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Prisons

YYW
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10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
One of the reasons Sanders is making prison reform an issue is to preempt Marco Rubio's enriching himself on for-profit prisons in Florida, and it's going to be the kind of thing that Rubio is going to get destroyed on in any debate against any Democrat should he make it that far. I doubt, however, that he will, because he's not that sophisticated a politician. He's kind of like a Republican wannabe JFK, and while he's better than, for example, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, he's not more commanding than, in the alternative, Donald Trump. But I digress.

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states: Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms. The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars. The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical. The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms. So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place. The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again. This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not. In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.
Tsar of DDO
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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10/18/2015 2:04:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I tire of the "reprogram" arguement of criminal justice. (rehabilitate)

I would say the vast majority of people in prison at this time are:
- one-time offenders who are not likely to do it again once released (e.g. I murdered a scam artist who swindled me out of my life savings),
- serial offenders who are not going to be rehabilitated (e.g. mob bosses, hitmen, violent drug dealers)
- nonviolent drug offenders (dealers or users)

None of these people need to be rehabilitated.
Maybe, the revolving doors of "petty" crimes, like muggings, buglaries, and whatnot could be addressed, or recurring assailants (e.g. wife-beaters), but a lot of these people are in jail, not prison. Regardless, no amount of rehab is going to matter once you realize a life of crime is predestined after entering the system, since most of society does not give you a second chance. (I am still denied employment from some for a crime 14 years ago) It's hard to have a "good job" if you can't make much more than minimum wage.

What needs reform is hiring practices and societal views, much more than prisoners themselves.

Further, when you say kickbacks are given, are you saying they are given specifically for minorities, or just that the judge sentences longer terms, and it happens to be minorities. If the latter, I'm not sure why this is brought up, especially when minorities are "more likely" to be convicted of crimes where sentencing is more open.
My work here is, finally, done.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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10/18/2015 2:38:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
To add to my point, here is an biased attack on Uber for daring to hire people who have crimes more than seven years old, and clearly the public is in danger!!!
Reported in Time magazine.

http://time.com...
My work here is, finally, done.
YYW
Posts: 36,256
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10/18/2015 2:54:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 2:04:41 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
I tire of the "reprogram" arguement of criminal justice. (rehabilitate)

I would say the vast majority of people in prison at this time are:
- one-time offenders who are not likely to do it again once released (e.g. I murdered a scam artist who swindled me out of my life savings),
- serial offenders who are not going to be rehabilitated (e.g. mob bosses, hitmen, violent drug dealers)
- nonviolent drug offenders (dealers or users)

None of these people need to be rehabilitated.

Well, your understanding (other than non-violent offenders being unreasonably locked up) is basically wrong, and I'll explain why.

The vast majority of non-violent offenders ought to simply just be released, but that's another conversation for another day. The reason our prisons get filled up so quickly mostly has to do with the fact that people who get arrested--whether they are guilty or not--are encouraged to take plea deals, and more than 95% of them do, because the system is built to lock people up, as opposed to figure out whether they're guilty or not. The assumption is that the police only arrest guilty people, but the reality is that that's just not true. So, if you're poor and you can't afford a decent attorney (read: not a public defender, as 99% of public defenders are insufficiently supported, useless, incompetent and/or over worked) what you do is you go to jail, and you stay there, because society threw you away.

As it pertains to people who actually did engage in violent crimes, what you're not thinking about is WHY an individual, if guilty of whatever they were charged with, did what they did. It most often has to do with limited choices in desperate circumstances. It's not about some inherently malevolent characteristic about them. Most gang members, who are in gangs, and who engage in gang activities, would if given the option reform their lives. The problem is that they don't see how to do it. So, they "do the best with what they can" which more often than not translates into committing crimes on behalf of the gang for protection, fraternity and to put food on the table.

Really, the post you made reflects the reason why this problem is so hard to address: there is a strong social aversion to rethinking how we conceptualize inmates, because we've defaulted on condemning them, on the assumption that "the system works." It does not. It never has. It's as good as we can do, but it needs to get better and what I'm saying is the reason why.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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10/18/2015 2:58:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 2:04:41 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Regardless, no amount of rehab is going to matter once you realize a life of crime is predestined after entering the system, since most of society does not give you a second chance. (I am still denied employment from some for a crime 14 years ago) It's hard to have a "good job" if you can't make much more than minimum wage.

I agree that hiring practices need to be changed, and that people deserve second (and sometimes third) chances. However, I'd like for people to go into prison not knowing how to make a living in the world, and come out with the ability to work in a steel mill, for example. (That is to imply that we need more steel mills in this country.)

What needs reform is hiring practices and societal views, much more than prisoners themselves.

That's true, but it's not the only thing. The problem is that going to prison does not make you more likely to be a productive member of society; it makes you more likely to be a criminal. That's the problem that's at issue here. Whether society should change is a distinct issue, and beyond the scope of what I wrote. Likewise, those are not mutually exclusive goals. We can, and should, address both. The one is not more important than the other.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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10/18/2015 3:00:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 2:04:41 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Further, when you say kickbacks are given, are you saying they are given specifically for minorities, or just that the judge sentences longer terms, and it happens to be minorities. If the latter, I'm not sure why this is brought up, especially when minorities are "more likely" to be convicted of crimes where sentencing is more open.

It's "longer prison sentences" generally, not specifically longer prison sentences for minorities, although they are most often the ones who find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system. So, the issue is a disparate impact, not intentional discrimination.

FYI, kickbacks come in many forms: donations to judges' reelection campaign committees, golf outings, steak dinners, professional development workshops (read: paid vacations), etc.
Tsar of DDO
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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10/19/2015 4:34:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM, YYW wrote:
One of the reasons Sanders is making prison reform an issue is to preempt Marco Rubio's enriching himself on for-profit prisons in Florida, and it's going to be the kind of thing that Rubio is going to get destroyed on in any debate against any Democrat should he make it that far. I doubt, however, that he will, because he's not that sophisticated a politician. He's kind of like a Republican wannabe JFK, and while he's better than, for example, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, he's not more commanding than, in the alternative, Donald Trump. But I digress.

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states: Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms. The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars. The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical. The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms. So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place. The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again. This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not. In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.

A law student girlfriend wrote a paper on basically torcher as a replacement for prison. She had me convinced honestly. Prison is almost useless for anything short of life imprisonment.
MakeSensePeopleDont
Posts: 1,104
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10/20/2015 7:53:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM, YYW wrote:

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states:

Eh, I checked and it's distributed between red and blue states, so please don't make this a Republican vs Democrat thing.

Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms.

Prisons and/or judges caught doing this face jail time, fines and loss of license and contract to run said prison. In fact, a PA judge got a life sentence for receiving kickbacks from the private prison system in his area.

The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars.

I'm confused, are we talking about private or public prisons? Public are run by taxpayer dollars, private are, as the name suggests, a private business.

The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical.

GOOD!!! It's not summer camp. They should be treated in a manner that ensures they never want to come back again. Additionally, the prison system has NOTHING to do with how a man or woman acts in public; nor does it contribute to whether or not they follow the law. Stop pointing fingers around and draw a root cause...it's the criminal in the center of the circle.

The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms.

Friend, do you have any idea of how our criminal justice system functions? Prisons have no say in how long jail terms are, there are books upon books written on minimum and maximum as well as suggested sentences per crime.

So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

WHOA fella, that is one MIGHTY leap you just made there. Better be careful there's a.........cliff.....too late, sorry. Can you prove any of this slander?

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place.

Soooo taking criminals off the streets is NOT making society a safer place? Hmmm interesting logic there. My logic states that it is the CRIMINALS who are not making society a safer place.

The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again.

Actually, the modern imprisonment system, designed for punishment or self-reflection was designed by Jeremy Bentham; London, 1798. The design was called The Panopticon or "All Seeing" in reference to 1 or 2 superintendents having the ability to watch over a mass quantity of criminals while they completed their punishments. He felt this was a much better solution than execution.

This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not.

Prisoners are not generally in isolation. The only reasons for this additional punishment would be threat to self, threat to officers, threat to other prisoners, etc. There are also limitations on how long you can keep a person in isolation (except for extreme dangers of course). So, if you don't like solitary confinement...once again...stop doing illegal things.


In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

Please provide evidence of this claim; I know there is no evidence to this point as this is false.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.

Sounds like brainwashing to me. But, let's go with it: You really think any of this will change who the PERSON is? Also, how many times, under your plan here, could a criminal commit a crime until you approach him differently? Furthermore, after you have tried "reprogramming" X number of times; what's next?

Bottom line here; is that you have some ideas...but they are just opinion and speculation. You need to provide proof of this.
YYW
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10/20/2015 9:42:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/20/2015 7:53:41 PM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:

You didn't respond to the substance of what I said, in any respect. The fact that you disagree with what I said is noted, but on the one hand you ask "where are your sources" while on the other hand you fail to list yours, namely, because what you said is wrong.

You also clearly do not understand what a privately ran/managed prison is, how it works, or grasp the institutional incentives behind their existence. I suggest engaging in research on the subject to generally prepare you to be able to respond. Until then, I'm not going to respond further.
Tsar of DDO
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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10/20/2015 10:40:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM, YYW wrote:
One of the reasons Sanders is making prison reform an issue is to preempt Marco Rubio's enriching himself on for-profit prisons in Florida, and it's going to be the kind of thing that Rubio is going to get destroyed on in any debate against any Democrat should he make it that far. I doubt, however, that he will, because he's not that sophisticated a politician. He's kind of like a Republican wannabe JFK, and while he's better than, for example, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, he's not more commanding than, in the alternative, Donald Trump. But I digress.

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states: Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms. The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars. The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical. The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms. So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place. The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again. This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not. In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.

Obviously this is a tough problem to solve but i think it's clear that the current prison model of western democracies is clearly flawed and not working effectively. In my view one of the main problems is treating all types of crime with the same punishment. Imprisonment is an effective deterrant for some crimes but completely useless for deterring others. Many types of violent crime such as rape and murder is not really reduced by the threat of imprisonment. The irrational nature of a person who commits a violent crime has many different causes such as substance abuse, addiction, gang pressure, mental health issues and In some cases the pure evil of the individual. I think anybody convicted of a violent crime should not be punished by imprisonment alone. It is simply a waste of time.

The severity of the crime should be assessed as well as the characteristics of the individual. In cases where it is deemed reform is possible and the crime is not of the highest severity the person should be initially detained and put on a reform programme that enables them to become a valued member of society which involves a gradual managed reintroduction to life outside prison. The most serious of offences such as murder, terrorism and rape should be punishable by the death penalty as should any persistently violent offender. A person who has no possibility to reform or has committed the most immoral of crime is of no use to society and does not deserve to live. The death penalty is the best solution. Life imprisonment is a complete waste of money, time and energy. In cases of non violent crime such as drug possession, dealing and fraud should be punishable by very heavy fines combined with imprisonment and forced labour in addition to help getting over their personal problems such as counciling and mentoring. This effectively deters these crimes and could also be used for some violent criminals. Ultimately though i think the key is to look at each offender as an individual and apply appropriate punishment and where possible effective treatment to reform their character. If this is not possible the death penalty should be applied.
MakeSensePeopleDont
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10/21/2015 12:37:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/20/2015 9:42:31 PM, YYW wrote:

You didn't respond to the substance of what I said, in any respect. The fact that you disagree with what I said is noted, but on the one hand you ask "where are your sources" while on the other hand you fail to list yours, namely, because what you said is wrong.

You also clearly do not understand what a privately ran/managed prison is, how it works, or grasp the institutional incentives behind their existence. I suggest engaging in research on the subject to generally prepare you to be able to respond. Until then, I'm not going to respond further.

I have researched it...a ton. I watched documentaries on TV about it, never realizing those were real. So I spent the next two weeks reading all about them.

Those tax dollars you speak of for these for-profit prisons getting...that's a guarantee of business, just like ANY other contract written out. I'm footing all startup costs and daily upkeep costs. In order for me to make my bottom line and break even, I need to maintain say 70% population. So, for the first say 15 years of operation, I need a guarantee of income from you so I am not 100% liable for a new business model that you want in your state. So, if I am under 70% capacity, you will pay me $150 per inmate per day that I am short my quota; maxing out at $3,000,000 per year.

Now, the reason this works and is reasonable is because the for-profit prison will be constructed to comfortably house say 100,000 inmates. This will allow the State to close say five nonprofit prisons totaling 78,000 inmates on average, saving the state taxpayers $35,000,000 per year, and consolidating prison population to 1 single swath of land which is much easier to maintain than 5. Once the business model is proven to be sustainable after the 15 year contract, the state is waived of all financial responsibilities and the for-profit prison is on its own.

See, a standard contract...EXACTLY the same as the agreement Obama has with the health insurance companies for going along with the Affordable Care Act.

Question #1 -- Now, if you have serious questions about the process, the model, how it works, the design, fraud, or anything at all about it, I would be more than happy to answer your questions. All you have to do is ask.

Question #2 -- As far as evidence for something I say; what do you want evidence for? But remember to provide your evidence for your arguments as well :)
YYW
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10/21/2015 12:44:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 12:37:39 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:

Stop making bold the text you write in response to me. It's incredibly pretentious, and a misuse of the feature. Everything I said before stands.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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10/21/2015 12:45:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/20/2015 10:40:12 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM, YYW wrote:
One of the reasons Sanders is making prison reform an issue is to preempt Marco Rubio's enriching himself on for-profit prisons in Florida, and it's going to be the kind of thing that Rubio is going to get destroyed on in any debate against any Democrat should he make it that far. I doubt, however, that he will, because he's not that sophisticated a politician. He's kind of like a Republican wannabe JFK, and while he's better than, for example, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, he's not more commanding than, in the alternative, Donald Trump. But I digress.

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states: Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms. The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars. The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical. The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms. So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place. The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again. This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not. In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.

Obviously this is a tough problem to solve but i think it's clear that the current prison model of western democracies is clearly flawed and not working effectively. In my view one of the main problems is treating all types of crime with the same punishment. Imprisonment is an effective deterrant for some crimes but completely useless for deterring others. Many types of violent crime such as rape and murder is not really reduced by the threat of imprisonment. The irrational nature of a person who commits a violent crime has many different causes such as substance abuse, addiction, gang pressure, mental health issues and In some cases the pure evil of the individual. I think anybody convicted of a violent crime should not be punished by imprisonment alone. It is simply a waste of time.

The severity of the crime should be assessed as well as the characteristics of the individual. In cases where it is deemed reform is possible and the crime is not of the highest severity the person should be initially detained and put on a reform programme that enables them to become a valued member of society which involves a gradual managed reintroduction to life outside prison. The most serious of offences such as murder, terrorism and rape should be punishable by the death penalty as should any persistently violent offender. A person who has no possibility to reform or has committed the most immoral of crime is of no use to society and does not deserve to live. The death penalty is the best solution. Life imprisonment is a complete waste of money, time and energy. In cases of non violent crime such as drug possession, dealing and fraud should be punishable by very heavy fines combined with imprisonment and forced labour in addition to help getting over their personal problems such as counciling and mentoring. This effectively deters these crimes and could also be used for some violent criminals. Ultimately though i think the key is to look at each offender as an individual and apply appropriate punishment and where possible effective treatment to reform their character. If this is not possible the death penalty should be applied.

Very good observations, although I would take issue with your entertaining the death penalty.
Tsar of DDO
beng100
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10/21/2015 1:03:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 12:45:19 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/20/2015 10:40:12 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 10/18/2015 1:46:12 PM, YYW wrote:
One of the reasons Sanders is making prison reform an issue is to preempt Marco Rubio's enriching himself on for-profit prisons in Florida, and it's going to be the kind of thing that Rubio is going to get destroyed on in any debate against any Democrat should he make it that far. I doubt, however, that he will, because he's not that sophisticated a politician. He's kind of like a Republican wannabe JFK, and while he's better than, for example, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, he's not more commanding than, in the alternative, Donald Trump. But I digress.

Basically, this is what's going on in US prisons, especially in red states: Prisons are ran by private companies who give kickbacks to judges who sentence inmates who are more frequently than not black or other kinds of minorities to elongated terms. The prison is more or less a leech that feeds on it's host, which is state and federal tax dollars. The conditions that prisoners face is egregious, and recidivism rates are astronomical. The problem is that for-profit prisons have an economic incentive to keep incarceration rates high because doing so is lucrative. So, to keep incarceration rates high, they want more crime. Because they want more crime, they want, likewise, to create the kinds of conditions where people get sentenced to very long prison terms. So, said less abstractly, they want less gun control laws so that black gang members kill each other and then become for-profit prison's cash cows. The whole network is utterly disgusting.

What prisons are not doing is making society a safer place. The idea of incarceration came from monasteries, and the idea was that if you did enough "penance" you would become a reformed person because you would figure out what you did wrong and not do it again. This is of course a stupid idea, because isolation (especially solitary confinement) does horrible things to even the most psychologically robust among us, which prisoners certainly are not. In the alternative, they are more frequently than not mentally ill, weak, and unable to think/interact with the world like the rest of us. Remove them from the world, and they will be worse when they are eventually released.

The basic thing that prisons need to do, which for-profit prisons will never be able to accomplish, is "reprogram" people. That requires intense re-education efforts, educational opportunities, social opportunities, etc. to teach people how to be productive members of society. Think of it like a "culture-detox" program, rather than a penal apparatus.

Obviously this is a tough problem to solve but i think it's clear that the current prison model of western democracies is clearly flawed and not working effectively. In my view one of the main problems is treating all types of crime with the same punishment. Imprisonment is an effective deterrant for some crimes but completely useless for deterring others. Many types of violent crime such as rape and murder is not really reduced by the threat of imprisonment. The irrational nature of a person who commits a violent crime has many different causes such as substance abuse, addiction, gang pressure, mental health issues and In some cases the pure evil of the individual. I think anybody convicted of a violent crime should not be punished by imprisonment alone. It is simply a waste of time.

The severity of the crime should be assessed as well as the characteristics of the individual. In cases where it is deemed reform is possible and the crime is not of the highest severity the person should be initially detained and put on a reform programme that enables them to become a valued member of society which involves a gradual managed reintroduction to life outside prison. The most serious of offences such as murder, terrorism and rape should be punishable by the death penalty as should any persistently violent offender. A person who has no possibility to reform or has committed the most immoral of crime is of no use to society and does not deserve to live. The death penalty is the best solution. Life imprisonment is a complete waste of money, time and energy. In cases of non violent crime such as drug possession, dealing and fraud should be punishable by very heavy fines combined with imprisonment and forced labour in addition to help getting over their personal problems such as counciling and mentoring. This effectively deters these crimes and could also be used for some violent criminals. Ultimately though i think the key is to look at each offender as an individual and apply appropriate punishment and where possible effective treatment to reform their character. If this is not possible the death penalty should be applied.

Very good observations, although I would take issue with your entertaining the death penalty.

What would you suggest doing with the most serious offenders then? Obviously every one has different views but if someone kills 50 people in a terrorist attack and it is proven beyond doubt that they are guilty what purpose does their life hold? The victims families would generally support my viewpoint and that is an important consideration. It is also risky to keep such a dangerous individual alive. He/she may promote terrorism to other people, commit violence in prison or in the worst case although unlikely escape. They are better off dead in my view.
MakeSensePeopleDont
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10/21/2015 1:10:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 12:44:35 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/21/2015 12:37:39 AM, MakeSensePeopleDont wrote:

Stop making bold the text you write in response to me. It's incredibly pretentious, and a misuse of the feature. Everything I said before stands.

Pretentious? Really?

Pretentious -- attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.

THAT is what you get out of my use of bold there? That I am attempting to impress somebody using ocular trickery; trickery that would be designed to what; draw attention away from statements I made that I don't want you to realize are false?

Or is it more likely that I bold my text in order to create visually, an easily identifiable delineation between your text and my direct response to your text? Yeah, I think the reasonable and logical answer here is the latter.

OH and yes it definitely is a CORRECT use of bold font. When no method of dialog separation readily available is easily discernible, it is proper to use alternating font weights in order to clearly separate multiple people, thought processes, etc. Welcome to X/HTML....the internet.
MakeSensePeopleDont
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10/21/2015 1:15:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 12:44:35 AM, YYW wrote:

[...] Everything I said before stands.

Now, as for everything you said before stands....like I said, if you would like to better understand or discuss a part of the for-profit prison system in the U.S. or if you have questions, feel free to document them and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
YYW
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10/21/2015 1:20:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 1:03:18 AM, beng100 wrote:
What would you suggest doing with the most serious offenders then? Obviously every one has different views but if someone kills 50 people in a terrorist attack and it is proven beyond doubt that they are guilty what purpose does their life hold? The victims families would generally support my viewpoint and that is an important consideration. It is also risky to keep such a dangerous individual alive. He/she may promote terrorism to other people, commit violence in prison or in the worst case although unlikely escape. They are better off dead in my view.

First, I want to get a very clear understanding of what a "most serious offender" is; and specifically define who falls in to that category of people. Generally, when I think about "most serious offenders" I think about the people who have committed the worst crimes, and, generally, I think the worst crimes are those that cause death on a mass scale. For example, people who shoot multiple innocent people without provocation for no purpose other than to elicit terror would probably be the threshold for what I would consider a "most serious offender." So, terrorists are beyond that and they're in that category too, but less than a mass shooter probably wouldn't.

Thus, the issue then becomes what to do with such a person. Different people have different ideas about what criminal justice ought to do, and these are not mutually exclusive positions: (a) on the one hand, there are those who believe that prison's purpose is to punish, that is to say, they are society's means of retaliating against a wrongdoer (e.g. death penalty is an act of retaliation; all forms of civil penalties are judicially imposed consequences, that are in theory proportional to the harm that the offender caused to society by breaking laws, which are retaliatory, etc.); or (b) on the other hand, there are those (like me) who believe that criminal justice's purpose is just to protect society, not per se to punish offenders (more or less, the idea is to keep the innocent safe, and do what is needed to make sure that social safety is maximized).

For the retributivists, the death penalty is a lot easier to accept because it is consistent with their belief that society has a right to "kill back" when an offender takes a life. For the non-retributivists (e.g. me), that argument is a lot harder to buy because there is no indication that life in a supermax prison could not protect society as effectively as executing someone. Moreover, there are also problems with executing people: more minorities are executed than non-minorities; there is an overwhelming gender bias; etc.

Now, could a terrorist conspire against the free world from a supermax? Not likely, to the extent that he is denied contact with the outside world and/or those who would endeavor to facilitate such communications. Really, such individuals are better held at CIA blacksites, but not killed. The idea of the government "killing" someone as a part of "criminal justice" (read: not war) just makes me cringe, for a multiplicity of reasons. It should make you cringe too. Care to discuss why?
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xus00HAY
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10/21/2015 2:48:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
We need to reprogram criminals. Well that is an interesting idea. Just how do we do that?
Could we insert some kind of microchip in their brains?

Ok, a young man gets convicted for selling drugs. He gets a long sentence because some politician proposed that if you put the dealers in there for a very long time, a few thousand dollars he made before he got caught, is not worth all those years of his life. Then the other politicians vote for these bills to show they are tough on crime. By the time that kid gets out he will have joined a gang in prison and learned how to do crimes.

If we hired the pharmaceutical companies to invent drugs you could get high on but were not addictive, and these were legal ,this has gotta cost way less then the justice system.
Vox_Veritas
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10/21/2015 4:13:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
While I am sure that certain companies contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and state governments to provide the prisons with certain stuff or even services as guards, I don't buy the idea that private companies/individuals own for-profit prisons or that they take over the prison "industry" in certain places, blatantly running prisons in the place of the Government.
Sounds to me like the Left's equivalent to stories about FEMA concentration camps.
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Vox_Veritas
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10/21/2015 4:15:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Whoops. I should've googled it before speaking...
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Vox_Veritas
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10/21/2015 4:18:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm still skeptical of the idea that these private prisons bribe judges into sentencing more prisoners to these places though.
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Vox_Veritas
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10/21/2015 4:23:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Prison privatization has its advantages though. A private enterprise is capable of finding ways of doing the same job cheaper than a bureaucratic institution which really has no incentive to be more fiscally responsible.
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beng100
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10/21/2015 9:57:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 1:20:33 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/21/2015 1:03:18 AM, beng100 wrote:
What would you suggest doing with the most serious offenders then? Obviously every one has different views but if someone kills 50 people in a terrorist attack and it is proven beyond doubt that they are guilty what purpose does their life hold? The victims families would generally support my viewpoint and that is an important consideration. It is also risky to keep such a dangerous individual alive. He/she may promote terrorism to other people, commit violence in prison or in the worst case although unlikely escape. They are better off dead in my view.

First, I want to get a very clear understanding of what a "most serious offender" is; and specifically define who falls in to that category of people. Generally, when I think about "most serious offenders" I think about the people who have committed the worst crimes, and, generally, I think the worst crimes are those that cause death on a mass scale. For example, people who shoot multiple innocent people without provocation for no purpose other than to elicit terror would probably be the threshold for what I would consider a "most serious offender." So, terrorists are beyond that and they're in that category too, but less than a mass shooter probably wouldn't.

Thus, the issue then becomes what to do with such a person. Different people have different ideas about what criminal justice ought to do, and these are not mutually exclusive positions: (a) on the one hand, there are those who believe that prison's purpose is to punish, that is to say, they are society's means of retaliating against a wrongdoer (e.g. death penalty is an act of retaliation; all forms of civil penalties are judicially imposed consequences, that are in theory proportional to the harm that the offender caused to society by breaking laws, which are retaliatory, etc.); or (b) on the other hand, there are those (like me) who believe that criminal justice's purpose is just to protect society, not per se to punish offenders (more or less, the idea is to keep the innocent safe, and do what is needed to make sure that social safety is maximized).

For the retributivists, the death penalty is a lot easier to accept because it is consistent with their belief that society has a right to "kill back" when an offender takes a life. For the non-retributivists (e.g. me), that argument is a lot harder to buy because there is no indication that life in a supermax prison could not protect society as effectively as executing someone. Moreover, there are also problems with executing people: more minorities are executed than non-minorities; there is an overwhelming gender bias; etc.

Now, could a terrorist conspire against the free world from a supermax? Not likely, to the extent that he is denied contact with the outside world and/or those who would endeavor to facilitate such communications. Really, such individuals are better held at CIA blacksites, but not killed. The idea of the government "killing" someone as a part of "criminal justice" (read: not war) just makes me cringe, for a multiplicity of reasons. It should make you cringe too. Care to discuss why?

My interpretation of a serious offence obviously varies depending on the exact nature of the crime as every crime is different but the crimes I would categorise as serious offences warranting the death penalty in normal circumstances are murder, terrorism, attempted murder and inflicting torture on another person. I would also issue the death penalty to an individual who repeatedly offends. I would introduce a points based system where a person is given points for all criminal offences. Obviously the more serious the crime the more points they receive. I would offer people far more help as I mentioned in earlier posts but in certain cases a repeat offender may be impossible to reform and may continue to rape, burgal, assault or deal drugs despite numerous opportunities to reform. This is a key issue where I live in the UK. People are locked up but not offered help to reform, released and then detained again. This cycle must be stopped as it is unproductive for the offender, The government and the taxpayer. Releasing somebody just because their sentance has expired is not a good idea. If it's suspected somebody is going to reoffend releasing them from prison is both irresponsible and illogical. Personally I have no moral problem with the death penalty. I don't see any reason to keep dangerous individuals in prison for life. If someone is deemed so dangerous that release is impossible what purpose does detaining them for life serve? All I see it does is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars/pounds a year to look after them. I would spend that money elsewhere. It also in some cases gives a victim or their families a sense of justice.