Has the prison system been designed to keep the poor locked up and the rich free?
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(This is in no way intended to be an argument about marijuana, it is just an example.)
Majority of the rich escape the bearing of any responsibility, however as for the ones who do not, jail life for them is different from jail life for the poverty stricken man. Martha Stewart served 5 months in prison, and then 5 months in home confinement for lying to federal investigators about a stock sale. Any regular individual would see years of cold hard prison sentence. They have jails where inmates who can afford it can pay about $250 a day to endure in a jail sentence that is as good as a vacation hotel stay. They are segregated from all the other inmates who can not afford the suite cell that they can. These people face easier sentences and shorter sentences. For example Lindsey Lohnan was a young, rich, drug using, individual who time after time of violating her probation. She was sentenced to 90 days but was released after a few hours.
The real truth lies in most of the people who hold the money or power never see the inside of a prison cell. I'm also talking about people in the system itself who use it unjustly or brutally and never receive consequences for it. Police brutality is an issue that occurs every day and yet it is rarely ever brought to the surface. "The Restraint Chair" was a chapter about the restraint chairs that are used in multiple facilities across America and other countries in the world as long as they "believe in human rights." The restraint chair is used to restrain any one who is a threat to themselves or others. From a functionalist point of view, when used properly, the chair is a useful tool. However, when used unprofessionally it can be a lethal torture device.
When used properly the chair can restrain a dangerous excited person who serves as a threat. It is a tool that can safeguard the people who are doing their jobs. How ever where there is good, there is usually bad.
The chapter provided many examples of people suffered from permanent injuries, to people who have died. People have been placed in the chair nude, degraded, forced to defecate on themselves, hooded, beaten, pepper sprayed, and the list goes on. Why in the world would any one need to pepper spray an individual who has been restrained? There is no possible way for them to be a threat. People have been left in the chair from hours to days. Because of the neglect people have suffered from blood clots, asphyxiation, and in extreme cases; death. These are occurrences that go on and at the end of the day no one assumes responsibility for any of it and it's ironic that such injustice would stem from our justice system.
Saying "people are not discriminated against based on their financial standing, if anything it is most likely the rich and powerful that are prone to this kind of things, because they are higher up and know more information." would be making a statement with no supporting evidence. There are plenty powerful people in the world with money who are complete idiots. They are higher up but they do not obtain more information. They obtain the money and resources as a source of justification.
FInally before I conclude I would like to shed light on one more issue. The ultimate underdog that gets caught up in all of this chaos. The immigrants who find there way trapped in a system, and end up in a limbo type scenario. . Kim Ho Ma and Kestutis Zadvydas were two men that had immigrated to the U.S. at a very young age with their families fleeing for refuge. Kim was jailed under a gang related murder, and Zadvydas was jailed in a drug related crime. After serving their time they were both put on a list for deportation. The problem how ever was they did not have a state to return to in their home country.
I do agree with the idea that immigrants should be deported after serious crimes but what I do not agree with is the idea of "indefinite detention." When the U.S. does not want them, and their original country does not want them, these men are put into indefinite detention for how ever the INS feels is a reasonable amount of time. It is a nice way to camouflage that realistically it means forever. These people will never have a chance to live life free again and it can happen because of something as little as a drug charge. These people are referred to as "lifters."
This is a common problem that never reaches the media on a large scale. Dan Malone is a reporter who decided to find out what was going on and what he uncovered was disturbing. He had found out at first there were 53 men who had been in detention for more than three years. When he tried to find out who these individuals were and there stories he was told there were no records of these people existing in the system. He gained another lead through a knowledgeable employee, and again when he went to investigate he was told there were no records of that employee. The so-capped policies realistically just protect the INS's privacy. When he did find inmates to discuss the matter the inmates were threatened if they gave the interview it would have an impact on their pending case. What Dan Malone discovered is there were not fifty-three of these lifters but a whopping eight-hundred-fifty-two. Chances are the numbers are even higher. In a country that prides itself on the term "FREEDOM" it is sickening to hear that this is what goes on behind closed doors.
I would like to wrap up by reviewing my main points. The prison system has been designed to keep the poor in and the rich out. They are given much harsher, longer sentences then the rich. They can not afford expensive lawyers, they cannot buy there way out of it and they can not afford to stay in the more upscale prisons that are available. At the end of the day people of power and money usually escape scot free, or serve a light sentence. Most importantly light should be shed on the immigrants who find themselves trapped in limbo of the U.S. prison system with literally no way out. They have no voices because the people who hold power over them will not let them. All humans are created equal. The point of the justice system is that it is supposed to serve justice equally but in reality it does not. Steps need to be taken and changes need to be made.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think that both did really well, well did good in the context of this debate, but I think pro had the better statistics and refutations on many points. He cited stats that supported his argument, con didn't.e was also more thorough.
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