I’m disgusted that my tax dollars will be used to keep a 19-year-old in jail for two years for detonating an explosive in an empty field (“Man gets 2 years in jail for bombs,” CDT, Saturday).
In 2012, it cost $42,339 to imprison someone. Two years would be $84,678 that could have housed and fed the poor or reduced our taxes.
Who knew making a big bang that caused no damage could get you two years in prison? I didn’t.
Obviously, he didn’t either, because he set off the chemicals in broad daylight in view of nearby homes. The young man, Vladislav Miftakhov, who, according to the story, “grew up in a family of scientists,” was an engineering student at Penn State with a bright future. This was his first offense.
The authorities should have given him a warning or — at the most — a sentence of community service.
Our “land of the free” has more people behind bars than anywhere in the world except China and South Africa.
Youth is a time of exploration and experimentation. To criminalize someone at first brush with the law wastes our resources and ruins their lives. Don’t throw them to the wolves in prisons.
“Rehabilitative” prisons rarely rehabilitate people.
When he’s released, his life will be difficult. Even McDonald’s won’t hire an ex-con. It’s in our legal system’s interest, for the sake of the public it serves, to find creative ways to keep our adventurous, creative and wayward young folks in the fold.