According to the Vera Institute of Justice, the cost of incarceration averages more than $31,000 per inmate per year. That can run as much as $60,000 in some states. Add to that the state’s expenses for prosecution and appeals (both from the state and from the defense) and the resources needed in getting the convict to and from court, and you’re talking about some real money. Multiply that by the annual number of people convicted of non-violent, essentially petty crimes and you’re talking the GNP of, oh, say, maybe Latvia or Tunisia.
So when we talk about locking somebody up – as opposed to other sanctions such as community service, fines, et al – we should ask ourselves are we serving the cause of justice, or are we just seeking revenge?
Yeah, I know. “An eye for an eye” (Matthew 5:38-42) vs “Vengeance is mine, I will recompense, sayeth the Lord” (Hebrews 10:30). First amendment, separation of church and state, yadda yadda yadda.
Obviously, this brings us to the current brouhaha regarding actor and failed hoaxer Jussie Smollett. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #030: Justice v Vengeance”