For years now the government has struggled to "reduce spending", "cut the Budget", and "bring the deficit under control". This great nation has raised our living standards exponentially over the last 200 years and sometimes we fail to look back at what is really essential in ones existance. We live in palaces compared to some parts of the world, we drive luxury cars when in areas of the globe some are destined to walk, and we have TV, movies, cell phones, and the internet to entertain us while elsewhere they are happy with a kerosene lamp.

Our society has also "kept up with the Jones' " in our prison system. We have become the "who's who" in criminal confinement. We have 'Blue Collar", "White Collar", "Maximum", "Minimum", "Soft/Hard"; the list goes on and on. We provide our inmates with the finest essentials in the world. TV, telephone, internet, moves, books, games, etc. to be sure there are being treated humanely. We provide college degrees, medical, dental, workout equipment, and in some cases golf and tennis. We have even constructed secure housing for inmate conjugal visits.

All of these amenities come with a huge price tag. Pardon my ignorence but is this where we should be spending our hard earned tax dollars? We provide better for the offenders than the offended. The victims receive very little, if any, tax dollar support whereas the criminals seem to get a free pass to "Club Med". Don't get me wrong, three squares and "proper" medical are essential in sustaining life; but "Free Dental", "College Degrees", "internet", and "conjugal visits" are not.

I understand that there is always the "I'm innocent" argument and I'm sure a few are. The idea of prison stems from individuals who cannot play well with others. People who abuse, kill, steal, cheat, and are just plain not nice; for crying out load. We've come to forget that they are there to learn, if possible, that the life they have chosen is not to be tolerated by a modern society. "We do not have to reward them for their bad behaivior".

It would be a far better thing to cut these frills from the budget. We would save billions on the annual budget; we would provide the proper rehabilitation needed to millions of inmates; and we would illiminate the fraud and corruption that comes out the prison system via phone, internet, and "conjugal visits". Prison needs to be a place which one never wants to return to; not a safe haven or refuge. Once those individuals that are "on the fence" between right and wrong get a glimpse of what prison is really like, crime will decrease. Younger folks today have a no fear attitude because accountability doesn't come into play, this results in higher petty crime which ultimately results in more serious crime. Let's give them something real to fear.

Let's turn our thoughts to what is best for society, the budget, and our future and let the inmates pay for the crimes they commit under the conditions that bring about change.