To the editor:
When I first saw the photo in the lower right corner of July 4 Journal-World titled "Prison support," I was hopeful that it was a story about increasing educational programs or medical care in prisons. It being the Fourth of July, I was thinking that the story would be one of American compassion, giving some seriously needed attention to the prison system.
I was appalled to read that "Prison support" actually meant a proposal to build $410 million worth of additional prison space, backed by Boyda, Moore and Brownback. It seems that both parties have now learned how to solidify that "tough on crime" image they all seem to be going for: Put MORE people in prison! Yeah, that's the American spirit!
Almost 70 percent of prisoners released from prison reoffend in three years or less. The lack of adequate education, mental health care, and drug/life counseling while in prison are the obvious reasons behind these repeat offenses. Take that $410 million and invest in these programs and I guarantee that we won't even have a need to build onto the prison.
To Boyda, Moore, and Brownback: This Independence Day, you have sacrificed your opportunity to help make our country better. You could have helped improve the future of thousands of inmates and, by doing so, made our society safer and more productive upon their release. And you have done this for the sake of your political image. I am shocked by and ashamed of you if this is your idea of "American."