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Politics at water’s edge

ADRIANA PENA

State College

For those who want to hear good news, we have this.

Crime has gone down in Pennsylvania, and notably in Centre County. This was due not so much to a “get tough” policy but to a softer approach, that targets first offenders to make sure that they become law abiding, taxpaying citizens instead of career criminals.

We can thank the Re-entry Coalition for this. Chaired by Commissioner Michael Pipe it has secured funding for its both the DUI and drug courts, which handle offenders by monitoring and help in remaining sober. They have improved the counseling services in prison. And they help recently released inmates providing them with the tools and skills they need to succeed (some of them need help in filling forms)

All these efforts have been advocated, in a bipartisan way, by judges and law enforcement officers. The results are before us. Former offenders turn they lives around, become law abiding citizens, and we gain, in exchange, a drop in recidivism – which means that they do not commit crimes – which means that there are less crimes – and thus a drop in the prison population.

Since an inmate costs taxpayers’ money to house and feed – and a law-abiding citizen works and pays taxes – we have a win-win situation.

Good job!

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