Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:08 AM
marmar (67,879 posts)
Unlocking a movement: Mass incarceration reaches epic proportions in ‘the land of the free’
from the Detroit Metro Times:
Unlocking a movement
Mass incarceration reaches epic proportions in ‘the land of the free’
By Curt Guyette
Published: February 27, 2013
There are certain statistics that should make people gasp with horror and seethe with outrage.
Here is one of those numbers: 716.
Why that figure in particular? Because it represents the number of people per 100,000 who are behind bars in the United States. To even begin to understand the full, tragic significance of what that number represents, it has to be put in context. It is not enough to know that America, the supposed freedom-loving nation that we are, leads the world when it comes to the rate of incarceration. Compare that rate to communist Cuba, which jails 510 people per 100,000, or Iraq, where the number is 115. Or how about Germany, where the number is 80 prisoners per 100,000 people, or Finland, where it is only 60.
In terms of the sheer numbers of people who are locked up, the United States is also the unfortunate leader. By far. With about 2.2 million people locked up overall, the U.S. prison population far exceeds that of every other country on the planet, including China, which has four times as many people as America. .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/news/news-hits/unlocking-a-movement-1.1450366
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Unlocking a movement: Mass incarceration reaches epic proportions in ‘the land of the free’ (Original post)
|Uncle Joe||Feb 2013||#2|
Response to marmar (Original post)
Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:12 AM
pipoman (14,601 posts)
1. There are many aspects to this issue
and it is often over simplified in these articles. We probably all agree that minor drug offenses like possession of small quantities shouldn't be a criminal issue at all...especially MJ..That said, at the federal level there are no simple possession incarcerations. Federal prisoners have all violated some federal law with an interstate aspect. What defines interstate is certainly arguable and many would agree that the commerce clause is bastardized to the point of not even being recognizable..
Having been involved in a few federal criminal cases, and have spent a fair amount of time interviewing federal prisoners, I came away with some seldom mentioned issues in the BoP. One, which is glaring yet discrete and rarely heard of is the problem with SIS in the federal system. SIS (Special Investigative Service), a branch of the FBI which operates within the BoP. SIS investigates criminal activity within the BoP population. Seems fine and expected on it's face, however the prisons are full of people who came to the prison for some crime intent on 'paying their debt to society' then trying to resume their life upon release..'best laid plans' and all that...SIS truly targets each inmate intent on trying to add more time to their sentence.
An example. I once interviewed a federal inmate who was convicted of international drug smuggling. He was 22, and was recruited as a mule to bring in cocaine. He got caught at the border and was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison. He was placed in a maximum security prison in Marion, IL. He wanted to serve his time and looked forward to trying to put his life back together. Once in Marion, he, like most others was targeted by SIS. He was placed in a cell with a known gang member from a racial gang which was know to act violently toward inmates of other races. He was beaten by this cell mate and ultimately defended himself. When he defended himself, he was charged with fighting and received 6 months added to his sentence. SIS ordered his move to a cell with another gang member, this time a gang member of his own race. Because he defended himself against the other gang member, now he was on their list. He was beaten again by the opposing gang. Then he finally agreed to join the gang of his new cellie for protection...he feared for his life. Part of the joining of that gang was to get a tattoo, which he did. Two days later he was strip searched by SIS, the tattoo was found and he was charged with being a 'disruptive group member', this added another 2 years to his sentence. In addition, by joining the gang, he became the gang's property for the rest of his life...whether he is in or out..When I was interviewing him he was 31 and housed in AdMax facility in Florence CO. for his involvement in the gang he was forced to join through a desire for self preservation. This is the story told by nearly every inmate I interviewed. SIS spends their time inciting inmates trying to add time to their sentences...it is what they do. If this inmate would have been housed with other nonviolent inmates from the beginning, he likely would have done his time and went on to release and probably wouldn't have re-offended...all thanks to SIS.
All that said, each time this topic comes up I have to ask, What parts of the US criminal code shouldn't be there? Which inmates shouldn't be there? We probably all agree that minor drug offenses shouldn't, but beyond that, which shouldn't be there?
Most of the inmates I have interviewed probably are better for society while locked up...or at least should pay some price for their crimes. My objection to the Federal system is the unnecessary incitement/enticement by SIS...not so much that most federal inmates are locked up in the first place..
Response to pipoman (Reply #1)
Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:10 AM
Uncle Joe (33,333 posts)
2. It's not just the laws, although that's certainly part it, the system is corrupted.
There is no redeeming quality to having a for profit prison system; it combined with time can only serve to corrupt both the inmate population and government charged with overseeing the martial industry while also writing our laws.
A for profit prison system corrupts/warps the tipping point in legislative deliberations regarding crime, prison funding and tax policy.
The so called "War on Drugs" is a significant part of the problem, turning what should be a medical, educational, personal privacy issue into a criminal one.
The WOD combined with a corporate supremacist frame of thought prevalent throughout the corporate media has only served to criminalize or tear down the American People in general, the former through increasing erosion of our Bill of Rights and the latter via continuous brainwashing propaganda.