Tilting at Windmills

July/August 2012 Read once, then bang head repeatedly

By Charles Peters

Back to West Virginia: the Charleston Gazette’s Phil Kabler recently uncovered a maddening catch-22 for 1,800 inmates of the state’s regional jails. The regionals are the jails that house lower- risk inmates who should be the best bets for parole. But state law requires that, to be eligible for parole, these prisoners must have completed treatment programs for drugs, alcohol, anger management, etc. However, treatment has not been available because of its cost. Providing it would require only four dollars a day per prisoner. On the other hand, paroling them would save the state $48.80 a day.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.