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Tough on Crime – do we get what we pay for?

Everyone knows Texas is tough on crime.  In 2004, the state of Texas had one in twenty of it’s adult residents incarcerated or on parole/probation.  Can you imagine the cost of that?  In 2005, they needed $2 Billion to build new prisons.  Someone decided that was too expensive.  Instead, they spent $300 million to improve drug treatment, probation & mental health services and supervision of parolees.

According to the Texas Department of Corrections, the rate of incarceration fell 9 per cent between 2005 and 2010. In the same period, according to the FBI, the crime rate in Texas fell by 12.8 per cent.

Canada’s planned $10 Billion tough-on-crime campaign sounds a lot like Texas in 2005.  Should we learn from Texas or forge ahead?

Many of our news media outlets are asking questions.  Let’s hope our government is asking themselves the same questions.

Posted Monday, October 24th, 2011.