Check out today’s SF Chronicle cover story, “Jail expansion: Counties seek millions from state,” and especially its ending:

Lenard Vare, director of Napa County’s Department of Corrections, said he agrees with advocates that incarceration isn’t the only answer. But the rural county also anticipates an increase of at least 70 inmates per year – and its jail is already over capacity.

“The old adage ‘If you build it, they will come’ is true, because law enforcement in general – police officers – come with the mind-set to fight crime, and arresting people is one of the ways to fight crime,” he said. “Unless we decide to simultaneously work on our overall criminal justice system … we are not going to make a difference. Locking someone up 50 times does not deter them from committing crimes, because it becomes a way of life.”

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