Thursday, 24 February 2011

Politics: Of Common Benefit

An interesting article in The Economist on drug offender rehabilitation in the US...

The gist of it is, instead of throwing drug offenders into prisons - and then more or less throwing away the key as well until it's time for them to be released - the state of Georgia is trialling so-called "drug-courts" where the offenders are kept mostly out of jail and looked after by a team comprising judges, defence, and prosecution together. Go read the article for some interesting and fun details of how it works in practice, but the main thing is the re-offending is slashed two- to three-fold, there's a $10,000 savings per case, and every $1 spent on the programme returns more than $2 in the long run (with a potential to return $3+). Probably most interestingly for US, the experiment seems to have garnered cross-party support.

Finally something the rest of the world can learn from the US punitive system...