Weekly Editorial Recap


THURSDAY

PRISON TIME

The Nevada prison system now holds 13,000 inmates, but that is expected to increase by 57 percent in the next decade. A skyrocketing prison population could eventually overwhelm taxpayers. ...

Thus we have the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice. ... The panel, chaired by state Supreme Court Justice Jim Hardesty, was created by the Legislature to "evaluate the entire criminal justice system from beginning to end" with an eye on reducing the number of inmates in the Nevada system. ...

Any serious discussion ... must begin and end with two issues: how we deal with nonviolent offenders and how we deal with illegals. ...

In fact, it was Justice Hardesty himself who in February testified before an Assembly panel that, "A release of 500 inmates to deportation could save the state nearly $10 million in annual occupancy costs." ...

Everybody will agree that the real bad guys -- the killers, the rapists, the predators, the hard-core repeat criminals -- must be locked up. But if Justice Hardesty's commission is to do more than produce a report that serves as an attractive bookend, it will have to have the courage to finally propose realistic sentencing alternatives for the great majority of nonviolent offenders.

And that may lead to some politically controversial suggestions.

 

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