It is often said that, as a nation, we spend way too much money running correctional facilities. As such, one of the never-ending debates is the one on how to minimize the cost of running correctional facilities. That is the issue we will be addressing in today’s blog post, as we try to figure out ways to minimize the costs associated with the running of correctional facilities.
Now one very obvious way of minimizing the cost of running correctional facilities is by seeing to it that we reduce the numbers of people we incarcerate. It is often asserted that we incarcerate way too many people, and for way too minor offenses. So this is an area we need to work on, to ensure that the only people who go to prison are those who really need to go there: folks who are truly dangerous to the society, and folks whose rehabilitation is best carried out under confinement.
Another very obvious way of minimizing the cost of running correctional facilities is by seeing to it that we incarcerate people for the shortest periods of time possible for them to reform. Once they reform, they are immediately released.
Yet another way of minimizing the cost of running correctional facilities is by making use of technology. All other industries are making use of technology to cut costs. I was recently informed, for instance, that is nowadays possible to shop at Kroger online, and even take the Kroger customer survey online. Yet in the field of corrections, we still see people trying to use the old methods of doing things. The mind boggles, when one thinks of the savings that would be made if something as simple as record-keeping for the correctional departments was fully automated.
It has also been said that a strategy that can work very well, when it comes to minimizing the cost of running correctional facilities, is that of shifting the role of running the correctional facilities from the government to private contractors. This would, of course, give rise to the phenomenon of private prisons. But we all know the controversies that surround the subject of private prisons.