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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bonding proposals trickle out

It seems like the governor is releasing his bonding proposals bit by bit. Today, it's corrections, with a pricetag of $123 million. Most of that would go for an expansion of the sex offender program at Moose Lake. $28 million would be to expand the prison at Faribault.

Since the laws are tougher with regards to sex offenders, it's a good idea to build the facilities for the increased population now before we run out of room. However, do we need such a huge expansion of our prison system? Our prison population has skyrocketed in recent years, costing the state millions of dollars. Perhaps alternatives to incarceration are in order. According to the Department of Corrections stats I referred to yesterday, 25% of the people in state prisons are there for drug offenses, more than any other category. For some of the nonviolent offenders, treatment may be a better and cheaper alternative.

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