arma virumque cano (et alia)
You're the one inventing all kinds of new non-violent "crimes."
Even worse than I knew. capitalism will NOT be denied!
This isn't a problem of capitalism, per se. Even unbridled capitalism, on its own, is not able to reach the depths that this system can plumb.This is the Unholy Union called the public private partnership which combines capitalism with government power and gives us the worst problems of capitalism and socialism together at once.Same thing we have with the captive market created by Obamacare which, if it goes on long enough, will be worse than anything we had before and worse than if we'd gone with straight up single payer.
It's certainly a base problem of capitalism when Republicans claim "the free market" will take care of all our problems (free market meaning capitalism) then privatize government functions based on that mistaken ideology. Prisons are a small % of the society, wait til they privatize the military (they have already done that to a large extent) SS which is part of Ryan's budget, schools (get a voucher) medical care (again get another voucher) etc., etc., etc...
Again, Anonymous, privatizing government functions is a Public Private Partnership, not straight up Capitalism in economic issues and government doing government functions.You have a brain. Use it.
Evidence shows when government functions are turned over to capitalist ventures service not only suffers, but so do the rights of individuals and their actual lives. Like Halliburton selling poisoned water and food to our military, or their showers that electrocute soldiers. Use your brain.
"Evidence shows when government functions are turned over to capitalist ventures service not only suffers, but so do the rights of individuals and their actual lives." You bet Anon, we have but to look at two sterling examples where the government controls nearly everything like the Peoples Republic of China and North Korea to see examples of the broadened rights of citizens who live there.
Thanks for comparing the US to China. Laughable.
Anonymous,YES!!! THAT EVIDENCE is further proof of WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING OVER AND OVER!!!Turning government functions over to capitalist ventures is a PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP--it's the government contracting out IT'S JOB. And YES, service suffers and rights are violated--people even die.We are AGREEING that it is BAD to contract out government duties and government authority to private parties!
Good infographic--shows a lot of the numbers and ways that this type of public private partnership is susceptible to, if not birthed in, corruption. That being said, with it's focus on numbers and percentages, this infographic misses the worst aspect of the growth of these prisons--the abuse of the rights of prisoners.Because these prisons are private entities rather than government actors, they are not constrained by the Constitution in the same way. They also do no have to comply with FOIA requests and other procedures that a government run prison would have to comply with to ensure transparency and proper treatment of prisoners.As a bit of history, they started using these private prisons to house illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. Because the authoritarian streak in some of the conservatives in our courts have determined that only citizens or legal residents should have some, or any depending on the judge, Constitutional rights, it is very easy to abuse illegal immigrants and get away with it.Because of this, the cases brought on behalf of illegal immigrant detainees in these private prisons usually didn't do well and established lots of bad precedent protecting these private prisons from accountability. Now those same precedents are established, and all sorts of people are finding their way into these private prisons.This was the most disturbing development I knew of in our legal system until we got nonchalant references to kill lists. Add private prisons to each administration's apparently increasing willingness to use executive enforcement power for political purposes and you have a recipe for all manner of unpleasantness.This ought to warn conservatives and liberals away from their authoritarian tendencies, but these tendencies are deep seated, and hard to uproot--especially on behalf of felons.First they came for the illegals, then they came for the felons, next, sometime in the near future, maybe the dissidents? The political enemies of whoever is in power?
The challenge is how to break the incarceration cycle. A similar challenge is occurring in the schools in the area of out of school suspensions for nonviolent behavior. And to be honest, I can understand how some on the receiving end can get to the point where there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so lose all motivation to do the right thing. Some possible fixes? Restitution in lieu of incarceration for property crimes, and perhaps for all nonviolent crimes. Also complete restoration of rights upon completion of sentences for nonviolent crimes. Including felonies. And make it retroactive. This would result in making many people more employable, and introduce some hope. I'm likely missing something in here that would be a challenge to accomplishing these goals, let's hear em.
Getting rid of the private prisons would be a good step to stop further degeneration of our current system, but that still leaves us with the status quo.Those suggestions, SSG, are excellent ideas for reforming our criminal justice system. I can see some issues with restitution arising if people started fleeing across state lines to avoid enforcement (we currently have a problem with people avoiding prosecution altogether this way), so it might still require incarceration and a work program either in the prison or via supervised release. We already have models for release programs on misdemeanor charges whereby the prisoner gets released during the day to keep his job, but we don't have much emphasis on restitution.I would add, to your list, a reclassification of many of the non-violent felonies to misdemeanors--at least on first offense. If you look at the history of our common law, the reason we allowed infamy to attach to felonies was because felonies were all, at one time, potentially death penalty crimes, so the mercy of sparing someone's life was in exchange for infamy to keep them in line.That logic kinda falls apart when it's a felony to pick up an eagle feather or grow a disfavored herb.One of the biggest complaints against the idea of refocusing on restitution may come from certain progressive legal theorists who disfavor anything they perceive as punitive and prefer to talk about rehabilitation. Barring a huge paradigm shift in their worldview, I doubt they'll find restitution an easy pill to swallow, but an emphasis on how the goal is to make the victim whole, make the criminal see that his crime will result in lots of hard work, and that we're trying to let him learn skills and be more able to rejoin society might win some of them over.
I'd say we immediately release all drug-use and white collar offenders.
A suggestion, Mike--Some of those white collars are for victimless paperwork crimes and I'd agree with you, but the few in lock up for defrauding people ought to either stay there or be released to work if they can be prevented from fleeing justice--either way, make them work off every penny they took. If it takes the rest of their life, so be it. Whether you pick a pocket or ponzi a retirement fund, you should pay back every single penny before your life and means are your own. Once paid back, it's fully your own with no infamy, but not til then.
"I would add, to your list, a reclassification of many of the non-violent felonies to misdemeanors--at least on first offense." Good suggestion Simon, the challenge is that many laws seem to be moving in the opposite direction. The same with our juvenile justice system. There, we seem to be moving in the direction of adult prosecution for a list of crimes that grows constantly at ever younger ages. The only one in those cases that profit is the system because they don't have to exercise their brains to try to set up a plan to pull them back onto the right path. Much simpler to just look at the sentencing guidelines, and next case. On the other side of that coin though is the occurrence of violent crime being committed by ever younger offenders. Just recently three were arrested in my state for committing a series of violent robberies and one was 13 years old.
Sarge,That's definitely the the direction we're moving--piling up more and more felonies. Disturbingly, most of the new ones are written to cover tons of people and allow prosecutors to zero in on "bad guys" guided by their discretion.I'm a little torn on the treating kids as adults issue. On the one hand, I want to see justice done, and I don't see a person's age as mattering much to what would be a just sentence. On the other hand, our system is currently set up in such a way that treating kids as adults means you lock them into infamy and ruin their lives.If we instituted these reforms, there wouldn't be a problem with treating juveniles as adults in the bulk of these cases--they'd pay or work off restitution and then be released with no future killing infamy attached.Also, regarding my comment about reducing non-violent felonies to misdemeanors on the first offense, we have a system where DUI recidivism gets harsher penalties each time--something similar would be a good idea under a reformed system we're discussing.
Prisons are for people we're afraid of not for people we're mad at. That's why all white collar criminals should get out except the repeat offenders. Those who have assets and resources should forfeit them to make restitution and pay fines. They should not be taking up space in prisons. Same with the drug users.
And the gun owners, right?
That's petty and stupid. You know how I feel about locking up idiot gun owners even when their idiocy results in an accidental death.
You support laws with felony prison time punishment. I'm not talking about someone shooting themselves in the foot. AWBs, NY SAFE act, Manchin-Toomey, gun free zones, etc., have prison as punishment for non-compliance. So stop faulting us for opposing them.
It's really become a tedious argument. You're like a pit bull when you get your teeth into something. The fact is all crimes have maximum sentences that are too severe. That gives the sentencing judges options to adequately punish repeat offenders and those with extenuating circumstances. Another fact is, no one is going to the slammer for owning assault weapons if that's their only offense, but that doesn't prevent you from continually pretending they are.
"That gives the sentencing judges options to adequately punish repeat offenders and those with extenuating circumstances." I agree Mike, the problem is that mandatory minimum sentences, in particular for nonviolent drug crimes take that discretion away from the judges. The challenge is that to remedy this problem will require such a radical rewrite of the criminal codes in each state, that its unlikely to be fixed quickly, if at all. This challenge will be magnified by the potential perception that making these changes will be likely viewed as being "soft on crime".
Mike,I agree about forfeiting their assets. I was just thinking that many of them wouldn't have enough assets to pay full restitution that way--usually they've wasted a lot of what they stole, or they've destroyed more than they gained by their crimes.If you remember, at one point above I talked about the potential for thieves and others who owe restitution fleeing jurisdiction and suggested we might need a prison work program or some type of supervised release to ensure that they did pay the restitution. That's why I was suggesting that some of the white collars with large amounts owed might need to continue serving time in some way.I agree that we shouldn't use long lock up terms as punishment when restitution will do, but I do think that we may still need to lock some of the criminals up to ensure they stick around to pay their restitution.Meanwhile, as for releasing those in jail for drug use, I was thinking maybe you meant release them and decriminalize the actions that put them there. I was probably reading too much into the comment.
Mike: “Another fact is, no one is going to the slammer for owning assault weapons if that's their only offense, but that doesn't prevent you from continually pretending they are.”Are you serious? Let us start with Brian Aitken, who didn’t even have an “assault weapon”- they were just plain old handguns. Oh, but you said “he was up to know good”, and therefore deserved 7 years in prison. We could also talk about Brendon Richards, who spend 10 days in jail for owning a perfectly legal gun which looked like and “assault weapon”.Furthermore, why should I support allowing the law to imprison people for first and only harmless gun offenses hoping that prosecution and judge’s discretion means they don’t serve hard time? Why do you support that if you don’t actually want the prison time for these people? Is this to coerce people into taking plea deals (which I think is a huge problem in our justice system)? I don’t think our prison system is ever going to be filled up by millions of good gun owners either, but I don’t want to see any good people caught up in this- especially me.
ss, we weren't talking about minimum sentencing guidelines. We were talking about the obsession of TS, that poor persecuted gun owners are going to jail for owning prohibited assault weapons or for having their jackets blown open by the wind. In those cases there are no mandatory incarcerations for first offenders but having the laws on the books is useful for the reasons I mentioned.
TS, Brian Aitken and that 10-day anomaly are your examples for justifying a bizarre obsession. For one thing, I don't think I ever said Aitken deserved the rather long sentence he got, but I did point out that there was more to it than you guys like to say.
You have this bizarre obsession with claiming you don't want to see these people in prison, but still wanting the law written so that any if them can go to prison. These laws ARE NOT written such that first time offenders can't do time. Do most people charged with these end up with plea deals and reduced sentences? Sure, but that's true of just about any law. We have WAY to many felony laws on our books making it impossible to enforce them by the book. Partly this is intentional to get people to cop to plea deals and forgo their right to a trail by jury. I take it that's one of the values you see in it, but the concept of overcharging is unconstitutional in my opinion.
You will have to define white collar criminals. If you think the Wall Street white collar criminals who crashed our economy, left millions homeless and broke, and millions more unemployed should not go to jail, I disagree. They should get long sentences.
Anonymous, maybe you haven't been following the news. The guys responsible for crashing the economy didn't go to jail. They got raises and bonuses.
This is simply wrong. Private entities holding people against their will is kidnapping. This is an example of something that government exclusively should do.
Greg, didn't you see Simon's explanation about the partnership between the private sector and the government? Or, did you just want to make a contrary comment?
Mikeb, can you really not tell that I'm agreeing with Simon's point? Or did you not understand that I meant wrong in the moral sense?
Blame the people, they let it happen, and it's been no secret.
Yes, Anonymous, we're all to blame for letting it happen. However, while it's not been a secret, per se, it has been something they've tried to keep in the shadows and institute incrementally--the whole frog in a pot thing.We all have to be more aware of what's happening and work to stave off even little things so that they don't grow into a mess like this. As for the mess we're already in, it's going to take sustained work to roll it back.
This is what happens when Republicans try to privatize what is a government responsibility, for good reasons that go beyond only profit as a motive for behavior. Please don't include "white collar" criminals as those who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of lives. I wonder how many killed themselves because of the financial ruin they found themselves in do to no fault of their own, but the victim of criminals? Or the number of starving homeless children and adults, which we pay taxes to help. Although the government doesn't seem to prosecute them, they just cut food stamps that help those victims. White collar crimes are not victimless and usually cause more carnage in society than one nut with a gun.
Are you done ranting at the wind? If you notice, pretty much everyone here is opposed to the idea of these prisons.
At least Anonymous has acquired some much needed perspective in that last sentence.
Simon, Since you have to longest, most ridiculous rants on this site, it's funny and hypocritical to hear that kind of complaint from you. Laughable. GC,IF you had been paying attention to my stance on these issues my last sentence would not come as a surprise. But since you guys simply lie about my stance even though I have written it many times on this blog, your note here is as useless as everything else you say.