Posted by Barnett Wright -- Birmingham News July 07, 2009 5:41 PM
Criminal judges in Jefferson County will be asked to release non-violent inmates from the County Jail to help relieve the county's financial crisis, the county's presiding judge said this afternoon.
Unlike most I actually consider this good news. Most of the non-violent people in jail in any county in Alabama are there for drug offenses. They should never have been sent to jail to begin with. If the county can see the monetary benefit of minding their own damn business when it comes to non-violent drug users perhaps they will refrain from warehousing them again after the economy turns around. That the county is about to release them says to me they should never have been locked up in the first place.
Aside from drug offenders you have your petty thieves who stole a $50 VCR. Why are taxpayers made to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to send a petty thief to jail over a $50 VCR? Why not make the thief shovel dung somewhere and pay restitution and be put on probation?
Why are taxpayers made to pay those same thousands and thousands of dollars to lock up prostitutes who haven't stolen anything and are, whether people want to admit it or not, making their own way in the world without government assistance? Why do we pay for them to go to jail when all of the real prostitutes hold elected office in Montgomery, Washington DC and let's not forget the Birmingham City Council. These latter prostitutes suck at the government teat, so calling them prostitutes is an offense to prostitutes. The latter should be in jail. I think we'd all gladly pay for that.