I was pleased to read the 22 October article, “Costa cites prison reform as possible cost-cutting measure for State,” which notes State Sen. Jay Costa’s efforts to stem the increase in the budget for the Department of Corrections, which currently stands at almost a whopping $1.8 billion per year, an enormous item in a $27.9 billion spending plan.
Certainly those who are a threat to no one but themselves generally should not be imprisoned. For the murderers, rapists and thieves who deserve to be incarcerated, I wonder why Pennsylvania and other states have not sought to insist that the criminal reimburse the government for at least a portion of the cost of his or her room and board, food and medical care, the niceties of life, which those who are not imprisoned generally have to work hard to afford.
I recognize that many criminals do not have significant assets, but some do, and others could pay something toward the vast expense that they inflict on the taxpayers through their own wicked actions. Surely at least tens of millions of dollars could be recovered in this fashion in the course of a year in Pennsylvania to offset the $1.8 billion expense, a significant contribution when one considers that shamefully, the region’s legitimate asset, our public library system, is slated to be decimated for the lack of a mere $2 million per year.
Our highly compensated members of the General Assembly are consistently and rightfully seen as serving themselves and monied, influential special interests and lobbyists. If Sen. Costa and his fellow members can provide thoughtful and workable solutions to address the crisis of exploding spending on corrections, he might be able to significantly improve the image of state government.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair
For whom do I vote?
We Jews [in the United Kingdom] are in a bind. We know the Islamic population in Britain is growing almost exponentially. And we don’t need to watch the movie “Fitna” on the Internet to know that as their population grows so will anti-Semitism.
And whilst we may hate it, we also cannot deny that the only political party in Britain to have publicly come out against this Islamic threat is the British National Party who alas, according to some, is also anti-Semitic (although I can find nothing in their literature to confirm this).
So we Jews are left to watch Britain sleepwalk into a Sharia-led nightmare and the only way we can express our fear for ourselves, and our families, is, at present, to vote BNP at the next election. I am aware their reputation is pretty awful, but as they say, “my enemy’s enemy is my friend,” and sadly, we are only too aware that none of the three main parties have the courage to admit the real and present danger that is Islam today.
Maybe Messrs [Gordon] Brown (the British prime minister, [Conservative Party leader David] Cameron and [Liberal Democratic Party leader Nick] Clegg can afford to stick their heads in the sand, but we Jews cannot and must not. So whom do I vote for at the next election? You tell me!
(Editor’s note: The United Kingdom is slated to hold its next national election on or before June 2010.)