Friday, November 10, 2017

Lock them up again: Leah Vukmir wants to spend millions more on incarceration

Source:  Prison Policy Initiative (and below); QuickFacts

Wisconsin Senate signs off on crime bill that could increase taxpayer costs by $57 million.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/7/2017)
Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) — a lead sponsor of the measure and one of two Republicans challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin — said she was tired of seeing offenders on probation committing new felonies. 
"I can't tolerate that statistic," she said. 
But Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said the state needed to address the root causes of crime, such as the trauma experienced by the city's young people. She said the bills were an expensive and outdated "pipeline to prison" that wouldn't make the public safer in the end.

Related reading:
Why we need to reject 'tough on crime' rhetoric.  (America, 9/8/2016)
“Tough on crime” rhetoric became prominent in the 1960s, exploited by politicians and cheered by voters, often with thinly veiled racial or other social slurs. Along with the war on drugs, it resulted in mandatory sentencing, zero tolerance and “three strikes” policies that swelled the prison population. At the same time court systems were swamped with cases, increasing the incentive for plea bargains and with that the disproportionate power of prosecutors. Budgets were exhausted by the cost of incarceration, often leading to cuts in programs for the rehabilitation and education of prisoners.

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