07/06/10 — Jail ... bad: Maybe if we make it really unappealing people will stay out.

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Jail ... bad: Maybe if we make it really unappealing people will stay out.

It is probably not really that surprising that jails are so full these days. Not that many people seem to be all that scared of ending up there.

Chalk it up to television or just plain ignorance, the reality is that the reason so many people are ending up behind bars is that more people are committing crimes and having to pay the price.

So what do we do -- reduce the punishments for some crimes, just let people stay at home with monitoring anklets, issue more probation?

Those ideas would only seem to solve the symptoms, not really create a cure.

So what if we did what some law enforcement officials are doing right now.

What if it were really no fun at all to be in the Wayne County Jail.

Not that it is a bowl of cherries to be incarcerated there now, but what if it were really bare bones and there was a whole lot of work to be accomplished while you were there? What if there were lawns to mow, toilets to scrub and other unappealing tasks?

And what if there were no privileges at all? What if exercise time became work time and the only other time you got out of your cell was if you were willing to attend classes?

It is probably not practical right now, but it is something to think about.

Fewer prisoner rights -- and more bologna sandwiches -- just might thin out the population a bit.

Published in Editorials on July 6, 2010 10:19 AM