The Privatizing of Prisons
Posted By: Liberty_Lady
Date: Tuesday, 22-Jul-2014 23:32:58
I'm seeing a disturbing trend in how our prisons are run in America these days. Our nation has more people in prisons than anywhere else in the world. More than Russia or China. Think about that. Land of the free? Not for some time. 96% of cases include pleas. Translated, that means that rather than take a chance of going to trial before a jury, most offenders will plead guilty to a lesser charge. A win/win situation unless you aren’t guilty. But their underpaid and overworked public defenders will convince them this is in their best interest. The police get to consider that a closed case. The judges add another feather to their hat and now, private prisons are the bottom feeders in this equation.
50% of the people in federal prisons are there on drug related crimes. And blacks are 10 times more likely than whites to do time for drug offense. More states are decriminalizing marijuana, but that doesn’t change the federal law, unless you believe in the Constitution that is. And the very first thing that gets cut in a state’s budget is the mental health care system and substance abuse programs.
This is keeping the criminal justice system well oiled and private prisons are becoming the norm. This is big business. If you don’t think so, look at the change in prisons over the last few decades. Once upon a time, prisons were geared to rehabilitate prisoners. It was considered a failure of the system if a person re-offended and was sent back to prison. Now, that is considered bigger numbers for the private prisons.
Even though it was difficult back then for an ex-con to get a job upon release, in theory, society considered that they had paid their debt. In the real world, few to no employers wanted to take a chance on a known criminal. Unfortunately that just made it more likely that a person would never get off of that merry-go-round called the criminal justice system. And today it isn’t any easier for ex-cons to get decent jobs.
Overworked probation officers do their best to keep an eye on their probationers, some even try to line up work for them. But the prison population has exploded. Part of the reason for that are the ridiculous drug laws. I have long thought that taking the crime out of drugs would go a long way to lowering the prison population count. There was a time when getting caught with a certain amount of marijuana for your own use would get you more prison time than molesting a child in some states. Is that not a skewed set of values? Something that is causing no harm except possibly to yourself if you believe that pot is a dangerous drug weighed against damaging a child, maybe for the rest of their life?
Our criminal justice system needs a serious overhaul and a new set of values. But, instead of that, enter private prisons. No longer is it considered a win if prisoners reform and don’t return. It is to the prison’s advantage to have a larger head count and longer sentences all around. And who is overseeing these prisons? Who do these officials answer to? I see a very large opportunity for misconduct with little to no oversight. Just another example of corporations taking over in areas they have no business in.
And who are our prisons filled with? Disproportionately blacks and Hispanics. The elite have always considered people of color to have less value than whites. What an antiquated concept. Certainly, if you make sure that people of color receive an inferior education, they will gravitate toward lower paying jobs – or the more lucrative drug trade.
But, who are on the money making end of the drug trafficking? The Mafia, CIA, the drug lords in Central and South America. Most of whom don’t seem to see much of the inside of a prison. They’re the ones raking in the most money but if caught can afford high powered lawyers to get them off. The people buying the drugs and the bottom sellers are the ones who fill the prisons.
Does anyone else remember when the CIA flooded the Haight-Ashbury area in San Fransisco with drugs in the 60’s in the hopes of addicting the blacks? That one kind of backfired as the rich white college kids decided they liked the drugs too. Of course, the CIA can’t get out of the drug trade. What do you think they fund their black projects with?
So now we have a criminal justice system that is set up to give stiff penalties to drug abusers, have dismantled drug programs and mental health facilities, have militarized the police who crack heads first and ask questions later and privatized prisons designed for profit and to keep people behind bars for as long as they can.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?