Time to fix the prisons

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by pegwinn, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    As a realist I already know that this will influence/change nothing at all. But if someone sees it, and uses a piece of it in some action then maybe we will step forward. Oh yeah, I am your basic undereducated middle aged white guy that probably doesn't get it. I am neither republican nor democrat (republicrat). I don't follow any particular party on the grounds that if I aint perfect, they sure as hell caint be. LOL

    This particular rant is on Crime and Punishment in the USA. It is intended to apply at the federal level. I can't imagine trying to straighten out fifty criminal codes.

    We need to empty the prisons first. The only guys/gals I am interested in locking up are the violent. That's right, if you didn't actually commit a violent crime, you are outta there!!!! Oh yeah, if the results of your crime had the same effect as a violent crime, then you are not outta there, sorry. Case in point; You stole 100 grand from a pension fund. Granny Smith, who depended on the fund for income, died from malnutrition when the fund stopped paying out. Stealing the 100 grand had the direct effect of killing Granny. Ergo, you are still incarcerated.

    In order to be released, all you need to do is repay your "debt" to society. Since we are emptying the prisons, you will be subjected to an objective formula. The dollar value of your crime times 1.5. So if you stole ten bux, the majic number is now 15. Basically you are paying restitution on what you stole plus half again in penalty money. Then add the court costs. You are outta there. There would instantly be a whole new industry. Bail Bondsmen would pay your society debt to the court (who disburses the restitution to the victim). This clears the cells.

    In the future, those who cant pay up immediately go to work for the Government at hard labor for minimum wage. Picture this:

    The defendant will rise. Having been found guilty of interstate commerce fraud valued at 7000.00 you are ordered to pay 10500.00 restitution to the court for disbursement to your victims plus court costs. If you cannot immediately pay, the court will disburse funds in restitution and assume the primary role for your payment. In this event you will serve at hard labor in the rock quarry at the federal work facility. You will receive the federal minimum wage, minus appropriate room, board, and security fees.

    If our boy above nets 6.00 US per hour times 12 hours per day: It will take about 145 work days for him to pay his debt to society. He lives in a bay type barracks and does nasty work for half of every day. The gov could outsource his labor and make two killings. To those who would say this is nothing more than slavery, I offer two answers.

    1. Yup, and yer point is............ or
    2. We can give him the option of being incarcerated with the violent felons, no work there.

    Now the guys left in prison need to be punished. I really believe that no less than 75 percent of any prison sentence should be brutish, nasty, ugly, vengeance. Why? Cuz obviously they got the "do unto others" part down. Now we do unto them.
    Ask me if I care about inmate on inmate violence? Nope, remember, these are the violent.
    Ask me if I care about them dying in prison. Nope. Odds are they either killed, or contributed to someone's violent suffering. So if one wishes to make another his bitch, so what?
    BTW, I believe in a death penalty enacted if your crime caused a death. So, if we put the federal death row in it's own place, the actual prison can focus on punishment of those who didn't kill.

    Lastly, the sentence is always a rock bottom minimum of twenty-five years. I have two eminently logical reasons for this. First, is that if you commit a crime of violence at the age of 20, you will be 45 upon release. A forty-five year old is physically and mentally less likely to commit another act of violence. He will pose less of a physical danger as he is far past his prime. Secondly, a minimum 25 year sentence for violence will bring back the original power in the phrase "making a federal case out of it".

    Simple incarceration, no matter how violent, hasn't worked. It creates a smarter, more able killer. By removing the non-violent we tell them and society that as long as they make good on the crime we will take them back. By moving the violent to their own institution we tell them that if they want to behave like animals, so-be-it, welcome to the zoo. At 25 years minimum we are slapping some with overkill. But it will send a message. Most violent offenders are not federal offenders so the prison population funded via the IRS will diminish.
     
  2. Big D
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    Big D Guest

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    Without blacks and hispanics, America could close over 80% of all it's prisons. In New York blacks and hispanics are 30% of the population, but they are 85% of the prison population.
    In Washington D.C blacks are 93% of the prison population alone.

    Find out who's in prison in your state:
    http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/prisons/atlas.html
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    We need to shorten the senteces and make them harsher. Instead of having a person spend 25 years-life in a standard prison, make it 5-10 years, only it seems like 25-life. Have people spend their sentences moving back and forth from tough, physical labor to a bare, boring, isolated cell. Also, bring back the "no talking" rule. That gives them more time to think about what they did.

    Also, you could use George Carlin's idea of how to get rid of the 4 groups that are the most dangerous.

    Violent Criminals: Move everyone out of Kansas at the government's expense. Put up a 10 story electric fence. Dump tons of weapons and ammo down there. Put it on cable and sell advertising space.

    Sex Criminals: This is only "true" sex offenders, a.k.a. people who impose their sex on others (rapists, molesters, etc.). Fence off Wyoming and repeat the above (tv), minus the guns and ammo.

    Drug Offenders: Everyone gets 15 chances to clean up. Colorado, so they have the Coors brewery. Dump all the drugs seized in raids in there. Fence off as above and put on cable, as above.

    Maniacs and Crazy people: Only harmful ones (and gross ones). Wierd ones get their own radio show. Fence off Utah. Put it on TV, just like above.

    All four are in adjacent states. Put gates in them every 50 miles. Open them 10 inches for 7 seconds a month...on Pay Per View.

    Now they're all taken care of...and you have more federal revenue than you know what to do with, so you lower taxes.
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    "In order to be released, all you need to do is repay your "debt" to society. Since we are emptying the prisons, you will be subjected to an objective formula. The dollar value of your crime times 1.5."

    I'll give you credit for innovation, but unfortunately I see a rather large hole in your theory.

    Let's say that I'm engaged in a non-violent criminal enterprise. Do you think that I'll get caught the first time? How about the second time? Third? The fact is, if I'm smart and keep things low key, I might never get caught. Let's assume (just so we can have some numbers to work with) that I realize ten thousand dollars from each illegal activity and now let's say that eventually I get nailed. Unless the police can find the proceeds from my previous transactions, they can only charge me with the crime for which they have evidence. Now if I have committed that crime ten times before I was caught, I made 100,000 bucks. Your system will cost me $15,000 and I'm back on the street. Hmmm - that's pretty low overhead and certainly does not serve to deter me from future activity.

    Another problem with a system such as you suggest is that it would punish the poor disproportionately. Rich, white collar criminals would actually be encouraged to commit fraud or embezzlement because chances of getting caught are slim and if you are caught, well - it's only money.

    Here's my theory. It's based on the behavior of children. Young children are notoriously cruel and conscienceless. That's because ethics, morals and good judgement are not things one inherits congenitally from parental DNA. These things have to be learned. You can talk to children till you're blue in the face and they will do whatever the hell pleases them. Children learn that some things are not acceptable because of the punishment associated with the act. Eventually they learn WHY there is punishment for some things and they begin to develop a conscience. Criminals are much like children. They have no conscience, morals or ethics. They respond only to the fear of punishment. I believe that the best thing we can do to reform our prisons is to get back to basics and make prisone VERY unpleasant places.

    Perhaps a two-tiered prison system might be in order. Level one would be facilites where punishment is the only objective. There would be no languishing about in their cells. Work their butts off all day, every day. No cable TV, no internet, no law libraries, no pumping iron in the yard. That would be the punishment phase. Then transfer the inmate to level two where he / she is still incarcerated, but the emphasis is on education, job training and counselling. Maybe that might help, but to tell the truth, I'm not all that optimistic.
     
  5. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    One way to free up some jail space is to legalize "victimless crimes" - also called "crimes of consent". With the legalization of drugs, gamboling, and prostitution, many supposed criminals can be released.
     
  6. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Sounds alittle like the Running man. You know without the outsiders hunting them down.
     
  7. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Great points. I almost asked, "How about the non-violent offender forfeights all assets" and they are distributed out as the restitution portion of atonement? Then I thought that there may be a clause in our constitution forbidding that. The second phase of "atonement" is to cover the $15000 you mentioned. Instead of the option of immediate payment, you must perform hard labor at minimum wage. Truthfully, until we get a rock steady perfect truth machine, I am not too worried about non-violent offences. I support the decriminalization of prostitution, drugs, etc. I apprectiate the time you took to read and write and will continue to consider the points made. Thanks.
     
  8. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Excellent point. We ought to simply tax them, and regulate them out of business. If they cannot comply with the legal version, then the 1.5 rule will apply and they can break big rocks into gravel for minimum wage.
     
  9. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    Most of the prison population is black and Hispanic, as Big correctly notes. Also, most of them are there for drug crimes. This is by design. White conservatives want potentially violent minorities off the streets, but don't want to be accused of "racism." So, drugs does the trick. They know they can count on minorities to go for the easy money. And they know how easy it is for cops to bust on this. Which they do.

    It's a nice little system. My only complaint is that it costs white taxpayers a lot. The cheaper solution would be to put the blacks back on a boat to Africa and the Hispanics back on buses to Mexico.
     
  10. Big D
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