The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 18, 2013

When there is no one watching

(Continued)

Outside auditors, as the commission recommended, are also essential in providing regular reports on conditions inside the nation’s prisons.

The $7 billion the Obama administration proposes to spend on regulations is almost certainly excessive. But some money must be spent. One reason government spending on unnecessary boondoggles is so offensive is that it limits the funds available for essential government functions. Criminals deserve to serve out their sentences. But to permit them to be abused or sexually assaulted while incarcerated violates the Eighth Amendment and common decency.

What Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote in the 19th century remains true: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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