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Jail Nation

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posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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Im gonna through my two cents in.

I live in Texas, our justice and prison system is a joke. If you commit a crime in Texas and cannot afford a laywer you recieve a court apointed laywer. Court apointed laywers are picked by the judge who presides over the court. Court appointed laywers also receive a $200 bonus for every defendant that pleads guilty and signs for time.

Do you see a problem here?

Yes poeple of lower income are more likely to go to prison because they cannot afford a lawyer.

In texas if you post bond you cannot get a court appointed laywer. So you sit in county waiting for court date(6-8 months).

The court appointed laywer does not have any motivation to fight your case.

I do not agree that "white subarbans" dont commit as many offenses as minority urbans, I beleive most drug offenses are from middle class.

When it comes to parole for inmates in prison (in texas) they keep the parole rate at @ 20-25%, they admit this. It has nothing to do with rehabilitation, good behavoir or keeping the public safe, its about keeping the prison units at full capicaty so they can lobby to build more prisons which then create more jobs for uneducated poeple in small nowhere towns like huntsville.

I could go on all day about this,

BY the way, I have been to prison and and I am speeking on personal first hand knowledge of the prison system.




posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 12:33 PM
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Great topic Budski, but a tough question to answer definitively. I think the problem stems from a number of different sources, which can effectively be deduced into sociological and economic reasons. For example:

In modern times populations in the United States have soared creating a more urbanized environment and a greater need for consumption, with higher demand for goods and a supply that does not meet that demand. Those on the lower end of spectrum that lack educational opportunity and/or economic power find that as their own supply dwindles and their demand for goods increase, they have no economic way to obtain those goods. This creates more crime in certain areas, and as the economically stable family units move to "safer" areas it decreases the likelihood of more growth in that area. Thus, it turns the area into a zone heavy in crime. Limited or fractional resources in said area are unevenly disbursed and people begin competing for those resources. This leads to the formation of gang culture, and people with similar interests band together to fulfill a common goal...increase supply. In order for this to happen physical violence levels increase as competitors look to gain said resources.

This leads to an increase in the amount of police officers that are needed to contain this violence, and an upsurge in the amount of public disturbance that can now be considered a "crime". Both the public and lawmakers begin to see a connection between crimes once considered mere misdemeanors and violent behavior. Essentially, I believe this is why we see a large amount of the prison population shifting from violent offenders to non-violent offenders. Tougher sentensing compounds the issue when concerned with drug laws, as many now see drugs as a gateway into a violent culture (whether this is unfounded or not is for everyone else to decide).

This is essentially how one social and economic problem escalates into the huge issue we see in modern times with the abundance of gang violence and it's relationship with the drug trade. Lawmakers and the police force are quick to dispel any societal problem without actually fixing the problem where it starts, that is through prevention, education, and a greater means to gain economic opportunities. The surge in the amount of individuals placed in Correctional care is in direct relation to this societal ill. There is a large culture of collective individuals who seem to believe that areas of both urban and rural culture steeped in violence are unable to be changed both socially and economically, and that the cost of change is far greater that the quick fix of simply locking them away. So, we begin to see Correctional Institutions overflow with prisoners convicted of non-violent or non-sexual crimes, and the early release of prisoners that actually need to be locked up (such as pedophiles, rapists, murderers, etc.).

There are other issues involved in this problem as well, including:

Race
Environment
Sex
Discrimination
Unemployment
Poverty
War
Homelessness
etc.

This is a huge task to comprehend and a very hard mentality to break in a society that is so quick to judge others by racial, ethnic, and societal standards. Almost the entire history of humanity can be traced back to that economic law of supply and demand and our search for a common equilibrium...you find that, and problems with society will dissolve.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 12:40 PM
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Honestly if you want to help get the prison population reduced, please..please..PLEASE lobby your congressmen and city officials, to make Marijuana Legal. I know you'll write me off as a crazed stoner, but the truth is that if pot were legalized today, %60 of the people incarcerated for drug offenses would be realeased. That's almost 1,000,000 people freed from jail (last i remeber it was aprox 700,000 when i did the math in a previous ats thread).

Please for gods sakes stop babbling on abot the unicorns, monsters, and secret boogeymen who only want to take your rights..and get out there, and do something to help get pot legalized.

The truth is that not only would legal pot reduce the prison population (while keeping non-violent offenders out of jail with the rapists, and murders) but it would also give us a way to make a crop we can grow right here int he states, that we can sell to help pay off our nation debt cuase of stupid things like the iraq war.

America is behind on a lot of polices, and their policy toward Marijuana is a policy that simply does not make sense, given the exhaustive research into the plant.

Please write your congressmen, and support legalizion/decriminalization today..to help reduce this growing prison problem in america.

Also check out my thread: Marijuana worth its weight in gold



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 12:46 PM
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great post, as usual jazzerman,
but I think that the supply and demand angle is a little simplistic.
Looking at the prison population per capita, we can see that other nations with similar social problems are way behind the US as far as prison population is concerned.
It seems to me to more rely on cultural factors, lack of rehab, and a zero tolerance approach which has criminalized large parts of US population.
I agree that misdemeanors are too heavily punished, and that socioeconomic factors can explain some of the disparity in prison population per capita by ethnic grouping, but I feel that the factors I have mentioned during the thread weight the argument more heavily in favour of them than the supply/demand factors - although it has to be recognised that this is a key base factor that other issues interact with and so promulgate an exponential rate of growth for other factors, further down the chain of reasons for the rate of increase in incarceration.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:02 PM
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I agree Budski, the simple socio-economic angle is not representative of every situation, but I used it to show how one area of importance can overwhelm the entire issue. I briefly mentioned some other problems at the bottom in order to save having to type a 10,000 word essay. I do in fact believe that issues surrounding race and unemployment contribute a large part to the argument as well...whether we in America want to admit it or not.

This topic needs to be discussed, because I believe it truely would resolve many issues found in modern society. I say this because I work hand in hand with over 10 Prisons in my area of the country, and have direct experience with this first hand. The prison population is overrun even here in rural Kansas; not to mention the facilities in places like California, which have a far greater amount of inmates vs. room.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:09 PM
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California has a problem with illegal immigrants as they make up almost half of our prision popluation. With 12 to 20 million coming in illegally nationwide, it does not suprise me that in thier desperate situation they are willing to do desperate crimes. Other states are starting to experience what we have been for years.


www.newsmax.com...



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by budski
Thats one hell of a stat - 5% of the planets population, nearly one quarter of the planets prisoners.

Is this an indictment of a violent nation?
Or is it that the US locks up more people for other reasons.
Not being a US citizen, I can't answer, but I'm horrified by the information - 2.2 million behind bars, 5 million on probation or parole.
I think that there are probably social factors at work here as well, but I just can't get away from those numbers......


Hello Mr. budski. There are many 'tacky' laws in the US. It is all to easy to go to jail here. We fill our jails up with "stoners" whilst rapist and child molesters get a slap on the wrist. Even though here in the states your considered an 'adult' at age 18, you are not allowed to have a pint until your 21. You can go to jail for this as well if your caught drinking under the age of 21. Our jailing system is a total failure. We fill our jails up with people that would just be your average joe in europe. Its quite sad really. Peoples lifes here can be ruined for just having an ounce of weed on them.

Now this doesnt mean other nations are scotch free here. many nations (like china and india for instance) do not keep accurate records in regards to there jailing systems. China especially. It has been long rumored that china intentionally goes out and rounds up suspected 'suspects' and uses them as slave labor to help prolong the 'china miracle'. So I would say that out of all the nations the US is probably the most honest in regards to whos most accurate with prisoner head counts. That doesnt change the tacky laws though.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:34 PM
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I have to agree it's a bit absurd to constantly promote ourselves as the "freest country on the planet" when in terms of the percentage of our population in jail we are certainly the least free nation on the planet, including places like North Korea, Iran, Cuba, etc...

And this is almost entirely due to the ridiculous and failed "drug war".

Interesting fact: before the turn of the previous century, heroin, coc aine, and marijuana were widely available and totally unrestricted, but we didn't have anything close to the kind of drug problem we have today.

Prohibition doesn't work.

We should have figured that out the first time...



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Spawwwn
Honestly if you want to help get the prison population reduced, please..please..PLEASE lobby your congressmen and city officials, to make Marijuana Legal. I know you'll write me off as a crazed stoner, but the truth is that if pot were legalized today, %60 of the people incarcerated for drug offenses would be realeased. That's almost 1,000,000 people freed from jail (last i remeber it was aprox 700,000 when i did the math in a previous ats thread).


Even though I am not a user of marijuana, I totally agree with you Mr.spawn.
We have prisons turning away convicted rapists, child molesters, as well as murderers. All because they have no rooms in there jails to house such monsters.

This video is really an eye opener. Watch it all the way through, its interesting. This man has smoked 11 ounces a month of Marijuana for 25 years straight. And he has had NO side affects. He has 108% lung capacity.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by Jazzerman
 


The race issue is one I'm trying to look at, but I'm having a little trouble finding reliable sources - the one's I've looked at so far, are either too liberal in their views or are an extension of racist propaganda.

However I have noticed that there is a definite context of ethnic victimisation, in that some of the more liberal sites seem to want to glorify ethnic victimisation to the extent that there is an aura of "professional victims" towards those they profess to help, whilst saying that it is all the fault of the majority.
I don't think this approach helps anyone, least of all the alleged victims themselves.
There seems to be a culture of minorities being told that nothing is their fault - and although some blame can be laid at the door of the majority, it is the promotion of the victim culture which leads to a lack of motivation in some ethnic minority groups.
It's almost as though the militant liberals are promoting the idea that minority ethnic groups are automatically owed a living, when this is simply not the case.
I also want to have a look at education and opportunities for further education amongst minority ethnic communities, in order to see if (as the ultra liberals say) opportunity has been denied, or is difficult to obtain.

I could answer this quite easily if the question were about the UK, but I have no real depth of understanding of the US issues on the same subject.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 01:59 PM
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On the issue of marijuana, there are very few people imprisoned for simple possession, but many more for importing, selling and distribution
www.albany.edu...
And I would agree with this policy in general - marijuana is very bulky, and is usually imported with much harder drugs in order to make the trip sufficiently profitable.
However, for simple possession, jail seems a little harsh.
It's pretty clear from the figures shown that legalising marijuana would reduce the prison population a little, but not a significant amount.

It's also pretty clear that a first offense for simple possession rarely results in a jail term
www.albany.edu...

What I'd like to say, before this turns into a legalize marijuana debate, is that possession does not result in overcrowded and rising prison populations.
I concede that supplying/importing etc of marijuana increases prison levels, but I've already stated my view on this.
So let's not turn this into a debate about drugs - let's look at the bigger picture here



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by budski

Point taken, but I think there's more to this than just enforcing anti social behaviour laws.
I've been having a look at some dept of justice figures, and there is a definite correlation between race and prison stats:


At yearend 2005 there were 3,145 black male sentenced prison inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,244 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 471 white male inmates per 100,000 white males.

source

and

www.ojp.usdoj.gov...

And this is also worth a look:
www.hrw.org...

It seems that more crime is committed by non white ethnic groups, but why is this?

I know some of the factors that drive this in the UK, but this is the US we are talking about.
I'm aghast in some respects by the disparity of per capita prisoners by ethnic group.


Perhaps thats because blacks actually do commit more crimes then other races? Everyone beats around the bush, and no one EVER gives that actual consideration.

In my town its poor blacks and poor whites that commit most of the crime, but the over all blanket statement is poor uneducated folks with no real jobs and a broken moral society. Color in my opinion has little to do with who gets sentenced what. But hey, thats my opinion.

Also, the United States has a higher prison pop because we have a better law enforcement.

Assuming countries like Mexico had our ability and arrested drug sellers and consumers they would be over populated to. Maybe iori has a point, maybe we are to strict.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:32 PM
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The fact that ethnic minorities, not just black people commit more crime is inferred by the higher per capita prison population - the question is why do these groups commit more crime - there are many factors why this is the case. And don't forget, this is usually visible crime - white collar crime is less visible.

I'd argue that US detection rates are no better than any other western european nation - all police forces in western europe and the US co-operate and share detection methodology, so the point is moot.

There's a lot more to the high incarceration rate than the factors so far mentioned, as it's a very complex issue.

[edit on 21/8/2007 by budski]



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:42 PM
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it's people of all races getting popped for lame, victimless crimes..these people may or may not have comitted a 'crime' before...who knows.?

people are getting put in jail at a younger age, for 'less severe'(don't know a good word) crimes and they are coming out with a record. now it's going to be even HARDER for them to stay on the straight and narrow.
the correct/right road is not the easy one man.
there are a million reason why you could find yourself say 19 and now with a record, post a few months jail.
chances are not good.
what if you get a longer term? it's not rehab in jail, it's crime education...
go in to learn how to be a better criminal.
the system just don't work.

you're out with some buddies, one of them are stupid and gets something going and before you know it, 'it' is out of control and the law is on the way.
good luck

if i get popped for ANY crim between now and july 10th of next year, i 'owe' the judge 10 days in jail. i got busted for fireworks and they suspended the sentence.
what happens if i get popped for a brake light and i go in for 10 days? then, in the middle of that 10 days i find myself in the middle of some jail scuffle? maybe someone gets hurt...maybe i hurt someone?
now i get a few months or a year added on....

i know i am talking 10 days but things of this type happen all the time. it just makes it tougher in the long run and raises the chances(imo) that you're going to get busted again.

plates get run, you have a record, cop is a prick...all kinds of things can happen.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:44 PM
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1) Unreasonable sentences

2) Victimless crimes
2a) The "Drug War"



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by jaydelay
Im gonna through my two cents in.

I live in Texas, our justice and prison system is a joke. If you commit a crime in Texas and cannot afford a laywer you recieve a court apointed laywer. Court apointed laywers are picked by the judge who presides over the court. Court appointed laywers also receive a $200 bonus for every defendant that pleads guilty and signs for time.

Do you see a problem here?



i'm not gonna quote all of your post but i agree.
there are a lot of people out there doing a lot of things and you can just 'fall into it'..i know a lot of people are out there committing crimes but a lot of people are just doing their thing, and it is written somewhere that it is a crime.

i'm totally with you though.
better hope you're not black.
better wish you're not middle eastern looking
better be glad you did not get all the tattoo's i have..

people DO get treated by the law too.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
1) Unreasonable sentences

2) Victimless crimes
2a) The "Drug War"


it really is that simple(not sarcastic)

solve this, and there is no problem



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:49 PM
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jazzerman, i saw your name and something clicked cause i remember you are an hiv educator....i remember reading numerous times that people with aids and other diseases that can not afford treatment, go out there and commit a 'crime' so that they get put in jail and that way, they can get medicine.
i don't have a link or stats but you know it happens. the question is, how often?
pretty terrible.



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by budski

What I'd like to say, before this turns into a legalize marijuana debate, is that possession does not result in overcrowded and rising prison populations.


k, i won't turn the thread either but i have to disagree to a point.
you get popped for posession and no, it don't result in time. it results in a 60 day term getting suspended for 1 2 years. if you get in trouble again in that time, NOW you are in jail for 2 months.
it's a big factor....can't be overlooked IMO



posted on Aug, 21 2007 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by jaydelay
I live in Texas, our justice and prison system is a joke. If you commit a crime in Texas and cannot afford a laywer you recieve a court apointed laywer. Court apointed laywers are picked by the judge who presides over the court. Court appointed laywers also receive a $200 bonus for every defendant that pleads guilty and signs for time.

Do you see a problem here?



I see several - that is atrocious. Excellent post jaydelay, it is often from looking at the situation from the experience of the individual that the wider picture becomes clearer. I cannot believe that a lawyer recieves what can only be described as commission. Doesn't that qualify as a conflict of interest?





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