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Money For Nothing – Louisiana Taxpayers Funding Empty Prison Beds

Jail Cell
Jail Cell (Flickr User my_southborough)

Somewhere a few years ago a great idea got lost. The idea that government was of the people, for the people and by the people. Now it appears that our elected officials have another motto. How much money can we make off of these poor sucker tax payers?

It is bad enough that we have allowed out society to spin so far out of control that running a private prison is a great way to make a living. What makes it worse is that in Louisiana  you and I, the tax payers, are funding some empty space while some of the bad guys go free.

According to an article in the Shreveport Times the contracts between the State of Louisiana and many private prisons guarantees payment on a certain quota of inmates. That figure is 96%. In other words if only half of the beds are filled with bad guys, you and I get to write a check to pay for the other 46% of beds that aren’t being used.

It’s bad enough that murderers, rapist, child molesters and thieves get to live a fairly comfortable life while nearly one sixth of our population has no idea where their next meal is coming from. I really thought the idea of prison was to reform, not rest and rejuvenate.

Now that I have made you mad about paying for empty beds let¬† me make you feel worse. The state has never had to pay for an empty bed because we have so many bad guys. Isn’t that something? Obviously we are not doing something right or we wouldn’t be needing so many prison beds to begin with.

I would tell you my solution to all of this but the there is a stipulation in the Constitution about “cruel and unusual” punishment. The political talking heads always say let the punishment fit the crime. I say make the punishment about ten times worse than the crime and you actually have a deterrent not a reasonable alternative.

Your thoughts? Would you be opposed to tent cities set up in the swamps with no air conditioning, bug spray or electricity? I think after one night in that situation I would gladly toe the line for the rest of my days.


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