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Megan McArdle

A Better Plan for Better Prisons

Politically, any policy that requires for its success that middle-class Americans decide that they themselves bear the primary fault for armed robbery is not a policy with bright prospects.
A cage is a cage is a cage.

A cage is a cage is a cage.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Last week, Mark Kleiman, Angela Hawken and Ross Halperin proposed a plan to actually do something about de-incarceration -- not baby steps, but a program that would allow us to empty many of the nation's jail cells in favor of a tightly supervised release program that would be cheaper and more humane than sticking people in a cage for years on end.

This week, Leon Neyfakh ran a piece in Slate summing up the negative reaction to the plan -- not from people who said "To hell with them, they belong in cages," but for people who advocate de-incarceration. This reaction is, well, a tad surprising.