Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prison: A Fortune 500 Business

According to CNN (read here):

"As budget deficits grow and the economy tumbles, governors and legislators are cutting costs by allowing inmates, mostly low-risk offenders, to leave prison earlier than laws previously permitted. Nationwide, more states are beginning to release thousands of inmates early by increasing "time off" provisions."

This is further proof that the justice system in America is complete b.s. So let me see if I got this right. It's ok to lock up people (who are OVERWHELMINGLY minority) and use them for cheap labor when it's beneficial to the economy, but when the economy begins to falter, "criminals" can be released as a way to save money? So, because we as a country are broke, that makes crimes less criminal? Granted, some who are in prison are in for a valid reason, and THUS should NOT be released as a way to save money (particularly those who commited violent acts or rape i.m.o.), but let's not ignore the statistics people. According to

"At the start of Reagan's administration in 1980, there were approximately 501,886 prisoners in the nation's prisons and jails, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In June 2001, there were 1,800,300, a nearly four-fold increase, according to the agency's data. Of this number, 803,400 were Black males and 69,500 were Black females."

Black's account for nearly HALF of the prison population (there's more Black males in prison than college) and only about 13% of the overall population. Futhermore, a majority of the minorities (specifically Black males) are in prison because of non-violent drug offenses. In particular, crack offenses. So when I read on CNN that the government is releasing prisoners for non-violent offenses to SAVE MONEY I'm nothing short of appalled and infuriated. It makes me think, maybe these individuals should have received an alternative method of punishment for their involvment in narcotics when they were first arrested, or possibly counseling. Maybe if more job opportunities were in their community none of this would be a problem, because a long-term prison system did not, and doesn't seem to help. Oh, and check this out:

"The increase in the rates of incarceration of young black males is due primarily to the focus of the "war on drugs" on black drug users. For drug offenses, the African American proportion of arrests increased from 24% in 1980 to 39% in 1993, even though African Americans comprise only 13% of monthly drug users. From 1986 to 1990, the number of minority jail inmates increased more than twice as fast as the number of white inmates, and the increase in the number of arrests of minorities for drug offenses was almost ten times the increase in arrests of white drug offenders."


"Distribution of just five grams of crack cocaine yields a five year mandatory minimum sentence, while it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to trigger the same five year sentence. Crack cocaine is the only drug for which there is a federal mandatory minimum sentence for mere possession."

Oh, and 4/5's of all crack offenders are black.

Ah, what the hell, let me throw some more facts out there:

-Of the 253,300 state prison inmates serving time for drug offenses at yearend 2005, 113,500 (44.8%) were black, 51,100 (20.2%) were Hispanic, and 72,300 (28.5%) were white.

-Nationwide, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.

Want more stats? Click [HERE]

So, you lock us up when it's convenient for YOU and YOUR dollar huh? But now that everybody is suffering you all of a sudden want to change things up? It's a truth I already knew was present, but now it's even more evident, and it's quite despicable I might add. The justice system is a JOKE. Again, notice, these drug offenses rose during the Reagan and Bush administrations. And, although I was previously critical of Obama sending more troops to Iraq, I commend him for doing this --> [Click Here]

Maybe if more money was spent on education, none of this would even be a problem. Last I heard, CPS (Chicago Public Schools) received 10K per student, while some surburban schools receive upwards of 18K. Oh, and it cost 22K (yearly) to maintain a prisoner. I think it's time to reprioritize...

1 comment:

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