Letter: 'Drake’s Take' doesn’t make cut


Editor:

We all know that prisons are an essential function of the criminal justice system. After all, this is where we house people who have broken the law. The problem with Kerry Drake’s column from last week is, firstly, privatization is not a bad thing and, secondly, our criminal justice system is in serious need of reform. 

When we look at the fact that half of the people who are in prison are placed there for the crime of hurting themselves with drug use, we need to ask ourselves if this is any of our business. It is my belief that I own myself, not the government, and with that belief, if I choose to destroy my own life by getting hooked on crack, that is my choice and no one else’s.

If there is no victim, there should be no crime. Now I know that typically when I talk about legalizing all victimless crimes, people will scream, “But, the children!”

When is the last time you saw a drug dealer in an elementary school? And how many of us teach our children that drugs are horrible and will ruin your life? It has always been puzzling to me how someone can hold a rifle and die for our country at the age of 18, but if they want to have a beer he or she can also be thrown in jail.

Also, when Drake writes about privatization being a horrible thing, I don’t believe he understands the cost to taxpayers when it comes to housing inmates. On average, it costs the tax payers $40,000 to house an inmate for one year.

So if someone breaks into your home and steals your possessions, not only are you out what has been taken from you, but now for the 10-year period that criminal could wind up in prison you are also paying for their stay.

A stay where they can have television and all the niceties that they probably had at home. The only difference is that they can’t leave the walls of the prison. And if they weren’t a violent offender before, prison gangs and prison lifestyle often force the individual to become violent.

Furthermore, when Drake talks about private prisons only being around to make a profit as being an evil thing, he neglects the fact that businesses are supposed to do that.  What business opens up and has a business plan to lose millions of dollars? Why is it so horrible idea to Drake that someone makes money?

He constantly puts forth rather socialist agendas because he doesn’t understand capitalism at its core. For all those who think socialism is this wonderful thing, please tell me what went wrong in Venezuela?

Why is the adult unemployment rate in France 25 percent? Why is Sweden trying to get away from it? The more progressive and socialist a country becomes, the more destitute the people of a country become — it is that way everywhere socialism has been tried.

Patrick Ballinger

Evanston

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