Wallowing in Welfare-Warfare State Prison, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Lots of people gladly trade their freedom for some form of security. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

A reader recently sent me an email pointing out that many ex-convicts commit new crimes with the intent of being sent back to prison. They actually feel more comfortable in prison than they do in the outside world.

This phenomenon shouldn’t surprise us. In prison, the state takes care of prisoners and, by and large, keeps them safe. It provides their food, healthcare, and clothing. In some prisons, prisoners are even given a paying job. Much of the time, prisoners are free to lie around, relaxing in their cells or watching television. Sometimes prisoners are even provided a formal education. And the best part is that all of this is free.

In other words, with prison the state provides you with security. In the minds of some convicts, that’s a lot better than freedom. When the state casts convicts out of prison, they become responsible for themselves and their well-being. That’s not easy. They need money to buy food, housing, a car, and other things. That means finding and keeping a job. Moreover, outside prison they are faced with an array of choices on a daily basis, which contributes to their anxiety. Better to trade liberty for security.

The reason that this phenomenon shouldn’t surprise us is that this is no different from what the American people have done with their adoption of a welfare-warfare state way of life. They have traded their liberty for security — or at least what they are convinced is security.

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