The Bad News is the Good News
January 20th, 2008
Most New Yorkers applaud the drop in crime. But to every silver lining there must be a cloud. Lower crime rates mean fewer prisoners, and Errol Louis writes in today’s Daly News, that concerns upstate communities whose economies rely on prisons and prisoners.
The Spitzer administration is seeking to shut down four prisons, saving the state more than $44 million over the next two years. But officials in some of the affected areas want to stop the move. After all, prison work crews clean and repair roads — virtually for free, residents have jobs in the prisons and the practice of counting prisoners as residents of the communities where they are incarcerated swells the upstate population, bringing in more aid and giving those areas political clout.
None of that impresses Louis. “Downstate advocates of prison reentry – a policy of redirecting public resources to schools, housing, jobs and recreation programs instead of prison – need to get fired up and jump into this debate,” he writes. And he says Spitzer must “hold firm and make clear that the last thing upstate’s ailing economy needs is a fiscally and morally bankruptBy Gail Robinson on January 20, 2008, 3:20 pm
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