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America: Incarceration Nation - 7,000,000 on Probation, Parole, and in Jail!

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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:57 PM
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abcnews.go.com...

A record 7 million people or one in every 32 American adults were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday.

More than 4.1 million people were on probation and 784,208 were on parole at the end of 2005. Prison releases are increasing, but admissions are increasing more.


Oh my God...

The last figure I heard was more than 2 million in jail - I never realized the extent to which parole and probation increased the total.

Seven Million people in the system, and it increases every day.

This situation cannot stand. We've got a SERIOUS problem here folks.

Without even getting into the moral/ethical questions, we have to ask ourselves if our country can bear this burden. This situation is great for the corporations, who can use prisons to develop a (literally) captive market, while also exploiting the cheap labor.

The government loves the situation too, because it increases their budget and provides more jobs for their districts (more votes), more pork, more construction contracts (kickbacks), and more control over the citizenry.

The citizens are the ones who foot the bill. We pay to increase our own suffering.

With the rise of private prisons, we're doubly screwed because we pay in, but we lack any oversight or control since the operators aren't nearly as answerable to the citizenry.

We can remedy the situation by clearing the legal tangle out somewhat, and by putting a stop to all the prosecution of victimless crimes. The main culprit in this debacle is the War on Drugs.

We can fix this mess, before it's too late. Or, alternately, we can wait until half the country is in jail and the government has blossomed into an unstoppable totalitarian juggernaut. Not much of a choice..really...

Comments?




posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:59 PM
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It's all because of our drug legislation.

Decriminalize/legalize drugs and the prison population would be much less.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 11:08 PM
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Everytime I hear about the private prisons in the US I flashback to Shawshank Redemption. I know it was a State pison in the movie but it illustrated the point precisely. That sure looked like some good pie.


BTW... how's this different than slavery?
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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 11:14 PM
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It's the changing culture....

Criminals are exhalted, honest people are cast aside. I blame rap.


seriously, the youth is bad....

In my fathers generation it was unheard of to be in jail, on probation, etc. under the age of 18.

Its a common occurance where I live nowadays.... my generation was terrible about it, 14 year olds in jail or on probation.

oh well.... progress for ya,




posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:31 AM
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I don't think legalizing drugs would help much, because some people would still go out of their way (committing crimes) to purchase it legally. Maybe it's just my neighborhood. 7-11's got jacked so many times they moved out of the city (Well at least the one across from my house).

I think it's a culture change too. Our generation seriously isn't bad, most of us are pretty smart and sophisticated, even if we deny it. It's just our popular culture that mask us. Gotta be cool you know.

And final word, 7 million inmates is just sorry.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 01:42 AM
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It's a fact, that if THC marijuana was declassified as a narcotic, the prison incarceration populace would go down by about 350, 000 people. add people on probation and you would be close to about 800 , 000.

local towns thrive on arrests made by small pot users. most are usually law abiding citizens. many local kids can wind up finding themselves in award situations later, because of a couple arrests for minor amounts of possession

however those that abide by a more crime lifestyle, are also in that bracket. some are petty hustlers who only sell a small amount for additional money, but there are large distributors that sell the product in bulk. usually the 2 are not the same people.

mandatory penalties for these 3 tiers of people, is not fair. you can’t punish a wide variety of people for essentially doing the same thing. if you really want to look at violent crime, a lot of it is not for cannabis related offenses. Violent crimes are rapes, murders, assaults, robbery, extortion, prostitution, arson...etc...

is it helping america by incarcerating a blue collar worker with violent criminals because of a mandatory law?

the thing is that most drugs that lead to an addictive reaction, are synthetic. the new drug, meth, is derived mostly from common cold medicine. THC is a natural element that is produced when the plant is grown under proper conditions. no chemicals are usually added.

some studies have proven that it provides a temporary pain relief to people who have various medical illnesses, and is distributed through usa in certain places for that reason.

The problem is that the government makes a lot of money keeping it illegal. As stated, revenue comes from all different types of people, so that’s all different types of cases with people with all different kinds of money, paying you in penalties every day. They don’t do any valid research on the drug, to find out its real effects, because to them they make a good enough living keeping it illegal anyway.

They would make money off of sales from taxes anyway, plus they get to do their favorite hobby, and keep the black man down. If you look at the amount of kids in the inner city, who start their “criminal life” or have a rap sheet..whatever you want to call it...you would see that a lot start with pot arrests.

Is this because it’s the dreaded “gateway drug?”. nobody really knows (for 100% positive, under USA law protected by the constitution). But if it will bring down the prison population by 800 , 000........shouldn’t they conduct some serious research?

It seems awfully funny that countries like amsterdam netherlands have made THC legal..and their society does not seem to be falling apart. If a substance can be regulated in one civilized area, why can’t it be legalized in an equally civilized area? I think most rational people suspect that It should be regulated in the same way that alcohol and tobacco is...

So yes, legalization of SOME drugs would effectively reduce the amount of people incarcerated in america, without negatively affecting the way americans live.

I don’t mean to make a huge post about this, but unfortunatley it is true. i wish i could post a link...but i would just advise anyone who cares about either of these problems, to do some research into decriminalization action.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 02:51 AM
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You can not legalize any drugs unless you are going to force employers to hire people on drugs. This has already created a class of people that do not work because they can not pass a drug test. What might be saved in prison cost would be far less than what it would cost in social programs.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:25 AM
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This is a good thread. The War on Drugs is complete crap. Until they start incarcerating the people who get it here, I won't believe the government is serious. I also think marijuana should be decriminalized. Like Spawwwn said, you don't see the Netherlands breaking out into Wild West-type lawlessness.


Originally posted by factfinder38
You can not legalize any drugs unless you are going to force employers to hire people on drugs. This has already created a class of people that do not work because they can not pass a drug test.


I think the point of decriminalization is that potential employees would no longer be tested for the decriminalized drug. Employers wouldn't know if the employee used it, so they wouldn't be "forced" to hire them. A good analogy is alcohol: an employer wouldn't know you drank, until you came in pissy drunk, or they smelled it on you.




[edit on 30-11-2006 by HarlemHottie]



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:47 AM
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Originally posted by factfinder38
You can not legalize any drugs unless you are going to force employers to hire people on drugs.


Thankfully people I work with don't consider THC a drug.


But as with Alcohol, moderation is key - it can be abused just like Alcohol. If you can buy cigerettes, that are known to give people cancer (causing an increase in social health services) and buy liquor / spirits that have a similar effect, then weed should be legalized, regulated and taxed just as the other two.

As far as a decrease in prison populations, not so sure on that. I think a person who would distribute Marijuana has a similar mindset of someone who would distribute coke.

Another thing to consider is the three strike law. Three felonies and it's jail for life. Doesn't matter if you floated 3 checks of $500 or more (each) or murdered three people. You are looking at life in prison.

The corrections system needs to be overhauled, weed needs to be legalized and laws / penalties need to reviewed. Of course no one will do this, as it would lead the masses to think one is soft on crime and would be political suicide.

Well, I think weed will be legalized. I have relatives on the local police force - and the don't enforce the possession laws (if it's clear it's for personal consumption).



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Wouldn't it be great if people would stop polluting their bodies with such worthless crap?



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Interesting is the fact that those people are not included in the labour force survey, which significantly decreases the unemployment rate.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by zerotime
Wouldn't it be great if people would stop polluting their bodies with such worthless crap?


Wouldn't it be great if people stopped being paternalistic?

The problem is not the people, it is the legislation.

What gives you the right to tell someone what to do to their own body?





[edit on 30-11-2006 by omega1]



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by omega1

Originally posted by zerotime
Wouldn't it be great if people would stop polluting their bodies with such worthless crap?


Wouldn't it be great if people stopped being paternalistic?

The problem is not the people, it is the legislation.

What gives you the right to tell someone what to do to their own body?

[edit on 30-11-2006 by omega1]



Where did I tell anyone to do anything? Reading is fundamental.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by zerotime

Originally posted by omega1

Originally posted by zerotime
Wouldn't it be great if people would stop polluting their bodies with such worthless crap?


Wouldn't it be great if people stopped being paternalistic?

The problem is not the people, it is the legislation.

What gives you the right to tell someone what to do to their own body?

[edit on 30-11-2006 by omega1]



Where did I tell anyone to do anything? Reading is fundamental.





I was reffering to people who promote paternalism in general.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:13 PM
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7,000,000?!
Jebsuz.
I had no idea that number was so high.
Gvien the current population total of the US (295,734,134), that's 2.4% of the entire populus that is in the legal system.

That's a symptom of something wrong, no doubt about it.

Exactly what's wrong, I wouldn't care to hazzard a guess. There's simply too many factors. IT could be a result of too-tough laws. It could be a symtom of moral degradation. It could be that people simply don't fear the results of breaking laws. It could mean that there are so many people so desperate that they will do whatever it takes to get ahead.

Or it could be a natural result of a sociaty that celebrates greed above all else and calls it "The American Way".

Most likely it's a combination of all these issues coming to a head.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Oh my God...

The last figure I heard was more than 2 million in jail - I never realized the extent to which parole and probation increased the total.

Seven Million people in the system, and it increases every day.

This situation cannot stand. We've got a SERIOUS problem here folks.

Without even getting into the moral/ethical questions, we have to ask ourselves if our country can bear this burden. This situation is great for the corporations, who can use prisons to develop a (literally) captive market, while also exploiting the cheap labor.

The government loves the situation too, because it increases their budget and provides more jobs for their districts (more votes), more pork, more construction contracts (kickbacks), and more control over the citizenry.

The citizens are the ones who foot the bill. We pay to increase our own suffering.

With the rise of private prisons, we're doubly screwed because we pay in, but we lack any oversight or control since the operators aren't nearly as answerable to the citizenry.

We can remedy the situation by clearing the legal tangle out somewhat, and by putting a stop to all the prosecution of victimless crimes. The main culprit in this debacle is the War on Drugs.
Comments?


Nowhere in the article did it mention that the majority of those in prison were there for "drug offenses" but somehow everyone managed to make the jump to that logic. Few people go to prison for drug offenses, at least here in California, most of those that are charged with minor drug offenses end up on county probation and spend a few days or weeks in jail.

According to the US Deparment of Justice prison statistics there were 650K prisoners in state prison systems for violent offenses, 262K for property offenses and 250K for drug offenders (these offenders make up 20% of prison population and that's down from 22% in 1995). This is the #'s of currently incarcerated individuals but I think it clearly demonstrates that prisons are being used to house mainly the correct classification of criminals.

US DOJ - Prison Statistics

Yes the prison system can be considered a burden on the taxpayer and we should strive to make sure that those that are placed there are people who are not compatible with society. But when over 70% of those incarcerated are for violent and property crimes I can't really cry foul at the system. Would you prefer these criminals to be released without any supervision back into your neighborhood?



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by BitRaiser
7,000,000?!
Jebsuz.
I had no idea that number was so high.
Gvien the current population total of the US (295,734,134), that's 2.4% of the entire populus that is in the legal system.

That's a symptom of something wrong, no doubt about it.

Exactly what's wrong, I wouldn't care to hazzard a guess. There's simply too many factors. IT could be a result of too-tough laws. It could be a symtom of moral degradation. It could be that people simply don't fear the results of breaking laws. It could mean that there are so many people so desperate that they will do whatever it takes to get ahead.

Or it could be a natural result of a sociaty that celebrates greed above all else and calls it "The American Way".

Most likely it's a combination of all these issues coming to a head.


Crime rate has remained steady. While incarceration rates are skyrocketing.

This points to a structural problem as opposed to an individual problem.

In other words, the laws are the problem.

However, I do agree with you that this is a really complex issue and it is definetly a product of many factors.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:32 PM
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the thing is that most drugs that lead to an addictive reaction, are synthetic.


I realize you are making a case for pot being non-addictive here, but the above statement is just flat out untrue. There is no relationship between how "natural" or "synthetic" a substance is and its addictive properties.

Look at opium for example. Opiates still reign as the most physically addictive substance on the planet. Obviously, once it has undergone the chemical process to become heroin it becomes much stronger and more concentrated (as well as becoming injectable which increases its potency yet again). But it does not become any more addictive than the opium gum scraped off a poppy. Just easier to smuggle and ingest.



This situation is great for the corporations, who can use prisons to develop a (literally) captive market, while also exploiting the cheap labor.


Cheap labor? Do prisoners do work that makes the company owned jail money? What kind of cheap labor?

There's a point to be made that "victimless crimes" do not deserve the harsh sentences incurred by Rockefeller Drug Law-type legislation. But we live in a democracy. All it takes is for people to care about changing it. Lots of people are in favor of a zero tolerance program though, it isn't an easy one sided issue of corporations and the government trying to screw the proletariat.



It seems awfully funny that countries like amsterdam netherlands have made THC legal..and their society does not seem to be falling apart.


True. But then Holland doesn't have the same kind of problems that we do in the states. I'm not saying that I think the US would fall apart if we legalized THC. Just that you can't take a small, educated, european country's experience with legal THC and extrapolate from it that our far larger, more diverse country would have the same experience. America's population sports a huge range of citizenry and many are quite poor with no access to healthcare or education. Legalizing drugs is not the way to keep folks out of jail. Opportunity and education. That's the only real way. Ghetto folks need more drugs like they need a hole in their head.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Shaktimaan



the thing is that most drugs that lead to an addictive reaction, are synthetic.


I realize you are making a case for pot being non-addictive here, but the above statement is just flat out untrue. There is no relationship between how "natural" or "synthetic" a substance is and its addictive properties.


I think pot can be addictive, not chemically but mentally. A certain few people always strive for the next Buzz.

Opium, yes that is chemically addictive. Marijuana - it hasn't been scientifically proven and I never "crave" it.

If Marijuana /alcohol are a lifestyle for a person - they have a problem. If it's to expand upon a social experience - then not so much.

I am firmly against drugs - I just think that this one thing shouldn't be classified as such.

[edit on 30-11-2006 by crisko]



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 10:44 PM
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SmallMindsBigIdeas
I have no problem with violent offenders being behind bars.

However, I suspect that a fair number of those 50% are classified as violent offenders because they were selling drugs while in posession of a weapon.

Not sure about that, it's just a suspicion.

Arsonists, murderers, rapists, they deserve to be behind bars without question. I would prefer exile, but there's nowhere left to put people. Maybe Antarctica?

Anyway, I think we need to address the social factors that precipitate such violence. There's something seriously wrong with this nation - everybody can sense it. People are going insane. Whether it's kids acting like brutal tyrants, or adults acting like kids without even a modicum of self-restraint and civility.

I think it has a lot to do with our values, or lack thereof.






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