In a state where more than two-thirds of crime is attributable to recidivism, CCPOA [California Correctional Peace Officers Association] has spent millions of dollars lobbying against rehabilitation programs, favoring instead policies that will grow the inmate population and the ranks of prison-guard unions. In 1999, it successfully killed a pilot program for alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. In 2005, it helped kill Schwarzenegger’s plan to reduce overcrowding by putting up to 20,000 inmates in a rehabilitation program. It opposes any tinkering with the “three strikes law” that might thin the prison rolls.My, my. So, the Democrats are willing to suppress their bleeding hearts long enough to support union attempts to increase the size of the prison population, because that means bigger, stronger correctional unions – which can be relied on, naturally, to favor the Democrats with generous political donations. Liberal Fascism, anyone?
According to UCLA economist Lee E. Ohanian in an illuminating paper for The American, “America’s Public Sector Union Dilemma,” California’s corrections officers have exploited their monopoly labor power to push policies that will expand the prison population and, as a result, the demand for guards who just happen to be the best-paid corrections officers in the country. That’s why, contrary to what the Marxist sages would expect, they’ve successfully kept privately run prisons out of the state.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Is it reactionary right-wingers who want to throw non-violent offenders in jail?
Why, no, actually. According to Jonah Goldberg, the hardliners turn out to be Democrats and their masters in the correctional-employee unions.