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Locked Up, Locked Out: The social costs of incarceration

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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 01:56 AM
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I would encourage everyone on ATS that doesn't already know about Reason Magazine to go to their website and read some of the articles there. They are a Libertarian magazine, and some their content is just mind-blowing.

This article about the costs, not just in dollars, but in productivity, job prospects, and family values, of incarceration is painfully clear to those of us that agree that while violent crimes must be punished with incarceration, lesser crimes have to have some other form of punishment. Some blurbs from the article:


Do prisons make us safer? By taking would-be offenders off the streets, prisons clearly have reduced crime in the short run. In the long run, though, imprisonment erodes the bonds of work, family, and community that help preserve public safety.



Youth paint a similar picture of incarceration’s negative effects: Wages fall by about 15 percent after prison, yearly earnings are reduced by about 40 percent, and the pay of former prisoners (unlike compensation for the rest of the labor force) remains stagnant as they get older.



Because of their poor job prospects, formerly incarcerated fathers are less able to contribute financially to their families. Because incarceration strains marital relations, those fathers are also less involved as parents.


Locked Up, Locked Out

/TOA




posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 05:54 AM
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Every sentence is a life sentence.

Its very wrong the way "justice" operates.


 
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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:16 AM
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What would you suggest we do with people that break the law if we don't sentence them to jail time?

Fines which they probably can't pay?

Community service which they probably won't show up for?

Whatever punishment they get the odds are they will break that rule also and thus our court system is gonna be tied up with judges having to keep resentencing people for not following whatever punishment they were given.

Jail is a big deterrent for some people and if you take that option away I think your going to see an increase in crime.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:28 AM
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Reply to post by kro32
 


There's no such thing as a crime deterrent.

Getting away with crime is not why one commits crime.

It could be argued that the lifelong cost of incarceration is one of if not the largest factor for recidivism being that if there wasn't enough to lose before to make the risk lessened there certainly isn't much to lose post incarceration.


 
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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Reply to post by kro32
 


There's no such thing as a crime deterrent.

Getting away with crime is not why one commits crime.

It could be argued that the lifelong cost of incarceration is one of if not the largest factor for recidivism being that if there wasn't enough to lose before to make the risk lessened there certainly isn't much to lose post incarceration.


 
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Prison is a very big deterrent. Do you really believe no one has ever held back from commiting a crime because they thought about the consequences of getting caught?

I slow down in my car when I pass a photo-cop. The threat of getting a ticket is deterring me from speeding in that zone so your quite wrong on this.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:36 AM
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Prison wasn't so bad back in the day, you know before it was a for profit business, and you carried a scarlet letter for life. What ever happened to "paying your debt to society", then being a free man after? It is set up so that people will more than likely resort to a life of crime because of the stigmata associated with having gone to prison....



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:38 AM
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Reply to post by kro32
 


Obviously it isn't.

In case you haven't noticed the US has the highest population of incarcerated persons. So much so that the SCOTUS has ordered many released.

Recidivism rates are also a fine indicator o the failure of deterrence.

After all who would know best what's waiting for then in prison other than recently released prisoners? That deterrent is a the forefront of their experience yet they more often than not go right back to prison.

People commit crimes because they think they'll get away with, they're crazy and don't care or they're acting without thought in the hear of the moment. None of that can be deterred. It's not possible.


 
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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:39 AM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
Prison wasn't so bad back in the day, you know before it was a for profit business, and you carried a scarlet letter for life. What ever happened to "paying your debt to society", then being a free man after? It is set up so that people will more than likely resort to a life of crime because of the stigmata associated with having gone to prison....


Yea maybe getting rid of that felon thing on applications might be a good thing for the convict but businesses also have the right to know what type of person they are hiring I suppose. Kind of hard one to choose there.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:41 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 


They are hiring a free person, that did their time. They wouldn't be trying to get a job if they wanted to go back into a life of crime so bad would they?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 06:44 AM
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most felons WOULD take an honest paying job, if people looked PAST the conviction, but unfortunately most emoloyers dont



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by HomerinNC
most felons WOULD take an honest paying job, if people looked PAST the conviction, but unfortunately most emoloyers dont


Unfortunately, most businesses don't have that luxury. They are liable for their employees action. Just one mistake can cause the business owner to be sued out of business. Example, a company that delivers Home Medical Equipment. They hire an ex-felon, and he performs as expected. Until, one day he is short on cash, and decides to pick some cash up he sees at a customers house. Not only is he liable, but when the customer finds out he had a previous record, and was still hired and sent to their house, the company is now liable for his actions.

Every ex-felon is not going to do this, however, just one time is all it takes. Especially in a small town. Business owners are afraid to lose their business by trusting someone who has been convicted of a crime, regardless if that crime was a bank robbery or simple possession of an "illegal" substance.

Until we get some reasonable solutions for sentencing, the problem is going to continue to grow.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 07:39 AM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Reply to post by kro32
 


Obviously it isn't.

In case you haven't noticed the US has the highest population of incarcerated persons. So much so that the SCOTUS has ordered many released.

Recidivism rates are also a fine indicator o the failure of deterrence.

After all who would know best what's waiting for then in prison other than recently released prisoners? That deterrent is a the forefront of their experience yet they more often than not go right back to prison.

People commit crimes because they think they'll get away with, they're crazy and don't care or they're acting without thought in the hear of the moment. None of that can be deterred. It's not possible.


 
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I was at the movies with a buddy of mine and after the show in the parking lot a couple young punks started giving him a hard time about some shirt he was wearing. He wanted to beat the daylights out of them, which he easily could have, but specifically said. "I don't want to go to jail for beating up minors."

There's your deterrent



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 07:46 AM
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I have to consider that the U.S. has more people in prison, per capita, than any other nation in the world. There is something to be said about judging how civilized a society is based on thier prison systems...so what is the U.S. saying about how civilized we are?

Are we so civilized that we have too many laws and a persons chances of going to prison in the U.S. are considerably higher than if a person lived somewhere else?

Just for the record: I am a felon and have served almost 13 years in the fine penal systems in the U.S...you might immediately think I killed someone right...what kind of a crime would someone have to commit to get such a heavy sentence right?

At 19 years old I was drinking and hit a man in a cross walk...he lived with some serious injury's at the time but recovered completely (The guy was drunk and not supposed to be crossing the street at the time but that is no excuse for my part) and did not suffer any lasting injury's...as a matter of fact...he said in my trial that he didn't remember anything beause he was so drunk and had no idea that he was even in public (his testimony was remembering being at a bar and that was the last thing he could remember).

At the time and in the state I was convicted in...a DUI with severe bodily injury is considered the same crime as a DUI with causing death or manslaughter. The law has since changed and I would have been sentenced differently today (probably with little or no prison time at all as treatment is the first choice in the courts now days).

So doing the math...at 19 (a young dumb kid) and 13 years later (a 32 year old man) the options that society placed in front of me as a felon who has spent most of his adult life in prison...well they are few. Now 35, and with the past being the past...I still have to pay for this crime everyday...I mark the felon box on my applications (well did when I looked for a job) I can never own a firearm legally, don't get to vote, and the list goes on...

So honestly...have I paid my debt to society? Have I been rehabilitated? Did my sentence fit my crime and was justice served?

I put little, or no faith in our justice system and not because of my circumstances, but because stories like mine are too familiar...I did years with people convicted of marijuana possesion...years! What are the laws today on marijuana...first offense possesion doesn't deem years today but not so long ago in my state a few stems and seeds would get you a 3-5 year sentence...amazing to think about!

Too many laws...and it is getting worse in my opinion...next thing you know you'll be looking at a 3-5 year sentence for trying to access a conspiracy website...you'll be a threat to national security and deemed unfit for society...I really think these times are coming...although this is an exagerated example...there will be laws like this soon!



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 08:28 AM
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How can you in one paragraph state that laws are easier now and you would have been sentenced to less today and then in another paragraph state that the laws are getting worse?



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 


Chances are good your friend wouldnt have done anything regardless.

Only a mental patient assaults another human being for words.

The "law" in this case was an excuse. Not a deterrent. If your friend really views assault as a reasonable course of action no "law" would have stopped him.

Look at your speeding. Which you shouldnt be doing anyway. You admit to speeding when you think you can get away with it. Suddenly in sight of a cop you cease speeding. Its not because of a deterrent factor. It's because you know now you wouldnt get away with it. You commit the crime regardless of the punishment.

If tickets were a true deterrent you wouldnt speed regardless of police presence.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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The problem with the penal system in America is that aside from the lack of freedom to move about freely outside the walls once inside criminals can do just about anything they can do on the outside on the inside. Drugs, rape, crime, graft, etc.

There is no way that a prisoner in the penal (from penalty or punishment not rehabilitation) system should be able to get access to drugs, organize crime syndicates, conduct business and have homosexual relationships (rape) with each other. Every single minute of every single day should be monitored for every single prisoner and any infraction regardless of how minor should be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Swoop in on it like a hawk and let them know they are being watched every second.

In the name of rehabilitation and or against cruel and unusual punishment we no longer expect or make them work at hard labor – hard labor is neither cruel nor unusual; everyone must work the only difference is the degree of is physicality. When one loses his freedom he loses the ability to chose a more lax work style - hard physical labor. I run a dairy operation that is hard and suitable...so is farming or forest clearing or road construction the proceeds of which could feed in some cases and pay for their upkeep.

As long as it is safe and supervised they should be worked at hard manual labor for 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week. Perhaps then when they get back to their cells for the 1-2 hours of recreational time they won’t have so much time for rape and criminal mischief. If they want to go to school they can do it after they work like most of America does when they want to seek educational improvement. Perhaps then they won’t have time to research and file frivolous law suits for crunchy peanut butter and excuse the pun - gum up the court system.

At some time after they get closer to their release date they can graduate into a less structured and rehabilitation type program but only after they have learned the good hard lesson that prison sucks so they won’t want to come back – ever.

If we didn’t give them so much free time to organize themselves and conduct more crime and put them to a constructive and deliberate use for society they’d learn how to be productive citizens.

However, this will never happen because the bleeding hearts think prison should be TV, Xbox the internet and working out when not attending school on the public dime. This interrupted by a lot of hugging, counseling and dealing with one’s daddy issues perhaps even meeting with the victims or their families for good measure.

I say bollocks – make it a penalty and a punishment do treatment and rehabilitation after that.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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FEAR is the driving force behind prison.

Violence is very much a mainstream aspect of all of our society. The duality of our justice system is that we can fight endless wars, with endless amounts of death, yet when a person hits someone, they lose 5 years of their life and gain a lifetime of persecution.

Prison is ignorant. Prison is fear.



posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Jun, 7 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by kro32
 


It is called free speech and I can say whatever I want...is that all you got out of that?

Do you need a coloring book...laws on my particular crime have changed and the punishment is less severe...but the laws are growing and expanding to include new violations.




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