God I love Ohio. In addition to all the rednecks, stupid people, and cows, it seems we can also now be stereotyped by government officials who don't know a damn thing about how to spend tax dollars. The Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio is now reporting yet another monetary problem for Ohio. Along with one of the highest unempoyment rates in the country, we also get to brag about one of the highest crime rates and highest jail rates in the country. Go us. Apparently, 1 of every 25 adult residents of Ohio is in some form of correctional institution. Now there's a statistic to stick on the refridgerator. Just once, I'd like to hear something about Ohio that doesn't make us all look like jackasses. It seems like for every one positive thing Ohioans accomplish, there's 15 morons who take a bath in the sink at Burger King, or get arrested for shoplifting at Kroger's because they took a 12-pack of beer into the bathroom, drank it all, and passed out on the toilet.
To make things even better, the high prison rate is apparently getting state officials to re-examine our legal system and some of our laws.
Yes, you did read that correctly. Because of the high proportion of adults in prison, state officials are looking at reworking our legal system and some of our laws. So apparently, since too many people are breaking the law and going to jail, we're going to make fewer things illegal and not send as many people to jail for breaking the law because "it's getting difficult to justify an increase in correctional spending in tough economic times." Well that's just fuckin' dandy. That way, when my new TV gets stolen by some asshole who doesn't have enough money to buy himself a new TV, we won't send him to jail because we're spending too much on our corrections budget. Just let the criminals go free because we can't afford to throw them in jail. But it's okay because then I can just steal somebody else's new TV and I won't go to jail either.
Maybe it's me, but I just don't see how putting criminals in jail is an optional thing whose funding can be cut. It's like cutting funding for the military. If you stop spending as much money on it, BAD THINGS HAPPEN. If you are not sending criminals to jail, or you're letting them out early, you're lessening the perceived punishment for crime, thereby in effect encouraging more crime, and you're allowing criminals to roam free, all but assuring that more crime will take place. And pardon me, but doesn't crime cost us quite a bit of money also? If we're going to spend the money one way or another, why not spend it keeping criminals locked up and keeping law-abiding citizens safe? I realize that's radical thinking, but to me I would strongly prefer safe streets and losing a government benefit somewhere else that isn't as dangerous.
Kind of like how Springfield, Ohio, which is just outside of Dayton, spent a boatload the last couple years completely rebuilding the low-income housing, and then didn't have any money for salt for the roads this winter. Yeah, the projects look nicer, but they didn't salt the roads at all. Good decision there. And that's not unusual for the cities and towns in Ohio. A lot of them didn't have money to spend on salt this year. That's another thing that blows me away when city officials say it. How do you not have money for salt? How are safe roads optional? Traffic fatalities due to weather-related accidents were up this year because cities weren't salting the roads, but it's okay because the projects look nicer. That's just fucking great. Another kick in the balls to those few of us Ohio residents who aren't sheep-fucking rednecks or stoners who can't hold down a job at Taco Bell. Thanks a lot assholes.