Saturday, October 21, 2006

Prisons and Gator Wrestlin'

Typical Saturday morning...HGTV and a cup of coffee, checking email, cruising the web, reading blogs, and the paper. A couple of articles in the Tulsa World caught my attention this morning.

  1. A candidate for Oklahoma public school superintendent has suggested that school textbook covers be made of kevlar. The books could then be used for protection during situations like Columbine or more recently, the school shooting in Pennsylvania.

  2. California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger has declared a state of emergency in that state's prison system. Beginning next month, California will begin shipping inmates to four other state's prisons (including Oklahoma) because they are currently housing 172,000 inmates in spaces designed for about 100,000! "forcing some inmates to sleep in gymnsiums and auditoriums."

Currently, Oklahoma has around 24,000 inmates in state prisons. Based on my own Google results, it looks like it costs anywhere from $16000 to $23000 per year to house EACH INMATE in the state of Oklahom. That could be as much as $63 per day! The article stated that a private prison company will be paid a projected $22.9 million annually for housing the inmates.

I'm not a rocket scientist, but that sounds a little excessive to me! Why does it cost that much to put people in prison? I know they have to pay for the guards, utilities, food, etc., but good grief, they don't have to have gyms, cable TV, auditoriums, etc. What are they eating in prison? Steak and lobster? It's supposed to be PRISON, not a country club! And while we're at it, let's clean house...according to, there are over 3300 inmates currently on death row--start running them through like cattle! Maybe if prison started being more like PRISON, people wouldn't want to go there and JUST MAYBE, our children wouldn't have to wear their "Introduction to Trigonometry" book for protection!

On a lighter note, Slice of Laodicea recently pointed me to an article on in which a "man facing the jaws of death, literally, and with the alligator firmly affixed to his body, his thoughts went, not to Holy Scripture, but guessed it...the Purpose Driven Life." You can read the article here.

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