Includes this idea that has not been thought of in U.S. prison policy:
"...justice for society demands that people we release from prison should be less likely to cause further harm or distress to others, and better equipped to live as law-abiding citizens."
Note how the Norwegian system treated the Oslo bomber, by giving him a decent prison existence rather than treating him as the worst of the worst. This has denied him notoriety. He can't 'pay' for his crimes by being cruelly treated.
In Norway the re-offending rate is a fraction of anywhere else. So, for the Norwegian taxpayer, the deluxe facilities make financial sense.
It would take strong leadership and a generation to move the U.S. 'let them die by lethal injection' to something more like what there is in Norway, however, as Idaho illustrates, moves in the right direction can be made by individual states.
I'm not saying the US shouldn't experiment with such approaches, it's my dearest wish that my country take advantage of Federalism and experiment at the state level more.
We shouldn't pretend we can appropriate every policy or approach every other country uses in a totally different context.
Translated into from dog-whistle into English, this means "a strong bloc of white Americans will not pay for social services, safety nets, or anything else if there is a risk that black people could benefit."
Just so we're entirely clear on the dynamic we're talking about.
This is counter-productive in a free and open society, which should have the goal of zero inmates. To THIS end prison management needs to be in the hands of those with no profit motive.
This along with for profit law enforcement activities(red light and speed cameras) should be abolished.
-- Corrections Corporation of America SEC filing.
Separate subject though I suppose.
makes the assertion that just about everything done to make roads safer, like barriers, rumble strips, separate bike lines, traffic calming etc. gets negated by people driving faster because they have a greater sense of security.
Bullet trains travel on a track, they do not travel freely with other bullet trains in crowded roadways. Pretty much anyone with a pulse can get a driver's licence and many people don't take driving seriously as "I am putting my life and other's at risk when I step into my car." Most people don't own a bullet train. The comparison is useless.
Plus speeding trains do kill when they go past the posted speed limit, which is posted for safety reasons, example:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/nyregion/metro-north-train... - by the way that train crashed on a Sunday, if it was a weekday there would have been hundreds dead as it is a major commuter line. Instead there was only 4 dead.
Here's some research that says speeding contributes to crashes. However, a car travelling much faster than the rest of the cars on the road are the most dangerous.
We have a problem when people post random speed limits without actually studying and taking into consideration safety.
Bullet trains are designed to go fast safely. When the parent talked about speeding they were talking about going past the posted speed limit, which for argument we will assume was posted for safety considerations. Of course, the faster one is travelling if there is an accident, the more deadly the accident becomes. This is simple physics. Bullet trains also have a speed limit, just a much higher one, and I don't know if they are physically built to travel past the safe max speed.
Running a city or state for (ever growing) profit is a fast trail to hell.
The second part of this is that public prisons suffer from the same problem as private prisons. Look at the prison worker's union and what money it spends on politics in California. It basically backs every legislation that will increase prisoner counts.
Its not a public or private issue, it is, as you pointed out, an incentive issue. Sadly, the public sector incentives are just as bad.
That's not true. The amount of funds which goes in to this kind of lobbying matters.
With a private prison system you get not just the funds from prison worker's unions, but also those from the owners.
Woah, interesting concept, I had never even thought of that. That in mind, I am very opposed to private prisons for reasons found scattered throughout this thread.
Those living in the coastal blue states may not realize how conservative Idaho is. We have similar politics to Wyoming (Dick Cheney was elected to the US House of Reps there) but with more emphasis on ranching, timber and mining. There are small pockets of liberalism in Boise and Hailey. But for the most part there are no progressive politics here. Nearly all state votes toe the republican party line. So when a controversial topic comes up (global warming, alternative energy, healthcare, endangered species, conservation, sustainability, etc) we already know how the vote will fall and it can be disheartening.
For example I have never been able to participate in a presidential election (I still go to the polls for the popular vote though). I think people living in Austin, TX or Boulder, CO know what this is like. It's like South Park. But sometimes it becomes so obvious that a policy is failing that it crosses party lines and gets reformed.
"Recently, board chairwoman Robin Sandy said she opposed the idea because she didn't want to grow state government."
If she's being quoted correctly, that means the chair of the state prison board has a rather, shall we say, flat idea of good policy, and would still put prisoner safety (and therefore several important constitutional principles), recidivism, respect for law and order, and possibly even cost effectiveness all below the idea that the state shouldn't do any more things itself instead of paying private parties to fulfill its obligations poorly.
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find INTERESTING. That includes more than hacking and startups.
(Capitalised emphasis added by me.)
For those excitedly piling on about how this proves how awful private prisons are, well, doesn't Abu Ghraib prove even moreso how awful government imprisonment can be? No, no it doesn't.
Whether or not it actually is interesting is another question, and a subjective one. Personally I see your points about this story specifically, but the flip side is that it creates debate on HN about the concept of private prisons, which at least has the potential to be of interest.
I find this very interesting because its forcing the hand of a group of the staunchest supporters of privatization. When the very, very far edge moves toward the center its usually cause for curiosity. =)