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Crime, the Law and You

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posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 08:23 PM
A friend of mine presented a theory I feel is as equally valid as it is disturbing.

A person commits a crime and goes to prison. Once they have completed their sentence they go out into society and look for employment. The problem is employment is hard to come by, especially in this economy. The going starts to get rough for this criminal, the pressure is mounting from family, friends, parole officer, case manager, social workers to get a job and start making payments on their debts, restitution, bills. As the pressure builds the criminal wonders what they are suppose to do if they cannot find work due to their record. This leads to thoughts of going back to whatever they were locked up for to gain money.

You may now being thinking, "So what? They are criminals, it is not my problem that they can't find work. What do they expect when they break the law?"

I am here to tell you that it IS your problem.

This person has learned a lot of crime and how to commit various criminal activities while in prison. They have probably thought over the mistakes they made that led to their crime being discovered. They have probably thought of ways to improve upon those strategies. With the pressure mounting they make the decision to look for money in illegitemate ways.

This forces the criminal to keep refining their methods/crimes until they are no longer caught, or are sent away for the rest of their life. This evolution of crime leads to an evolution of law enforcement, and ultimately and evolution in laws themselves. These laws may not initally affect you, the law abider, but eventually will. They will take away your freedoms in the name of crime prevention whether it is due to profiling or curfews or restrictions of movement.

Now comes the hard part that I have not come up with a viable solution yet. What can be done? Are we, as society, condemned to continue in this cycle or cannot it be broken?

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 08:32 PM
You hit the nail on the head... once your "guilty" and have a record, your screwed out of professional jobs.

There is a solution. National workforce volunteers. Volunteer only for non-murders, rapist, etc.

Go with me here. We buy so much crap from foreign sources that are VITAL to our National Security.. that should not happen.

Uniforms from China, Military electronics, infrastructure necessities like transformers. Also, our "competition utilizes slave labor, why not give our prisoners a chance to perform and give themselves a helping hand for the future with experience and money ($2 an hour put into US savings bonds till release)

So, you screwed up... well, you can volunteer to work for the US making these things here in the good ole USA. You get paid a low wage in US savings bonds but you get experience and money when released.

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 08:59 PM
reply to post by infolurker

They already have work release options for prisoners who have earned a minimum status (at least in Wisconsin). They actually can go out and work real jobs for a wide range of wages (from minimum wage to 20+ an hour). But the problem becomes obtaining employment upon release. There are places that hire felons, but many don't advertise, so it must be found out through word of mouth. I have never come across a sign that says, "Felons Apply Here." Given two equally qualified individuals, it is only natural that the one without the record will be chosen, even if it is a subconscious decision.

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 09:05 PM
It gets worse...

In America, their is this little thing called the Constitution. Not only is their a United States Constitution, but also Each And Every State in the union has their OWN Constitution.

Do you know that both the United States Constitution, and EVERY State Constitution has a common Statement....

U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 9
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

What does this mean?

Any law, ...which inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed, is an ex post facto law. For example, a law cannot be created tomorrow which will hold a person responsible for something he or she does today. Laws are binding only from the date of their creation or from some future date at which they are specified as taking effect.

In the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court, Harvard's Professor Laurence H. Tribe has defined a bill of attainder as a legislative act "that inflicts punishment without a trial."

The late Edgar Bodenheimer, professor emeritus at the University of California, identified an ex post facto law as a statute "that prescribes a greater punishment for a crime already committed."

The Constitution Guarantees you the lawmakers cannot make laws which add punishment to a crime committed before the law was passed.

Totally Forbidden by the Constitution.

The laws which are today applied Retro Actively violate the Constitution of both the United States and also every state in the union in that it adds tons of punishments, PLURAL, upon men who have already served out their time. This hurts these men's CHILDREN by making them outcasts.

This means this law was put into effect in 2006. But if you committed any crime related to this law, no matter if it was 100 years ago, and you have already served your time, you would now begin being PUNISHED AGAIN for that same crime.

But today, G.W. Bush has implemented Ex Post Facto Laws, and the states are following suit and enacting many, many ex post facto laws.

The constitution is DEAD in America.

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by doomedamerica

Yes, this is part of the problem as well, repunishing people who have done their time. Any law that unnecessarily creates more criminals for the sake of financial gain is also a problem. When the government started legislating individuals every day behaviour, essentially attempting to protect individuals from themselves, we have a problem. There are many, many problems, I hope there are a few solutions.

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 10:14 PM

Originally posted by ninthaxis
reply to post by doomedamerica

Yes, this is part of the problem as well, repunishing people who have done their time. Any law that unnecessarily creates more criminals for the sake of financial gain is also a problem. When the government started legislating individuals every day behaviour, essentially attempting to protect individuals from themselves, we have a problem. There are many, many problems, I hope there are a few solutions.

Great Post, as well as the one above you.

The whole problem here is that we see the situation as it is, and not what it could be. We are subconsciously agreeing to the fact that the seriously out of control prison population of the US is normal. Which, per capita, the US imprisons more of its people than any other country including, china, russia, germany, iran, etc. But when do you start to ask, WHY its so out of control. There is only one answer, its the war on drugs. The existence of such a thing as a the "war on drugs" and making it so profitable, so wide spread, and such a serious criminal offense leading to possible life sentences creates the prison culture as a byproduct, when do you ask, how much worse than the disease can the cure be, before its no longer a cure.

On top of all that, because we are forced to live in a society of scarcity, in most instances, perceived scarcity people are often pushed to their limits to survive. Additionally, the profits reaped by Corporations, the government, all intelligence agencies etc are so great they are now RELIED upon. It's a vicious circle that doesn't NEED to exist, but because of the interests of a few, the interests of millions are ignored. Until that changes, we will forever live in a unsafe society, where today's problems will persist.

[edit on 20-10-2008 by king9072]

posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 10:36 PM
reply to post by king9072

The war on drugs is a prime example of the above theory. Drug dealers are often from impoverished neighborhoods with limit education or employment opportunities. They get caught and go to prison. While in prison they learn how to use beepers or cell phones, how to more effectively hide the drugs at home, whatever, and find out a 9-5 is hard to come by fresh out of prison.

What do they do? Well, naturally thoughts begin to glorify the life they had selling drugs, the money and stuff they could buy. They start to think that with these new methods they could just make enough to get by until they find real work.

Think about how the advancement of the drug selling industry has affected law enforcement, laws and yourself.

I will expound more on this later, until then, please give your thoughts to the above scenario.

posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 08:53 AM
Okay, here are some ways that the War on Drugs has affected law abiding citizens. Sudafed, a popular and effective cold medication, can only be purchased in limited quantities. Those purchases also require an ID and a log sheet to be signed.

How about those invasive drug test that most jobs require job seekers to take? Not only are these completely against the spirit of innocent until proven guilty, you can fail a test and never have taken a drug in your life due to what is known as "false positives." It used to be that ibuprofen could cause a positive test result for marijuana. There are many such every day, legal things that can cause this to happen.

This may not be seen as a big deal to many, but to me drug dogs and a vast increase in car searches after traffic stops are all because of the war on drugs. Both invasion of privacy and cause a simple speeding ticket to be a drawn out process wasting time.

These are just a few examples of how one type of crime has affected law enforcement procedures and the evolution of law.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by ninthaxis

Anyone have thoughts on possible solutions to this evolution of crime, law enforcement and law? Or is this just inevitable by products of human nature?

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 04:56 PM
reply to post by ninthaxis

Prisons and jails are now run to make profit. The last year I lived in Texas (2003) TDC had boasted a profit of a billion dollars.

Halliburton uses KBR to maintain and manage many prison systems in this country. We went wrong a long time ago but when we put a monetery value to housing criminals we reached the point of no return.

I volunteered with the ACLU in Texas to assist inmates that were filing cases Pro Se and learned much about the system. It is sad to think that tax dollars are actually used to subject, exploit and deliberatly cause high recidisim rates. The parole and probation programs in Texas are designed for failure. Lots of prisoners equal lots of dollars.

[edit on 25-10-2008 by Witness2008]

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 05:01 PM
reply to post by Witness2008

Are there any sources for what you say about the Texas system making profit? I have heard similiar rumors while I was in the Wisconsin system, but have forgot about them until now. Not that I don't trust you, I just would like to see for myself .

If that really is the case, that is absolutely incredible. Especially when reading another thread here about prisons receiving flat screen tv's and people saying it isn't right as their tax dollars pay for it. If their tax dollars really AREN'T paying for it, I wonder if that would shock them even more?

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 05:25 PM
Here is a link that may explain a bit more on the profit angle.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 05:26 PM
Well for one punishment, it has been proved by history, has no effect on crime.

Almost all violent crime is caused by poverty and inequality created by existing laws. People in poverty, especially when surrounded by unattainable wealth, will inevitably turn to 'crime'.

You put a kid in a candy store all by themselves, is it reasonable to expect them to not take candy?

The inequality in the 'system' alienates large portions of society, who feel no responsibility to the 'system' and its laws. When you see those protected by the laws (police, government etc..) doing more crime than you ever could then what do you expect? People act the way their society teaches them.

Crimes not created by the system, are generally crimes of passion and no amount of, or threat of, punishment will stop them.

I see most crime as a symptom of an unfair system. People need help, not punishment.

Crime is a logical extension of the sort of behaviour that is often considered perfectly respectable in legitimate business. Robert Rice, The Business of Crime

A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who hasn't sufficient capital to form a company. Howard Scott

A society gets all the criminals it deserves. Emma Goldman

[edit on 10/25/2008 by ANOK]

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 05:30 PM
reply to post by Witness2008

That link doesn't work for some reason. Would it be possible for you to repost link or post it as text and I can try copy-and-pasting into browser?

And ANOK, you made some excellent points. How do you stop this? Would you have to create a 'better' society to lower the crime, and thus, slowing the evolution of law? I mean, it is really easy to see problems, it is the solutions I am more interested in.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 06:38 PM
Try this one.

I will continue to search for some proof on the profit amounts. Before I left Texas I was handed an internal document to read and the contents were of the roughly one billion dollars that had been earned off the backs of inmates through agriculture, cattle and the contract work that the system uses inmate labor for.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by Witness2008

Thanks for the link. If I am reading this correctly, these prisons are still funded (at least partially) by tax payers, but private companies now own them and make a profit off of exploiting these prisoners for labor. I fail to see how this is legal/possible? If you are making a profit than you can afford to cover prisoner health care, one of the things the state is currently paying.

And if this is truly the case (as the site does not include it's sources), it is no wonder the prisons are packed. If there is money to be made simply by arresting/convicting people, then of course lesser and lesser offenses will receive more harsh sentences.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by ninthaxis

I have a few ideas on how to slow the numbers of people being incarcerated. Investment into the communities such as schools, drug rehab instead of jail time. Some states are looking at drug courts where there are professionals looking at the crimes of drug use instead of D.A's that are only interested in a strong record of convictions.

So many laws need to come off the books beginning with drug laws. And along with that maybe if we started to work with inmates giving them an education, training and hope for their lives we would certainly see the numbers drop. Then the appellate process must be made honest where a final search of justice takes place. There are thousands of innocent inmates in this country.

I have known many folks caught up in that vicious system in Texas and the horror stories I knew of were shared by all of them. Texas does not want to see this prized work force set free so the prisons become a training ground of hatred and despair guareenting the return of a parolee through the dictates of his parole.

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 07:01 PM
I for one am one of the people that got released from the system after committing a crime and I will tell you I cannot get a job except under the table jobs and only far and few between

I had my child taken from me by dcf "I don't deserve to have a child " was what the dcf worker told me,and now i have to pay child support for the child

How can i pay child support if I cannot get a job.

The judge told me they dont care if i live under a bridge as long as my child-support gets paid...there lies a problem, if I dont have a place to live I will be arrested for being a vagrant,

Thankfully I have people who let me live with them so I have a roof over my head

My crime was for stealing so I could eat and no other reason.

Nowadays its a crime to try to survive and it is a crime to try to kill yourself.

see signature "catch 22"

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 07:06 PM
reply to post by rtcctr

I was hired a month after my release by Burger King. They do not seem to care about records or even employment history. Just show up for work on time and work hard and they love you. Of course the pay is less than desireable and the hours can flucuate, but it's a start. I am just looking to gain a positive work reference post-incarceration so other employers are willing to give me a shot at higher paying jobs.

I agree with you, Witness, that there are many innocent inmates, and also inmates who are jailed for 'bad' laws. Most drug laws being apart of the problem. Your point about Prosecutors needing a strong conviction record is very telling as well, goes along with Police quotas. Counter-productive if you ask me, but then lies the problem of how to adaquately measure their effectiveness/job performance?

posted on Oct, 25 2008 @ 07:30 PM
reply to post by rtcctr

Glad to hear that at least you are working. If you survived the justice system here in good ole America you can do the rest. Keep a smile in your heart and on your face and hope for better things.

I keep all inmates in my prayers.

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