Jul 1, 2011

New York State Closing 7 Prisons

According to Ernest Drucker in his new book, "A Plague of Prisons," New York State had a fairly consistent number of persons incarcerated from 1880 to 1970. That all changed with the enactment of the Rockefeller Drug Laws in 1973. So began the steady rise in the state's prison population from about 75 inmates per 100,000 to 375 per 100,000. New York led the way in a national incarceration experiment that has cost an estimated 1 trillion dollars with an incalculable loss of  human capital, according to Drucker.  

Now, almost 40 years later, New York has turned the corner with a 28% drop in prison inmates and historically low rates of crime. The New York Times reports today, that New York is closing seven prisons totaling 3,800 beds.