Thursday, February 16, 2012

Horror in Honduras

It shouldn’t take a horrific fire in a foreign prison to make the problem of packed prisons palpable.

But USA Today’s headline is correct, as far as it goes. The terrible conflagration in Honduras that claimed as many as 356 lives should put a spotlight on prison overcrowding.

How strong of a spotlight, though, and for how long?

If the spotlight is strong enough, it will not focus only on Latin America. For the U.S. has struggled for years with its own forms of prison overcrowding.

California has been the most conspicuous case. Many inmates died there due to lack of access to proper healthcare caused by severe overcrowding.

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