Fordham Law Professor John Pfaff joins the show to discuss his article for TheAppeal.org “The Perverse Incentives of Punishment.” Pfaff begins by sharing the story of a sheriff in Alabama who kept the remaining funds from feeding prisoners in the county jail for himself—and used the money to buy himself a beach house. Scott then discusses the true problem with private prison systems, and why even libertarians should be against private prisons. Pfaff then explains why prosecutors have considerable financial incentives to charge defendants with felonies rather than misdemeanors and makes the case why it’s so hard for “smart on crime” to overcome “tough on crime.” Scott then puts the question to Pfaff—if we’re going to have a public police and judicial system, why should they be allowed to vote or unionize? Finally the two discuss why the analytical problem is clear, but the political solution requires creative consideration.
John Pfaff is a professor of law at Fordham University. He is the author of “Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform.” He writes regularly at Appeals.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnFPfaff.
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