03/19/2010 - Being tough on crime may be good politics, but it's not always good policy.
Too many of Alabama's elected officials -- from state lawmakers, to district attorneys, to judges -- haven't figured that out, though. That's why the number of inmates in Alabama, whose prisons already were bulging at the seams, actually grew in 2009.
Even as the state prison population across the country dipped -- by less than 1 percent, but still, a move in the right direction -- Alabama's climbed by 3.5 percent. To be specific, the number of inmates the state is housing totaled 31,561 on Jan. 1, up from 30,508 on Dec. 31, 2008, according to the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States.
Read the entire editorial Alabama Officials Need to Consider Why Alabama's Prison Population Went up in 2009, Even as the Country's Overall Prison Population Moved in the Other Direction on The Birmingham News Web site.