Governor Kaine has recommended several ways to save money on the high cost of prisons as part of his proposal to close the $3 billion budget gap. How should conservatives respond to these proposals? Typically, prison budgets have been off limits for Republicans in the General Assembly. Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of government, and the fast rising costs of prisons have been viewed by conservatives as the price tag for protecting the public.
So why is Virginia’s corrections budget increasing despite falling crime rates, while other states are able to reduce the number of people incarcerated? It is Virginia’s policies that are driving Virginia’s budget up and up; policies that are not making us safer. They are just costing us more money.
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