Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NAACP Campaigning for VA Tax Money

Last night, CBS 6 (WTVR) news ran this story about the NAACP mobile bill board campaign that will be roaming the streets of Richmond:

The argument that the states spends 4 times more on prison than higher education is very misleading. First, and frankly, it is the job of government to protect it's citizens from criminals. It is not the job of government to provide a higher education. So, really they are comparing apples and oranges, but let's just take a look at Virginia prisons. I found this recent article from the Virginia Statehouse New, that states despite cuts, VA prisons are not overcrowded.

Despite a slew of budget cuts, Virginia has not faced the severe overcrowding problem that has daunted other states across the country in the past few years.

“I don’t think we have a severe overcrowding problem in Virginia,” said Ken Stolle, sheriff of the Virginia Beach Police Department. “It’s a complicated process and I think Virginia is handling it pretty well.”

Prisons across Virginia have managed well, despite $35.8 million in budget cuts and 137 layoffs that were triggered by the economic stagnation beginning in 2008.

“We’ve closed six prisons in the past two years, including two community corrections facilities,” said Traylor. “That’s a lot of bed space lost.”

One reduction came earlier this year when the General Assembly voted to postpone opening a newly constructed correctional facility in Grayson County. The building will not open until it can be funded in a subsequent budget, something that will not be guaranteed when the next legislative session begins in January.

But despite the setbacks, the Commonwealth has developed creative ways to place prisoners and use the space efficiently.

Now, back to the higher education part of the story. The NAACP is doing a very good job of drawing a correlation that higher educated people don't commit crimes. Where is that statistic? And frankly I am a little confused, what is the objective of the NAACP to help prisoners or to get money for higher education? How much did they spend on this bill board campaign? Could they have used that money for higher education scholarships, instead? And the most important question I have... How much gas will these bill boards burn in the course of the campaign?

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