Who’s In the Wrong?

–If we want tough on crime policies we have to accept the responsibility of the price tag that goes with them–The saga of who shall control California’s inmates’ healthcare continues. Judge Thelton Henderson has refused the Governor and Attorney General’s motion to oversee inmates’ healthcare as well as construction plans for a medical facility. The state’s officials are objecting to he $8 billion cost and feel that since 2006 when the judge appointed a receiver to oversee the prison system’s healthcare, improvements have been made. The judge thinks that without further changes in place the improvements would stop if there was no receiver. The Attorney General, former governor and presidential candidate Jerry Brown, says that California spends $14,000 a year per inmate per year on medical care, far more than any other state.
Many people still want tough on crime policies, even more want people to serve prison time for a number of offenses and feel that prisons ought not to have gyms or recreation areas. There are even those who are ambivalent about money being spent on health care for inmates. Our attitudes as a whole may be tainted by revenge, however hidden, and the absence of compassion, however expressed. But even leaving the spiritual issues aside, there is something wrong with our attitudes. If we want prisons we need to pay for them. Whether we like it or not our attitudes involve a responsibility, and we need to accept it is a responsibility with a price tag. If not, we’re the ones in the wrong.