Jan 19, 2012 5:43 PM GMT
The upside - I'm sure it's also cheaper. Now if only drugs could be legalized. The irony as the piece points out is that Christie may end up doing more for the issues liberals care about than any liberal governor has done.
"As long as they have not violently victimized society, everyone deserves a second chance, because no life is disposable," he said.
"I am not satisfied to have this merely as a pilot project," the governor said. "I am calling for a transformation of the way we deal with drug abuse and incarceration in every corner of New Jersey."
Gov. Tough Guy, as it turns out, is not afraid to show some heart for the downtrodden. [..]
The change in strategy on the drug war is the big one. New Jersey is holding nearly 7,000 non-violent drug offenders in its state prisons today, and countless more in its jails. Over time, this creates an army of convicts, most of them black and Latino, who have criminal records that almost ensure they will be economic cripples for life.
That is probably the worst thing New Jersey does to its poor population. If Christie is able to reverse course on this, and if he really funds effective drug treatment programs, he will have done more for New Jersey’s poor than Jon Corzine or McGreevey ever did.
Add to this his education plans, especially tenure reform. If he succeeds, and New Jersey is able to get rid of bad teachers, no one will benefit more than poor kids in cities. The same goes for charters schools. And his voucher plan is limited to poor kids in failing districts — rich white kids need not apply.