Port: This is not the way to make criminal justice policy


MINOT — In recent legislative cycles, North Dakota’s leaders have made great strides toward a more enlightened approach to criminal justice. One that eschewed the jail-filling, throw-the-book-at-em approach in favor of one focused on treatment and rehabilitation.

People who do bad things still need incarceration, but that reality must be tempered by another, which is that prisons cost a lot of money. So, too, do the life-long ramifications of putting someone in jail. They lose their jobs. Their families use that income. It puts upward pressure on the number of people needing public assistance programs.

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