A colleague of mine sent me a very distressing article from the Economist this week. Titled “California reelin’: Lessons from a place that combines most of the shortcomings of the modern Western state” <read it here> The article chronicles the decline of California and the almost impossible gridlock that exists in what was once the dream state for people all over the world.
Probably the most chilling paragraph rads as follows. –
“Thirty years ago, when Mr Novey became president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), only 2,600 members walked what he calls “the toughest beat in the state”, and there were only 36,000 inmates in California’s prisons. Now, as Barry Krisberg of Berkeley Law School points out, some 170,000 people are locked up there, and CCPOA has 31,000 members. From the air California can look like an archipelago of prisons.”
How did prisons become such a big and non-productive industry in California?