Grandstanding Spitzer At It Again

Steven Greenhut: Former Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, was a reliable shill for the prison guards and other law enforcement unions when he served in the Capitol, although he has recently been trying to downplay his all-things-union approach as he tries to win a seat back on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. He wants people in the conservative district to believe that he will represent them rather than, well, the public-sector unions that he so capably represented in the Legislature. But he can’t help himself. Here is his latest statement on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding California’s overcrowded prisons:

“As the Chairman of the Select Committee for Prison Construction and Operations in the State Assembly, I warned the liberal majority that an early release order by the Supreme Court was forthcoming if we did not build more prison capacity. Working with the Governor, we shipped 10,000 prisoners out of state when the Legislature failed to act. …”

It would never dawn on these anti-crime warriors that there are other solutions rather than creating more $150,000 a year prison guard jobs and building prisons fast enough to keep up with all the new tough sentencing laws people like Spitzer keep passing (after scaring the public about crime). We could, for instance, make fewer things illegal and impose alternate sentencing for nonviolent crimes and look at outsourcing prison space to the private sector, which houses criminals for far less cost and with a much higher respect for civil liberties (given that private prisons don’t have sovereign immunity or all the union protections for their most thuggish workers) than the current brutish, CCPOA-controlled prison-industrial complex.

Notice that crime keeps going down. As UPI reported this morning, “Serious crime, against people and property alike, dropped across the United States last year, the FBI reported Monday. The bureau’s 2010 Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report shows reported violent crime down 5.5 percent and property crimes falling 2.8 percent from 2009.”

Never mind. Grandstanding politicians such as Spitzer always call for more prison building. It’s good for the union workers in that industry and it plays to people’s legitimate fear of crime. Well, at least we know that some creatures can’t change their stripes.

MAY 23

 


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  1. JoeS
    JoeS 23 May, 2011, 21:10

    Privatize the prisons

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