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#225288 - 06/09/12 03:31 PM U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure:
numan Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
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U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: report

Quote:
The number of people in U.S. prisons has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to taxpayers and society, researchers said in a report calling for a major justice-system overhaul....
...U.S. prison population of 2.2 million -- nearly one-fourth of the world's total....
...justice system practices exacerbate the crime problem, unnecessarily damage the lives of millions of people (and) waste tens of billions of dollars each year....
The system is almost feeding on itself now. It takes years and years and years to get out of this system, and we do not see any positive impact on the crime rates....
emphases added
From Reuters.
The rest of the world can see the obvious, even if Americans can't.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#225296 - 06/09/12 05:00 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: numan]
Greger Offline
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Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 11848
Loc: Florida
Once Republicans realize that the prison system is just another "entitlement" for chronic layabouts perhaps they will partially defund it.
Not too many years ago I used to sell weed to inmates who were hired by my little town to do park maintenance. The modern equivalent of Road Gangs. The currency used within the prison system at that time was $2 Bills, the prisoners came into the yard at the city barn for lunch and I'd walk by on the sidewalk. We did the deal through the chain link fence, several bags of weed and a big wad of $2 bills changed hands.
Inmates in our prison have access to education, vocational training, jobs, food, shelter, internet access, medical and dental care, many things they cannot get outside of prison.
If I had been a little less fortunate I may have considered prison as a place to spend my retirement. Nursing homes are extremely expensive, prisons are free.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#225297 - 06/09/12 05:10 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: Greger]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6324
Loc: USA
So is the Federal Government, but at least the prison system keeps America safe from the potential harm the inmates are capable of, which is more than can be said of harm infliced upon America by Congress.
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
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#225299 - 06/09/12 05:38 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: Ma_Republican]
Phil Hoskins Offline
Administrator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 20564
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
Ahh yes, MaR, one of your favorite refrains. Quite off topic however, so back to prisons:
Quote:
7.9% of sentenced prisoners in federal prisons on September 30, 2009 were in for violent crimes.[18] 52.4% of sentenced prisoners in state prisons at year end 2008 were in for violent crimes.[18] 21.6% of convicted inmates in jails in 2002 (latest available data by type of offense) were in for violent crimes. Among unconvicted inmates in jails in 2002, 34% had a violent offense as the most serious charge. 41% percent of convicted and unconvicted jail inmates in 2002 had a current or prior violent offense; 46% were nonviolent recidivists. [22]

From 2000 to 2008, the state prison population increased by 159,200 prisoners, and violent offenders accounted for 60% of this increase. The number of drug offenders in state prisons declined by 12,400 over this period. Furthermore, while the number of sentenced violent offenders in state prison increased from 2000 through 2008, the expected length of stays for these offenders declined slightly during this period.[18]

Violent crime was not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States from 1980 to 2003. Violent crime rates had been relatively constant or declining over those decades. The prison population was increased primarily by public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, e.g. through mandatory minimum sentencing, "three strikes" laws, and reductions in the availability of parole or early release. These policies were championed as protecting the public from serious and violent offenders, but instead yielded high rates of confinement for nonviolent offenders. Nearly three quarters of new admissions to state prison were convicted of nonviolent crimes. Only 49 percent of sentenced state inmates were held for violent offenses. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national "war on drugs." The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelvefold since 1980. In 2000, 22 percent of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges. [23][24]
Wikipedia
Quote:
More than one in 100 adults in the United States is in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more, according to a report released yesterday.
Washington Post
Now wouldn't it be good to reduce our prison population and save all that money (of course it would save many people from ruined lives over trivial matters, but Republicans don't care about such matters if they aren't wealth)?
_________________________
Life is a banquet -- and most poor suckers are starving to death -- Auntie Mame
You are born naked and everything else is drag - RuPaul

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#225304 - 06/09/12 06:26 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: Ma_Republican]
logtroll Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6139
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: Ma_Republican
... at least the prison system keeps America safe from the potential harm the inmates are capable of...

The very pleasant, talented, and mild mannered brother of one of my ex-wives got to mooch the taxpayers a while, courtesy of a Federal five-year mandated prison sentence for selling vegetable matter to his friends. He was a drywall hanging and taping contractor and I'm sure his clients were quite pleased to have been protected from his array of dangerous creative textures for the duration.

I went along to visit him in the joint oncet, and I can report that he was doing some stellar work with beads and thread. ThumbsUp

One fiscal drawback, however, is that the cost of protecting him from us us from him somewhat exceeded his lifetime cumulative income tax contributions, especially the five non-tax-productive years balanced against the $35,000 per year "hotel" bill. It would appear that the prison system is another of those dreaded Ponzi schemes.
_________________________
"If you would make a person happy, add not to their possessions but take from their desires"
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#225371 - 06/10/12 02:02 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
Back to reputable foreign media :

Welcome to Incarceration America
The US locks up a greater proportion of its population than any other country in the world. This fact bears closer examination

Quote:
We like locking people up in America. If incarceration were an Olympic sport, the United States would come away with every gold medal available and break a few world records in the process....
...in the 1970s, less than 200,000 on average were behind bars. Now that number is closer to 2 million....
...my correspondence with inmates has revealed a fascinating world of endurance, resourcefulness, terrible choices, terrible cruelty and a lot of pain and suffering....
...when you consider the degenerative nature of incarceration and the fact that we generally accept that prisons are hellholes that drive both captor and captive to do terrible things, you'd think we'd be doing everything in our power to keep people out of them....
...we should know what goes on inside our prisons. After all, even if you never end up in one yourself, you will be paying dearly for the many others who will.

emphases added
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#225377 - 06/10/12 02:33 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: numan]
Greger Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 11848
Loc: Florida
Quote:
we generally accept that prisons are hellholes that drive both captor and captive to do terrible things,


Uh, have you seen any of the nice, modern, privately run prisons? We have two near here. They look sort of like modern military barracks.
Not exactly the hellholes "we" generally accept them to be.
Being imprisoned isn't my idea of a good time, but neither is being jobless, homeless, addicted to drugs or alcohol and forced by society to live beyond the law to survive.
I'd like to see a helluva lot less people in jails, particularly minor drug offenders, I'd like to see sentences shortened and programs to assist people rather than incarcerate them. Many prison inmates are really bad people and are beyond redemption surely there are some of those "Hellhole" prisons left where they could be sent...
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#225379 - 06/10/12 02:50 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
The cynical world of America's private prisons
A major factor in why US prisons are overflowing is the highly profitable privatised industry that has an incentive to fill them

Quote:
In 2010, two of the largest private prison companies in America, GEO Group, Inc and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) generated over $4bn dollars in profit between them. Their respective CEOs, George Zoley and Damon Hininger, each earned well in excess of $3m in 2010. Although there have been some concerns that any relaxation of sentencing or drug laws might negatively impact their bottom line (profit), they remain confident in their ability to drum up new ways of generating their taxpayer-funded commodities (also known as inmates)....
It's hard to think of a more cynical way to earn one's fortune than to devise means of placing innocent children in prison. But if no one's going to stop you, then why the hell not?
After all, "the Business of America is business," right? · · wink
Quote:
It's not all sunshine and roses in private prison land, however. These dens of inequity were sold to the public as super-efficient, money-saving, job-creating dream machines. The trouble is, most of the savings are derived from hiring too few prison guards and paying them on average 30-40% less than their counterparts in government-run prisons.
It might seem counterintuitive to create conditions that are conducive to outbreaks of violence, until you realize that violence is good for business. Inmates who act out tend to get time added to their sentence. Time added to sentences means more money, and more money is exactly what the CEOs and their shareholders are interested in.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#225380 - 06/10/12 02:52 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: Greger]
Greger Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 11848
Loc: Florida
And then there is this:
15-Year-Old Girl Faces Life in Prison for a Miscarriage? Why Conservatives Are Criminalizing Pregnant Women
Story here...
Are rising prison populations a sign of our conservative times? Do we need to be protected from children like this one?
In a perfect conservative world about 60% of the population would be incarcerated.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#225381 - 06/10/12 02:54 PM Re: U.S. prison system a costly and harmful failure: [Re: Greger]
logtroll Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6139
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
My former brother-in-law's hellhole was pretty innocuous.

I will tender my one actual experience (aka a fact) against eighty of noomies generally accepted to be assumptions (aka fantasies), and expect to win the hand...
_________________________
"If you would make a person happy, add not to their possessions but take from their desires"
Unknown

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