Next week, the U.N. Human Rights Council will formally adopt the first-ever U.N. report on mass incarceration. In this groundbreaking report, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights brings global attention to the root causes of overincarceration and overcrowding in prisons.
Right-on analysis, particularly this paragraph which deserves being repeated:
"These numbers reflect misuse of incarceration to respond to social challenges and basic human needs. People struggling with addiction and mental illness are jailed rather than treated. People who need community-based supervision, education, and jobs to end the cycle of recidivism receive longer and longer sentences instead. Young people in neglected neighborhoods who are exposed to poverty, violence, and trauma are pushed out of schools and into prisons rather than embraced and healed. Moreover, the racially disparate patterns of policing and punishment reflect the United States’ ongoing struggle to come to terms with its history of slavery, marginalization, and oppression of people of color."
Legalizing pot is a start, but what about legalizing crime causing addicting drugs and treating addiction as a medical, not a criminal problem.
While I agree that the new UN initiative is an important developement, I don't think it will have much impact in the U.S. In America prison populations are driven by corporate interests.
The neighborhood pot dealer receives mandatory minimum sentences while the corporate drug dealer (Pfizer, Sandos, etc.) gets government subsidies and a pat on the back.
The local theif who steals a loaf of bread goes to jail, but the hadege fund manager or CEO that devises a legal scheme to rip off millions of dollars from a bunch of innocent investors goes to Tahiti for a quick world wind adventure.
The people who kill someone in a rage of passion receive the death penalty while the drone operator gets a promotion for wiping out a suspected terrorist at a peaceful wedding.
The person who exposes government cover ups and crimes spends the rest of hir or her life on the run or else they rot in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives while the civil servants who ignore these same crimes ave job security and bonuses.
It's never been a level playing field in the U.S., but now it's out of control.
... proof of American exceptionalism at last.
There is also the fact that in this country , justice is purely punitive , with no upper limit to the punishment meted out to the average mundane . Rehabilitation as a concept isn't even a blip on the radar .