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Why We Must Fix Our Prisons " Whos got any ideas?"

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Gunpowder_max50

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

Why We Must Fix Our Prisons
By Senator Jim Webb
published: 03/29/2009

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 

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America's criminal justice system has deteriorated to the point that it is a national disgrace. Its irregularities and inequities cut against the notion that we are a society founded on fundamental fairness. Our failure to address this problem has caused the nation's prisons to burst their seams with massive overcrowding, even as our neighborhoods have become more dangerous. We are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing millions of lives.


We need to fix the system. Doing so will require a major nationwide recalculation of who goes to prison and for how long and of how we address the long-term consequences of incarceration. Twenty-five years ago, I went to Japan on assignment for PARADE to write a story on that country's prison system. In 1984, Japan had a population half the size of ours and was incarcerating 40,000 sentenced offenders, compared with 580,000 in the United States. As shocking as that disparity was, the difference between the countries now is even more astounding--and profoundly disturbing. Since then, Japan's prison population has not quite doubled to 71,000, while ours has quadrupled to 2.3 million.


The United States has by far the world's highest incarceration rate. With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses nearly 25% of the world's reported prisoners. We currently incarcerate 756 inmates per 100,000 residents, a rate nearly five times the average worldwide of 158 for every 100,000. In addition, more than 5 million people who recently left jail remain under "correctional supervision," which includes parole, probation, and other community sanctions. All told, about one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, in jail, or on supervised release. This all comes at a very high price to taxpayers: Local, state, and federal spending on corrections adds up to about $68 billion a year.


Our overcrowded, ill-managed prison systems are places of violence, physical abuse, and hate, making them breeding grounds that perpetuate and magnify the same types of behavior we purport to fear. Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard or, in some places, nonexistent, making it more difficult for former offenders who wish to overcome the stigma of having done prison time and become full, contributing members of society. And, in the face of the movement toward mass incarceration, law-enforcement officials in many parts of the U.S. have been overwhelmed and unable to address a dangerous wave of organized, frequently violent gang activity, much of it run by leaders who are based in other countries.


With so many of our citizens in prison compared with the rest of the world, there are only two possibilities: Either we are home to the most evil people on earth or we are doing something different--and vastly counterproductive. Obviously, the answer is the latter.


Over the past two decades, we have been incarcerating more and more people for nonviolent crimes and for acts that are driven by mental illness or drug dependence. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 16% of the adult inmates in American prisons and jails--which means more than 350,000 of those locked up--suffer from mental illness, and the percentage in juvenile custody is even higher. Our correctional institutions are also heavily populated by the "criminally ill," including inmates who suffer from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.

 


Drug offenders, most of them passive users or minor dealers, are swamping our prisons. According to data supplied to Congress' Joint Economic Committee, those imprisoned for drug offenses rose from 10% of the inmate population to approximately 33% between 1984 and 2002. Experts estimate that this increase accounts for about half of the dramatic escalation in the total number imprisoned over that period. Yet locking up more of these offenders has done nothing to break up the power of the multibillion-dollar illegal drug trade. Nor has it brought about a reduction in the amounts of the more dangerous drugs--such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines--that are reaching our citizens.


Justice statistics also show that 47.5% of all the drug arrests in our country in 2007 were for marijuana offenses. Additionally, nearly 60% of the people in state prisons serving time for a drug offense had no history of violence or of any significant selling activity. Indeed, four out of five drug arrests were for possession of illegal substances, while only one out of five was for sales. Three-quarters of the drug offenders in our state prisons were there for nonviolent or purely drug offenses. And although experts have found little statistical difference among racial groups regarding actual drug use, African-Americans--who make up about 12% of the total U.S. population--accounted for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted, and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison.


Against this backdrop of chaos and mismanagement, a dangerous form of organized and sometimes deadly gang activity has infiltrated America's towns and cities. It comes largely from our country's southern border, and much of the criminal activity centers around the movement of illegal drugs. The weapons and tactics involved are of the highest order.


The Mexican drug cartels, whose combined profits are estimated at $25 billion a year, are known to employ many elite former soldiers who were trained in some of America's most sophisticated military programs. Their brutal tactics took the lives of more than 6000 Mexicans last year alone, and the bloodshed has been spilling over the border into our own neighborhoods at a rapid pace. One terrible result is that Phoenix, Ariz., has become the kidnapping capital of the United States, with more than 370 cases in 2008. That is more incidents than in any other city in the world outside of Mexico City.


The challenge to our communities is not limited to the states that border Mexico. Mexican cartels are now reported to be running operations in some 230 American cities. Other gang activity--much of it directed from Latin America, Asia, and Europe--has permeated our country to the point that no area is immune. As one example, several thousand members of the Central American gang MS-13 now operate in northern Virginia, only a stone's throw from our nation's capital.


In short, we are not protecting our citizens from the increasing danger of criminals who perpetrate violence and intimidation as a way of life, and we are locking up too many people who do not belong in jail. It is incumbent on our national leadership to find a way to fix our prison system. I believe that American ingenuity can discover better ways to deal with the problems of drugs and nonviolent criminal behavior while still minimizing violent crime and large-scale gang activity. And we all deserve to live in a country made better by such changes.

 

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Ideas? Sure...


Execute people on death row and make inmates work if they want to have rec and yard


¡GØÐ HņH ÑØ ƒÜR¥ †HÂÑ À Pϧ§ËР؃ƒ PÁRņRØØPËR!

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Charging_charlie_max50

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Devoe212, first off don't take offense, it is not my intention. I looked at your profile, your a dispatcher with hopes of becoming LEO, great, but your views are and will be skewed. I'm a state correctional officer, I know and see first hand every working day what these inmates are capable of. First off, drugs and viloence go hand and hand, they are the scourge of this great nation, that little bit of weed usally leads to harder drugs, not always, but more times than your aware of. Right now your of the hug-a-thug mentality, if you see your dream of becoming an LEO come true, expect a rapid change of your views.


Programs/programing, they do and can work, if the person/inmate is willing to apply themselves, most program simply because its court mandated or will lower their sentence, simple fact. What we should do in programing is not check them off as complete, if all they did was fill the check marks in, just for a reduced sentence.


Death row, while I pesonally support the death sentence, I do belive the appeals process is correct to a degree, if we/this country are going to take a life we must be certain we have the right person before performing sentence.


Most inmates are uneducated/under educated, with no desire to improve themself, prison becomes a way of life, three hots and a cot and you get to hang out with your boys. I personally know of one incident where we discharged an inmate and 18 minutes later had him back in B&R, he had thrown a brick into a store front window, sat down and waited for the police, he still had his wrist band on, told the officer he simply wanted to come home. Is that sad, yes, but how is that my or even your fault ?


Semper Ducimus=(Always Lead)

Lead - Follow - Or get the Hell out of the way !

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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The liberals don't care...they just want to post these kinds of articles so when crap hits the fan they can say "we did everything we could!"


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Riot says ...



The liberals don't care...they just want to post these kinds of articles so when crap hits the fan they can say "we did everything we could!"



Except hire and train staff (properly).


 


BTW sorry but I thought this forum was for verified LEO's only?


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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HapkidoKa says ...



Riot says ...



The liberals don't care...they just want to post these kinds of articles so when crap hits the fan they can say "we did everything we could!"



Except hire and train staff (properly).


 


BTW sorry but I thought this forum was for verified LEO's only?



It is...however, an "unverified" person can still see all the names of the threads and post a topic but they cannot read them...after an "unverified" person posts, they can't read their own thread.


¡GØÐ HņH ÑØ ƒÜR¥ †HÂÑ À Pϧ§ËР؃ƒ PÁRņRØØPËR!

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Riot says ...



HapkidoKa says ...



Riot says ...



The liberals don't care...they just want to post these kinds of articles so when crap hits the fan they can say "we did everything we could!"



Except hire and train staff (properly).


 


BTW sorry but I thought this forum was for verified LEO's only?



It is...however, an "unverified" person can still see all the names of the threads and post a topic but they cannot read them...after an "unverified" person posts, they can't read their own thread.



Thanks Riot.


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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HapkidoKa says ...



Thanks Riot.



No problem....it's also why in some forums, if you do a search, some LEOs thought it would be hillarious to name some threads "which PD's don't do pollygraphs" and "how to beat a drug test" just to mess with some of the forum lurkers...


Kinda like this one...(Click)


¡GØÐ HņH ÑØ ƒÜR¥ †HÂÑ À Pϧ§ËР؃ƒ PÁRņRØØPËR!

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Online-photo-sharing-gallery-animal-cat-cougar-artct45_max160_max50

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I'm SO CONFUSED !!!! I googled Sen. Jim Webb to see who he is.  I understand he's a Dem. so that should have explained his position BUT this man is a MARINE !!!! He went to to the Naval Acad. My God !!! he was Regan's Sec of the Navy !!!! I know we have to do something about the criminals but the bottom line is personal responsibility.


PL's Mamacat

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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Cat_D says ...



I'm SO CONFUSED !!!! I googled Sen. Jim Webb to see who he is.  I understand he's a Dem. so that should have explained his position BUT this man is a MARINE !!!! He went to to the Naval Acad. My God !!! he was Regan's Sec of the Navy !!!! I know we have to do something about the criminals but the bottom line is personal responsibility.



John Kerry was in the Navy as well...some people just do their time, find money and forget where they came form.


¡GØÐ HņH ÑØ ƒÜR¥ †HÂÑ À Pϧ§ËР؃ƒ PÁRņRØØPËR!

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Online-photo-sharing-gallery-animal-cat-cougar-artct45_max160_max50

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What a pity, no, what a disgrace.


PL's Mamacat

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Untill you work there and see what goe on and understand the city within the prisons folks don't have a clue. If they heard these guys bragging about who they hurt and how they are going to go back and start where they left off they don't have a clue. I agree with being sure we got the right one to execute but when all those dna's are done and all the facts lead to the same outcome then quit playing around and move these things along. The reason other countries outside the USA don't have these problems because their justice is swift and the rules are sever and they don't play around with their rules and let inmates drag things out.  I've seen a few turn around but like was stated earlier I've seen more just come right back and use the prison gates like a revolving door. I've seen guys we've put on busses to go home and 2 to 3 weeks later right back. Alot because they broke probation right off the bat by going to the bar instead of checking in with their Parole Officers. Some go home catch their girlfriends with their best freinds and catch a new assault and attempted murder cases.


But til John and Jane Q Public spen t time working and dealing with these folks thaey all have those hearts just bleeding for these folks and try to run a business like a prison like it was a cornoer mom and pop store... Until it's their family or loved ones and freinds that get hurt by that same person they demanded release.....


Sorry....almost got to high on that soap-box...better stop before I get to carried away...lol

250px-municipal_flag_of_chicago_svg_max50

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Here are a few ideas:


Don't worry about educating those who will never get out.


Stop unessay medical proceedures, I.E. sex changes.


I have others but the last one sums it up!


But the best idea I can offer is to ASK SHERIFF JOE!!!!


T.G.G.
Bless our fallen brothers and sisters!
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” (Plato)

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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harrisja6 says ...



Untill you work there and see what goe on and understand the city within the prisons folks don't have a clue. If they heard these guys bragging about who they hurt and how they are going to go back and start where they left off they don't have a clue. I agree with being sure we got the right one to execute but when all those dna's are done and all the facts lead to the same outcome then quit playing around and move these things along. The reason other countries outside the USA don't have these problems because their justice is swift and the rules are sever and they don't play around with their rules and let inmates drag things out.  I've seen a few turn around but like was stated earlier I've seen more just come right back and use the prison gates like a revolving door. I've seen guys we've put on busses to go home and 2 to 3 weeks later right back. Alot because they broke probation right off the bat by going to the bar instead of checking in with their Parole Officers. Some go home catch their girlfriends with their best freinds and catch a new assault and attempted murder cases.


But til John and Jane Q Public spen t time working and dealing with these folks thaey all have those hearts just bleeding for these folks and try to run a business like a prison like it was a cornoer mom and pop store... Until it's their family or loved ones and freinds that get hurt by that same person they demanded release.....


Sorry....almost got to high on that soap-box...better stop before I get to carried away...lol



EXACTLY....I worked the kitchen one time and listen to them bragg about all the crimes hey got off easy and never got caught for....then they do a 180 and complain about their current sentance and how screwed they got.


I'm still in disbelief...I'll never understand why this country punishes the cops worse than the criminals.


¡GØÐ HņH ÑØ ƒÜR¥ †HÂÑ À Pϧ§ËР؃ƒ PÁRņRØØPËR!

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Riot says ...



HapkidoKa says ...



Thanks Riot.



No problem....it's also why in some forums, if you do a search, some LEOs thought it would be hillarious to name some threads "which PD's don't do pollygraphs" and "how to beat a drug test" just to mess with some of the forum lurkers...


Kinda like this one...(Click)



Wow that is too bleeping funny!


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

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harrisja6 says ...



Untill you work there and see what goe on and understand the city within the prisons folks don't have a clue. If they heard these guys bragging about who they hurt and how they are going to go back and start where they left off they don't have a clue. I agree with being sure we got the right one to execute but when all those dna's are done and all the facts lead to the same outcome then quit playing around and move these things along. The reason other countries outside the USA don't have these problems because their justice is swift and the rules are sever and they don't play around with their rules and let inmates drag things out.  I've seen a few turn around but like was stated earlier I've seen more just come right back and use the prison gates like a revolving door. I've seen guys we've put on busses to go home and 2 to 3 weeks later right back. Alot because they broke probation right off the bat by going to the bar instead of checking in with their Parole Officers. Some go home catch their girlfriends with their best freinds and catch a new assault and attempted murder cases.


But til John and Jane Q Public spen t time working and dealing with these folks thaey all have those hearts just bleeding for these folks and try to run a business like a prison like it was a cornoer mom and pop store... Until it's their family or loved ones and freinds that get hurt by that same person they demanded release.....


Sorry....almost got to high on that soap-box...better stop before I get to carried away...lol



Bingo!


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

Online-photo-sharing-gallery-animal-cat-cougar-artct45_max160_max50

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Breathe James Breathe Your Preaching to the Choir here !!! We understand EXACTALLY where you are coming from.  Remember, we do what we do so John and Jane Q. Public CAN remain naive and innocent about how bad it can really be, and acutually, I think it's worth it.


PL's Mamacat

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is cryovacting an option! But for real I work in Detention and the BS I see is unbeliveable. I believe solitary confinement with progressive constructive socialization is the answer. U can't provide these guys weights and dominoes and think after 4 years of talking smack with the hommies they are NOT going to know what they lost. To them it's just another day to bs with the hommies. But until there is real money to train with its just easier this way. I realy don't see it changing because corrections is an out off sight out mind world.

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AS long as the A.C.L.U. and prisoner rights organizations exist:


As long we allow state law school students to assist convicts in suing the state:


As long as we keep the stereotype of the correctional officer being a "guard" who couldn't find a real job:


As long as the states and fed pay for unnecessary medical proceedures:


As long as we continue to give positions of authority to people who not only never set foot in a prison to work a shift and were "educated" by wgacko authority hating professors:


EXPECT NO CHANGE!!!!


T.G.G.
Bless our fallen brothers and sisters!
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” (Plato)

Charging_charlie_max50

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Change cost money, and we 'CORRECTIONS' are already the largest chunk of the states buget, I don't see us getting anymore.


Semper Ducimus=(Always Lead)

Lead - Follow - Or get the Hell out of the way !

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wagoncop says ...


AS long as the A.C.L.U. and prisoner rights organizations exist:


As long we allow state law school students to assist convicts in suing the state:


As long as we keep the stereotype of the correctional officer being a "guard" who couldn't find a real job:


As long as the states and fed pay for unnecessary medical proceedures:


As long as we continue to give positions of authority to people who not only never set foot in a prison to work a shift and were "educated" by wgacko authority hating professors:


EXPECT NO CHANGE!!!!

t always see the pitt falls from their altitude. We line leaders need to be more articulatant in our aurguements when we are presented with issues, by doing what we have to do to bring the issues out in the open.

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Do you have any idea how many thousand islands are in U.S. Territories? We should take advantage of them.

Img00074_max50

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Or we can get in some target practice........................


The above comments are soley those of the poster and in no way reflect the position of the Department of Corrections.

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Its interesting how there is such a lengthy due process for appeals and such. If we could "handle" those serving life/death sentances, we'd have more room. Also, I'm in favor of work camps for those serving lesser sentances. It's important to be humane, but more so to protect the puplic, and if that means being "slightly less humane", I think most people would be in favor.


It's horrifying to know that some jails will only accept certain prisoners. This is unsafe to the general public, and a huge personal liability on an individual officer.

Evil_max50

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Riot says ...



Ideas? Sure...


Execute people on death row and make inmates work if they want to have rec and yard



Crazy enough it might just work.  Make prison an unpleasant place to be.  Someplace where you must work for and earn every priviledge you get.  Someplace they would rather not be.  Prison, a deterrant to further continuing criminal activities.  Insterad of well lets not put people in prison for these kinds of crimes.  Hmm what would that solve?  Oh that's right those types of crime would rise because there would be no punishment or deterrent fro doing it.


Not to mention it could be self suffcient reducing or even eliminating tax funds put into the prison system.  Wouldn't that just be some funny poo.  The inmates working to pay for the wages and benefits of the Corrections staff.  Inmates Baker, Smith, Rice, House, and all of D Pod you been elected for OT to compensate for CO's Davis' promotion,  get to work slackers!


You have the rest of your life to solve the problem, how long your life lasts depends on how well you do it. -Clint Smith

Respect it

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Scurge says ...


Riot says ...



Ideas? Sure...


Execute people on death row and make inmates work if they want to have rec and yard



Crazy enough it might just work.  Make prison an unpleasant place to be.  Someplace where you must work for and earn every priviledge you get.  Someplace they would rather not be.  Prison, a deterrant to further continuing criminal activities.  Insterad of well lets not put people in prison for these kinds of crimes.  Hmm what would that solve?  Oh that's right those types of crime would rise because there would be no punishment or deterrent fro doing it.


Not to mention it could be self suffcient reducing or even eliminating tax funds put into the prison system.  Wouldn't that just be some funny poo.  The inmates working to pay for the wages and benefits of the Corrections staff.  Inmates Baker, Smith, Rice, House, and all of D Pod you been elected for OT to compensate for CO's Davis' promotion,  get to work slackers!


We should sell that to the powers that be. I like the IDEA

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Bump.

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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FYI, they just instituted a program to issue incarcerated inmates dogs here in WA.


 


Yup, you read it correctly...dogs. While we have one of the highest recitivism rates in the world and in the worst recession since the 60s, we're promoting criminal behavior by giving them animals while in prison.


Not to mention DVD players and flat-screen HD TVs...if I ever loose my job I think I'll commit a crime and intentionally get caught- that way I can still be provided for.


Mad, Mad world we live in...


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Riot says ...



FYI, they just instituted a program to issue incarcerated inmates dogs here in WA.


 


Yup, you read it correctly...dogs. While we have one of the highest recitivism rates in the world and in the worst recession since the 60s, we're promoting criminal behavior by giving them animals while in prison.


Not to mention DVD players and flat-screen HD TVs...if I ever loose my job I think I'll commit a crime and intentionally get caught- that way I can still be provided for.


Mad, Mad world we live in...



Amazing, lots of police departments can't even get a dog!

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 Invest in people give them hope and you will find chnge in some of them.  

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