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Prison Reform as Stated by Charles Koch

Prison reform has been a large debate recently. Charles Koch – one of the two Koch brothers and owner of 42% of the company in their name – holds one of the strongest opinions on the matter. In a recent article from Newsweek, he spoke about his company’s views on what should be done about prison reform.

Koch noticed that many who are less financially well off often have to plead guilty – even if they didn’t do the crime they were charged with. Anyone who can afford to fight the government often gets the charges dropped if they are innocent. This – he argues – creates a sort of poverty cycle where those at the lowest levels of the economic ladder are stuck in a cycle of poverty and jail.

Koch’s company – and Koch in particular – has felt strongly about breaking this cycle since they were brought up on charges. They have vast amounts of resources, and so it is only fair that they were able to have the charges dropped. However, it took them six years and millions of dollars to do it. This got them wondering what others were going through when they had a brush with the law – particularly if they could not afford what the Koch Industries could.

The interviewer goes on to ask about a book that has been published in the recent year. It’s called Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Right and was written by Jane Mayer. Koch noted that it seemed as if she were trying to destroy all that the Koch family had tried to do.

The book, he notes, makes the criminal justice system seem fairer for everyone – even those who cannot pay for it. Koch didn’t particularly like that idea.

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