Conrad Black in a letter to the Sunday Times rails against private prisons, the war on drugs and high incarceration rate in the U.S.
“U.S. justice has become a command economy based on the avarice of private prison companies, a gigantic prison service industry and politically influential correctional officers’ unions that agitate for an unlimited increase in the number of prosecutions and the length of sentences.”
Fruitless attempts to wipe out the illegal drug trade are to blame for the situation, says Black, taking up a battle cry long espoused by people he’s never traditionally associated with – those on the left of the political spectrum, including groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The entire ‘war on drugs,’ by contrast, is a classic illustration of supply-side economics: a trillion taxpayers’ dollars squandered and (one million) small fry imprisoned at a cost of $50 billion a year; as supply of and demand for illegal drugs have increased, prices have fallen and product quality has improved.”
Having seen the system Black has suddenly developed a desire to reform it.
[..]penal reform is a cause he hopes to champion when he’s released from prison.
“I wish to advise Lord Hurd that when I return to the UK, I would like to take up more energetically than I did initially his request for assistance in his custodial system reform activities,” Black wrote, referring to Douglas Hurd, a patron of Britain’s Tory Reform Group.
Perhaps next he could do an enforced stint on welfare, work for a living at minimum wage, need a daycare space……..