Letters: Take religion out of jails 

➤ “Sheriff tapping higher powers,” The City, Thursday

Take religion out of jails

Western civilization has endured centuries of religious influence in its correctional institutions based on the popular misconception that religion reduces crime. Though religious Americans outnumber the nonreligious by 4-1, religious prisoners outnumber their nonreligious cell mates by 49-1. This suggests that religion contributes to, rather than reduces, crime.

Reducing recidivism requires establishing a connection between former inmates and the reality of life after incarceration rather than praying for a miracle, as Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s new friends would have it.

More clergy behind bars, more secularists in front of them, and reality-driven social reintegration programs are better for dealing with recidivism. Our sheriff needs to direct his recidivism-reduction budget, our money, where it will do good rather than feel good.

José Segué

San Francisco

➤ “Get rid of rent control,” From Our Readers, Opinion, Tuesday

Rent control vital for S.F.

Republican policies cheat most citizens and benefit the greedy few who have more dollars than sense. Someday Republicans will realize they keep losing elections statewide in California — and citywide in San Francisco — because their policies would harm most voters.

Most voters in our city are renters, and in a letter printed here last week, a former GOP politician attacked our mayor because Mayor Ed Lee stands with the people, in favor of rent control.

Rent control is a popular, helpful, long established policy that helps make housing more affordable than it would otherwise be. Rent control also provides housing stability which increases urban vitality.

Ron Feiertag

San Francisco

➤ “Lemon-growing initiative taking root at juvenile hall,” The City, Friday

Reader sour on lemon plan

Planting lemon trees is laudable, but they do need care, feeding and watering: who will keep track of the trees and the responsibility to keep them healthy?

How will you preserve the lemons from picking when ripe?

The drought is on — bad time for new planting.

Maybe each tree should be ascribed to a person or a group, or we will have a lot of dying trees.

Ann Marie Thiry

San Francisco

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