Letter: Jail overcrowding solution lies in discouraging crime

To the editor:

I have taken some time to digest the opinion of Ray Richardson (“No cheap solution to jail overcrowding,” Aug. 16, A4).

I agree with Ray that there isn’t a cheap solution.

My disagreement comes, however, when he talks about the country choosing to imprison more of the population than practically any other country.

Surely the boot is on the other foot.

The legislators have decided that the laws they pass are in the best interests of our country. And we choose the legislators.

It is the convicted criminal, who has chosen to break those laws, for which there is a fair trial, the end result of which can be incarceration.

Those not yet convicted are temporarily in prison due to a legal system that is disastrously inefficient.

Would it be prudent to issue those awaiting a court appearance with an ankle bracelet, to reduce the demand for beds?

Would it be possible to increase the number of beds by reducing the square footage per inmate?

Why do we spend nearly $60 per day on a criminal, when many hard-working, low-income, tax-paying people earn less to keep their whole family on.

Many people have come to the conclusion the system is upside down.

What we could do, besides paying more in taxes, is to discourage individuals from a life of crime.

Last but not least, we could be the eyes and ears of our outstanding law enforcement officers and give them the respect they deserve.

John Shaw