By Jerry Large
Reading a series of Seattle Times articles about “the empty promises of prison labor” made me think how hard it is to get something good from a system that is, at its core, all about failure on multiple levels — of individuals, of families, of government.
Reporters Michael J. Berens and Mike Baker investigated a prison-labor program that has cost Washington taxpayers millions. This program hurt small businesses while helping larger ones while producing little of what it promised. Their three part-series ran this week.
Washington’s prison system is among the nation’s more progressive systems, but it is still a prison system. I saw a TED talk by Dan Pacholke, the deputy secretary of operations for the state Department of Corrections, and he summed it up pretty well.
Pacholke, who followed his father into corrections work, said prison is the “bucket for failed social policy.”
He knows what he’s talking about. Jails and prisons, too often, are where we deal with mental illness, chemical dependency, poverty, and homelessness. Lock up the person and forget about the problem.
Published Dec 30, 2014 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jul 20, 2023 at 11:37 am