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Friday, January 21, 2011

Oregon Representative Dennis Richardson's "Modeste Proposal" to send Oregon inmates to private prisons in China

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—You read about it here first! Another scoop for Blogolitical Sean!

Oregon Republican State Representative Dennis Richardson is promoting the idea that the state can save money by sending inmates to private prisons in China, where they can make stuff for Wal-Mart at 2 cents an hour, and ship it back to the US, where Oregonian shoppers can save money! Everybody wins!

You have to credit the good representative for having the golden touch as far as timing is concerned, with the US press currently full of stories about human rights violations embedded in China….

Representative Richardson describes his idea as “thinking outside the box”, and it certainly is that….

The state could save even more money by having the inmates row to China in open boats, chained to their oars. This might have the effect on recidivism that the Representative is looking for….

There ought to be a way to actually turn a profit off his idea…continue thinking outside the box…we need a way to sell tickets…might make a popular spectator sport among the Tea Party crazies…some kind of demolition derby/Mad Max/Water World scenario….

Read it for yourself, here’s the excerpt…

Rep. Richardson's Newsletter
January 21, 2011

PUBLIC SAFETY. By Representative Dennis Richardson (R)

“Incarceration is always the challenge. Promoters of Initiatives have had great success in convincing voters of the need to “get tough on crime.” Unfortunately, they forget to discuss the costs involved or the alternatives available.

“The successful use of modern technology in other jurisdictions should be an inspiration for Oregon’s future incarceration strategy. In addition, there are ideas floating that could save millions. You might laugh, but in the spirit of “thinking outside the box” some are considering unique ways to deal with illegal alien inmates differently than legal residents.

"For instance, how about considering the affect on both cost and recidivism for Illegals who are sent to do their time in a private prison in China. With contractual agreements regarding care, treatment, nourishment, basic living conditions, etc., Illegals could be incarcerated for less than $10,000 per year—a fraction of current costs in Oregon.

"Plus, it would free up bed space and thereby avoid having to build or expand Oregon prisons. California contracts with Tennessee prisons, so why how about Oregon contracting with its number one export partner, China. (Certainly there might be federal issues with moving prisoners across international borders, but creative thinking is about “what if” and not “no, because.”)

NOTE: I received Rep. Richardson’s Jan 21 news letter by email. It may or may not be posted on his website yet:

1 comment:

fellixe said...

Interesting find. I stumbled across this looking for background on Richardson who is expected to speak at the Navigating Under The Dome event hosted by Americans For Prosperity in which they plan to 'train' contributors in how to testify before committees and lobby their legislators. I worry about using the capitol for such partisan activities as I suspect the point is to manufacture public outrage on demand when needed to advance such bizarre notions as this one. Cascade Policy Institute is also a part of this event, which is based on a model AFP started in Maine and has so far not been seen in other states.