Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:22 AM
thomhartmann (2,901 posts)
Thom Hartmann: What Do Republicans Love about Rape?
Marc Harrold, Libertarian Commentator & Author, Observations of White Noise...an 'Acid Test' for the First Amendment vs. Thom Hartmann. Earlier this week - the Department of Justice published new standards to combat the large number of rapes and sexual assaults that occur in America's prisons each year. This is a serious problem. In 2008 - a report by the Justice Department revealed more than 216,000 victims of rape and sexual assault in prison. That's just victims - not occurrences. That year - prison rape accounted for a majority of all the rapes in the United States. So something needed to be done to put an end to this rape epidemic in our nation's prisons. And that's exactly what the Department of Justice did - adopting nationwide standards as required by a law signed by George W. Bush in 2003. Those standards include minimum staffing levels at prisons - screenings of prisoners who are at risk of rape - or are suspected rapists - and removing any time limits for an inmate to report a rape.
And while most are applauding the new guidelines - they will come with a cost - roughly $7 billion - which is causing Conservatives to be outraged. For example - The American Action Forum - a Wall Street funded right-wing group -released a statement calling the new guidelines too "costly" and "complicated" - while The Weekly Standard piled on - complaining that the costs outweigh the benefits and this new rule is, "undoubtedly an unfunded mandate - and an expensive one that offers few assurances of success." However - the total expected cost to the new standards is less than 1 percent of the overall cost of the nation's prison system - and according to the New York Times - it actually saves money "by avoiding the medical costs of injuries suffered by rape victims." So - are Conservatives really ok with letting thousands of prison inmates get raped each year? Here to debate that answer is Marc Harrold - Libertarian Commentator - Attorney - and author, Observations of White Noise…an ‘Acid Test’ for the First Amendment."
The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV & FSTV "live" 9pm and 11pm check www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings
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Thom Hartmann: What Do Republicans Love about Rape? (Original post)
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Sat Jun 23, 2012, 07:28 PM
99th_Monkey (17,509 posts)
1. Here's an interesting related story, re: Private Prisons leaving Mississippi
Private Prison Group Quits Mississippi, Heads North
Private prison operator GEO Group is backing out of all operations in the state of Mississippi by this July, the Guardian reports. The decision was driven in large part by a class action lawsuit brought against the firm by the Southern Poverty Law Center and ACLU over a youth detention facility run by the group, and a U.S. Department of Justice report condemning that same facility for 8th ammendment violations.
Overall, the DOJ says that their investigation found "systematic, egregious, and dangerous practices exacerbated by a lack of accountability and controls." Amongst other things, it cited excessive use of force as the first course of action to maintain order, sexual misconduct by the staff (who otherwise showed egregious indifference towards inmate safety) and totally inadequate health services. The settlement required that the group improve conditions and employee conduct, though by the beginning of this month, little progress had been made.
The GEO Group is the second largest private prison operator in the world, running 65 prisons in the U.S., as well as facilities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. Last year, the group reported revenues exceeding $1 billion. They are traded publicly on the NYSE.