The Conservative Case for Criminal Justice Reform
I’ve been glad in recent months to see Ross Douthat, the relatively new addition to the New York Times stable of editorial columnists, using his national platform to make the case for prison reform — a case that, he writes, “can’t be made enough.” From his blog post of yesterday, “The Case for Prison Reform, Again“:
Prison will always be prison: Every society has to live with some level of institutional violence in the worlds it builds to confine its most dangerous elements, and there’s an inherent cruelty to incarceration that cannot be refined away. But there has to be a limit, as well. And what Americans have learned to tolerate (or rather, ignore) inside the walls of jails and prisons ought to churn our stomachs, shock our consciences, and produce not only outrage, but action.
The springboard for this latest post by Douthat is this article in the New York Review of Books, documenting the horrific degree of sexual abuse and rape in the nation’s prisons, particularly its juvenile prisons. For an earlier, related post of mine, click here: “Shaking Up the Politics of ‘Tough on Crime.'”