Sunday, April 01, 2012

What if They Built a Jail and Nobody Came?

I live in a very unique state. Living in Texas is never dull, especially when you read in the newspapers that entire state prisons are standing empty.

One prison in Jones County, in West Texas, has never had a single prisoner in its 22 months of being open for business.
The problem? Apparently people in Texas have stopped committing crimes.
But wait, it gets worse.
In Texas, like in Arizona, we have entire businesses established to house prisoners, the privatization of the penal system. Apparently only 20 years ago Texas prisons were bulging at the seams with prisoners, prompting a small boom with local county jails that opened their cells for state prisoners with due compensation from the state. Prompting entrepreneurs to start their own penitentiaries so they could get in on this booming crime industry, spurring a huge growth in the number of prisons being built.
Businessmen looked around and bet on crime. Crime was definitely a growth industry in their minds.
But who knew? Budget cuts and an overall decrease in crime, coupled with an increased use of “treatment programs,” programs to rehabilitate drug abusers have all served to reverse that which these prison industrialists all foresaw as the next big thing.
So here in the Lone Star State, here in Texas, we have an industry under a cloud, and entire counties who may default on bonds sold to build prisons.
Sounds ominous.
So come on Texans, do the right thing. Get out there on the street and knock over a convenience store. Grab some old lady’s purse. Get in the spirit that has been a Texas tradition for decades.
But just remember not to attack someone who has a conceal-carry permit. That might not turn out so well, and rob the Texas prison system of another warm body, replacing it with a cold one.
Those conceal-carry permits (also known as voter ID documents) are very popular in Texas.

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