Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Interesting Experiment

We read about a new program in Missouri...

Inmate numbers are down in Missouri

FARMINGTON — The supervision center is across a narrow road from the double fence and looping razor wire of a state prison. Out the back door, a garden sprouts with cantaloupe, zucchini and watermelon.
All of the center's residents are on probation or parole, and most have violated the terms that gave them freedom. They could have been ordered behind the razor wire, but the state is giving them a supervised second chance and in the process reducing the state's inmate population. One thing they do is tend the garden.
"I enjoy helping the plants grow," said Michael Goesmann. "It gives me peace."
He could use it. Goesmann, 54, served 15 months for a drug offense and said he'd been an addict for years. He was released from the prison in St. Joseph, Mo., in March and wasn't ready for the outside world.
On Tuesday, he was one of 23 men and five women assigned to the Farmington Community Supervision Center, which opened in January 2006 — the first of two such centers in Missouri. The state plans to open five more in hopes of keeping stumbling offenders away from prison's revolving door.

I have no feelings towards this, one way or another. It's an interesting experiment. We'll have to keep our eye on this one and see if it works. If it has a significant success rate, I have no problems in it, since it will save money, reduce prison size, and reduce recidivism rates. If it fails, cut it.

But it's interesting, and we should give it a chance.

Read teh rest of the article.

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