Pat Robertson has said a lot of controversial things over the years, but his stance on prison reform makes a lot of sense. During the March 1 episode of “The 700 Club,” Robertson reiterated his call for decriminalizing marijuana possession, saying:
“Every time the liberals pass a bill — I don’t care what it involves — they stick criminal sanctions on it. They don’t feel there is any way people are going to keep a law unless they can put them in jail.
I became sort of a hero of the hippie culture, I guess, when I said I think we ought to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.
I just think it’s shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hardcore criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy.”
The “hippie” line is funny, but Robertson’s last line was, perhaps, his most important. Why do we sending non-violent offenders into violence factories, anyway?
Pat Nolan of Prison Fellowship may have summed it up best when he said: “We have prisons for people we’re afraid of, but we’ve been filling them with folks we’re just mad at.”