With the potential of an economically devastating sequester at Virginia’s doorsteps, the state of ‘Massive Resistance’ wouldn’t be planning on spending more money to pay for jail expansions, would it?!
Welcome to Virginia’s 21st Century campaign of Massive Resistance: resistance to common sense solutions to our social problems.
It is reported that officials with the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail system will be visiting ten localities in the weeks ahead to request funding for the expansion of 3 SW Virginia jails. And if that weren’t enough to make you want to turn Shays’ Rebellion into a comparatively peaceful rally, then get a load of this.
According to Steve Clear, Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority superintendent, the jails in Southwest VA aren’t overcrowded but the number of inmates in the region is expected to grow over the next ten years! Pinch yourself real quick, this isn’t a bad dream!
It shouldn’t be a secret by now that the legal confinement system in Virginia, as in the U.S., is a big money-maker for private and public groups alike. That is, there is a huge incentive to see institutions of legal confinement grow in the U.S., billions of them.
So instead of focusing on long-term solutions to problems which drive crime, many of our country’s business and political leaders have contented themselves with stuffing their pockets on the lives of other, less fortunate, Americans.
And instead of refocusing funds on more important priorities, particularly as the federal sequestration is in place to make a big dent in Virginia’s economy and potentially spike even more crime, institutional elements within Virginia are quite content to build more jail cells to throw more Virginians into.
The absurdity is almost too palpable to comment upon. Virginia doesn’t need more jail cells, it needs more books, more care for all Virginians, more understanding and less judgment, less short-sightedness, and less greed.
Because if Virginia’s only solution to our social problems is building more jail cells then crime will always be endemic to our society. But maybe for those who stand to profit, this isn’t such a bad thing.