Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Reform Candidate from Prison

If you didn't read this story from what most would consider a reliable source, you'd think it was the plot of some offbeat movie based on a fictional source.  But front page in Saturday's NYT is the story of prisons in Venezuela and the unique way they're run.  In short, the inmates run the place.

Reading the story you'd have to agree that the penal system, its housing, and its unique blend of creature comforts might do more to encourage crime than deter it.  You might be better off in prison, than outside of it.  Commit the crime, and be rewarded with the time.

The inmates' chief, Mr. Rodriquez, a thick-necked longtermer who barks orders into a cellphone, was interviewed as bodyguards shucked oysters for him.  "There's more security in here than out on the street." Asked about his ambitions after incarceration, Mr. Rodriquez said he would consider politics.

Everybody's got to start somewhere.

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