The Consequences of “Small” Government

Jail Cell With Open DoorWe appreciated this piece in the Idaho Statesman penned by Donna Yule, the executive director of the Idaho Public Employees Association. Donna does a good job of articulating the broader mission of the state prison system and envisioning what it could look like if it were functioning properly. Importantly, she opens her article with a description of the system’s critical public purpose, rather than her critique. Leading with criticisms of public systems makes it difficult for our audiences to remember WHY we created them in the first place and therefore why we must fix them and not scrap or privatize them.

“ Our prison systems provide a critical public service that we sometimes take for granted. At their best, they rehabilitate and build the skills of inmates so that when they come back into our communities, they are prepared to be productive citizens. It is crucial to our public safety that prison systems do this effectively, because over 90 percent of the incarcerated population will eventually be released. ”

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