ABSTRACT

It is likely folly to expect consistency in human perception and behavior in any arena, so it is not surprising that inconsistencies abound in our societal responses to criminal behavior. During the same elections in which a “Get Tough, Hang ‘Em High” presidential candidate who avows wider application of the death penalty is overwhelmingly preferred over one whose posture toward prison furloughs bespeaks at least an implicit belief in the prison as an institution whose purpose is rehabilitation, and in which regional and local candidates who reveal the same “Get Tough” posture by endorsing mandatory custodial sentencing for all sorts of felony crime are similarly preferred, the same electorate declines to support the issuing of public debt bonds to support the construction of prison facilities to house those offenders who are the focus of just such policies, let alone disdaining the increased taxes required to support the staffing of those facilities.