Some Police, Corrections Workers Oppse Moves To Cut Prison Populations


Some proposals to cut prison populations and save state spending are facing resistance from towns that benefit from the jobs produced by local prisons and from unionized corrections workers and other law-enforcement groups, some of the most powerful players in state government, says the Wall Street Journal. Jim Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police says it is premature to cut prison populations: “When you let all these criminals out of jail, the crime rate is going to go up again.”

James Baiardi, president of the corrections chapter of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, said “officers who work behind the fences think some reform and changes in how they lock up people might not be a bad idea.” But he rejected the idea that changes to how states handle prison populations should be driven by budgetary concerns. Fiscal pressure alone won’t spur prison reform, because you will get pushback from politicians who will say you can’t put a price on public safety,” said Michael Jacobson, director of the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonpartisan organization that works with states seeking to reduce prison populations.

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