Pubdate: Mon, 14 June 1999
Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ)
Author: Charles Crehore


There is something every person who read George Will's article ("This
commencement will bring former prisoners into useful, free life") in the
June 1 Star needs to be made aware of.

Will uses as an example a man named "Forest Jordan," a man who is serving
time for "large-scale cocaine possession." Will then goes on to point out
that, while crime rate is down, the incarceration rate is up - way up.

What Will fails to mention is the fact that, in calculating the crime rate,
the FBI (on whose figures everyone relies) does not include drug crimes.

Thus, while Jordan would figure in one statistic, his incarceration, the
crime that put him there, cocaine possession, is not counted.

I do not know about the state system, but, when you take into consideration
the fact that 70 percent of inmates in the federal system are serving time
for drugs - crimes that are not counted - it becomes easy to see why
incarceration is way up, while crime is - supposedly - down. And, as a
federal inmate serving a 20-year sentence
for marijuana conspiracy, I resent the manipulation of facts to meet the
needs of the government.

Charles Crehore
Federal Correctional Institution, Tucson

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