
And yet… and yet…. Invariably this kind of information surfaces again and again, and politicians say “we need to be tough on drugs,” and the DEA says “we’re winning the war on drugs,” and the academicians say “we need to find a way to make prohibition work,” and many within the public look around in confusion and are completely unable to figure it out.
Over the years, there has been such an incredible war of propaganda waged in this country that many people are simply unable to comprehend ending the drug war as an option. And so while you stand there pointing at the proof, all they can do is stare at your finger.
As an example of this disconnect, check out a completely incomprehensible OpEd by Christopher Taylor at Kent State. Here’s a college student who appears to want to understand. He has a sense that the drug war doesn’t work, yet whenever he tries to go there, he can’t. He knows that education is better, but he can’t see how to educate without enforcement. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.