HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Obama's 2013 budget: Gr...

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:57 PM

Obama's 2013 budget: Grow Prisons, keep Gitmo


Obama Budget: Grow Prisons and Keep Gitmo
As broke states try to shed nonviolent inmates, the federal detention machine looks to expand.

—By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
| Wed Feb. 22, 2012 3:00 AM PST

President Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2013 includes cuts to everything from Medicare and Medicaid to defense and even homeland security. But federal prisons are among its "biggest winners," according to an analysis by the Federal Times. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is seeking a 4.2 percent increase, one of the largest of any federal agency, which would bring its total budget to more than $6.9 billion.

So what kind of criminals are we spending all this money to incarcerate? If you're thinking terrorists and kidnappers, think again. According to the Sentencing Project, only 1 in 10 federal prisoners is locked up for a violent offense of any kind. More than half are drug offenders—hardly surprising, since federal prosecutions for drug offenses more than doubled between 1984 and 2005. The 1980s also produced mandatory minimum sentences, which meant we were not only sending more people to prison, we were keeping them there far longer—a perfect formula for an exploding prison population.
Conspicuously absent from the Obama budget is an item the administration requested for 2011 and 2012: money to purchase and retrofit a disused Illinois prison to serve as Gitmo North, a home for detainees now held at Guantanamo Bay. Since late 2009, Obama has floated plans to buy Thomson state prison and convert it into a second supermax for Gitmo residents who were tried and convicted on American soil. But Congress has yet to come through with the cash, and it seems, at least in this budget, that the White House has thrown in the towel.

If the federal government acquires Thomson, it will not be for the purpose of replacing Guantanamo, but "to meet critical federal prison capacity needs," a Department of Justice spokesperson told TPM. In other words, we could end up with Gitmo on top of a new federal supermax like the one in Florence, Colorado—the closest thing to a torture chamber that exists in America today.

3 replies, 2688 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama's 2013 budget: Grow Prisons, keep Gitmo (Original post)
woo me with science Mar 2012 OP
woo me with science Mar 2012 #1
Lawlbringer Mar 2012 #2
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #3

Response to woo me with science (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 06:01 PM

2. Why would he request a budget for closing Gitmo

when Congress wouldn't allow it in the first place? Wouldn't that just be like going to buy a car before you've gotten your driver's license.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to woo me with science (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 06:10 PM

3. Budget Plan For 2013 Released By Obama (FULL TEXT)

Since the article you cite doesn't link to it, but just gives commentary.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread