Adam's blog sheds some light. He complains about Otter's focus on prisons and his effort to stop "the overcrowding of our prisons." Our prisons are overcrowded, says Adam, because
Fundamentally, this comes back to the decline of family and the rate of fatherlessness in our communities.The decline of the family. That is a concern of the right that seems to inform many of their priorities.
You know, I just don't see that families are in decline. Maybe the percent of nuclear families is lower, but that doesn't mean there are fewer families. Being part of a blended family, I think my family is just fine. My kids don't seem to be headed for prison.
A bigger reason for bulging prisons might be criminalizing drugs instead of providing treatment for users. But, conservative are usually into accountability (except when it comes to the Bush administration). So spend tax $$ to punish, rather than to help.
And BTW, I don't think the rate of "fatherlessness" is changing at all. So far, everyone still has to have a father. Perhaps there are fewer fathers in nuclear families, and thus not living with the kids. That doesn't make the kids fatherless.
I understand that conservatives are concerned about families in decline, but I don't think their conclusions (overcrowded prisons) logically flow from that concern. It'd be easy enough to show that large numbers of folks in prisons are from non-nuclear families, but there are many other stats that explain it even more closely. How about socio-economic status? If we had no poor people, we'd have way fewer folks locked up.