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Mass Incarceration Has Been a Costly and Utter Failure: Report


#1

Mass Incarceration Has Been a Costly and Utter Failure: Report

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Decades of mass incarceration have proven to be a costly and ineffective strategy to reduce crime, a groundbreaking report published Thursday found.

In fact, increased punishments and jailings have been declining in effectiveness for more than 30 years, according to the report, titled What Caused the Crime Decline? (pdf) and released by the Brennan Center for Justice.


#2

"government should be in the business of investing in and deploying policies that achieve their intended goals." Oh, but they do, they do. It's just they have goals that differ from what you or I might want. And frankly, it shouldn't have taken this long for people to come to this conclusion. Will they do anything about it? I must admit that I doubt it.


#3

Failure???
Its been a massive success if you are a corporation in favor of treason for profit.

The private prison system has waged a corporate war against citizens for decades and stole billions of dollars of taxpayer money doing it.
They pay their network of corrupt cops, DA's, judges and other assorted traitorous feral scum to wage the war on citizens and bring them kidnap victims that they ransom back to the families after raping them for a couple of years.

The entire farcical scum circus called a justice system is run by a puppet clown that openly gives assault rifles to drug cartels, lets the drug money laundering banks go free and can't bother with the rich tax cheats.
The DOJ is such a pile of crap a asteroid strike couldn't wipe it clean.


#4

Just like the Marriage-Divorce industry and the Health-Care-Scam Industry, the so-called "Corrections"-Growth Industry is designed to fleece the citizens into homelessness. Every step of the penal system includes a corporation leeched onto the taxpayer supposedly providing a service, but really endeavoring to keep the convict in the for-profit-prision system forever.

If, by some extreme luck, the convict gets out, or gets rid of the ankle bracelet which he has to pay thousands for, spies are hired to follow the convict around. Not since the KGB in the former USSR have we seen a society which does this.

I'm tired of paying for this inhuman system which includes decades of solitary confinement which Human Rights organizations say is tantamount to torture. All non-violent prisoners should be pardoned immediately and most of the laws on the books shredded.

Fire all centralized police forces and allow local people who know individuals keep peace and order. It is a better way. That's what we do in the islands.

The USSA: the Land of the Unfree and Home of the Terrified. Everybody is now under surveillance and in danger of being raided by militarized police in violation of the highest law in the land: The Fourth Amendment. How did we sink so low?


#5

Tragically, there's a core issue that this generation won't touch. Think about it: In the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all who urgently need one. The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s.This means that a portion of our population have no means of providing for themselves. What should we do with them?

People don't cease to exist once they can no longer afford a home address, phone, bus fare. They also can't get jobs without those things. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people who need one. This takes me back to my point: What should we do, right now, about those who have no means of providing for themselves?

What would you do if your only means of survival required that you commit a crime to get enough money for food and shelter? I don't think middle classers can even grasp this issue. As hellish as American prisons are, they are a source of food and shelter, with at least the small possibility of being able to get legitimate job skills training/employment assistance.


#6

You're absolutely right, and it's only going to get worse and automation replaces even more workers.

As I told my 18 year old son the other day, it's time to redefine what makes human beings worthwhile and that isn't a job of whatever sort. It's been said that Cro-Magnon man could provide for his needs with 20 hours of work a week and the rest of the time he had to be social and creative as he pleased. Now people have to work 50-60 and still can't make ends meet? This is progress how? We have an increasingly smaller amount of people being forced to work hellish hours, while others cannot get enough work to sustain themselves. The "full-time" work week needs to be redefined down to 30 hours or less, as some companies did in the Depression, and spread around. And it is past time for a basic living allowance.

Remember those cities of the future in the 60s? I'm old enough to. The labor saving automation was touted as freeing mankind from the drudgery of work. Instead we have this mess.

I'm just waiting for the bio-engineered plague that is going to solve the unemployment problem by wiping the half of us with little or inadequate health care out.


#7

Commenters have noticed that imprisonment is related to joblessness and the consequent lack
of means to make a living. Our system is, of course, working as planned. As nearly as I can see, it produces two effects which are desirable for the elites: removal of inconvenient black people from society and good profits for the prison-industrial complex. Last month's Harper's Magazine had a good article on this. The conclusion of the article is that there will be no effective prison reform because there is a lot of profit involved in our incarceration nation. We are both feared and scorned by a world which sees our hypocrisies and our brutatlity better than the majority of our citzens do. I really would like to live somewhere else, but it is not possible for me...


#8

Massive incarceration has been a huge success for white conservatives in keeping scary minorities from voting, providing private prison jobs for poor towns and profits for their shareholders, keeping police, spies, politicians, judges, black churches and drug cartels in the profitable fear business and well fed by a taxpayer funded 40 billion dollars/year drug war.


#9

It is time this country take criminal justice reform seriously. While I understand that some people need to be in prison, there are literally thousands deserving of a second chance, and all of us are footing the bill both financially and morally. These are our people. It is to our shame that we incarcerate more of our own people than any other nation in the world. The changes at the federal level are just the start. Each state also needs to go about re-examining some of their more extreme sentences, especially those that don't involve murder. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about...Lenny Singleton.

Lenny committed 8 "grab & dash" robberies in a 7 day period while high on alcohol and crack to fund his addiction. He did not have a gun. He did not murder anyone. In fact, no one was even physically injured and no one claimed to be his "victim." He stole less than $550 total and these were his first felonies. He wasn't an habitual criminal or part of a gang. He earned a college degree and served in our Navy before his addiction.

What he needed was some help with his addiction. What he got was 2 Life Sentences plus 100 years with no chance at parole. The judge, without any explanation to Lenny or the courtroom as documented by his court transcripts, sentenced Lenny to more time than repeat violent offenders, rapists, child molesters, and murderers. Lenny would be the first to tell you that he needed to do some time, but he didn't need to have his life completely taken from him. A man who killed 2 people was just sentenced to 33 years in the state that Lenny is incarcerated in. Murderers will walk free while Lenny remains in prison.

While in prison, Lenny works every business day in a position of authority, he lives in the Honor's Dorm, he takes every available class for self-improvement offered, and in his spare time, he has co-authored a book to help others headed down the same path called, "Love Conquers All," now available on Amazon. During the entire 20+ years he has been in prison so far, he has not received a single infraction for anything - very rare for lifers. Lenny is deserving of a second chance.

How does this have an impact on you? Taxpayers will pay well over a million dollars to keep Lenny for the rest of his life - for robbing less than $550 in crimes where no one was physically injured - this makes absolutely no sense on any level. That money would be better spent on rehabilitation services, preventative education or rebuilding infrastructures - anything other than keeping one man, who has already been in prison for over 20 years, who didn't physically injure anyone, who is deserving of a second chance, locked up for life. These types of cases exist all over this country, albeit, that Lenny Singleton's case is possibly one of the worst illustrating sentencing disparity and sentences disproportionate to the crime committed. True criminal justice reform needs to not only happen at the federal level but at the state level too.

Please learn more and sign Lenny Singleton's petition at justice4lenny.org. Justice will not have been served if Lenny dies in prison.