Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Ethan Nadelmann


To the Editor:

Editorial: The California Prison Disaster (October 25, 2008)

"The California Prison Disaster" (editorial, Oct. 25) offers a prime 
example of what happens when the prison industrial complex is 
unencumbered by any checks or balances. The only thing not mentioned 
in the editorial was that Californians will have a chance to approve 
a responsible solution on Election Day: Proposition 5.

This initiative, called the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, 
would increase treatment access for youth and nonviolent offenders, 
and reduce prison overcrowding. It's also the only initiative on the 
ballot that would provide a significant net savings for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the campaign to defeat Proposition 5 just raised 
millions of dollars from the prison guards union, the beer 
distributors association and Indian casino tribes with close links to 
law enforcement. So the state's prison disaster will remain unsolved 
- - unless or until California's voters see what they're really up against.

Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director Drug Policy Alliance Network, New 
York, Oct. 27, 2008
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