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Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

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  • Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

    Our criminal justice system is badly broken. A failed draconian war on drugs, mandatory sentences and way too many laws has created a monster. It is consuming too many of our youth, to many of our people and too many of our resources that could be put to better use.

    To incarcerate one human being costs taxpayers around $30 - $40,000 per year!!!

    Think about this my fellow citizens:

    Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prison population. That is not the America I grew up in, or want my children and grandchildren to grow up in...

    Do YOU?

    November/December 2012

    The Conservative War on Prisons

    Right-wing operatives have decided that prisons are a lot like schools: hugely expensive, inefficient, and in need of root-and-branch reform.



    Take Newt Gingrich, who made a promise of more incarceration an item of his 1994 Contract with America. Seventeen years later, he had changed his tune. “There is an urgent need to address the astronomical growth in the prison population, with its huge costs in dollars and lost human potential,” Gingrich wrote in 2011. “The criminal-justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it.”

    None of Gingrich’s rivals in the vicious Republican presidential primary exploited these statements. If anything, his position is approaching party orthodoxy. The 2012 Republican platform declares, “Prisons should do more than punish; they should attempt to rehabilitate and institute proven prisoner reentry systems to reduce recidivism and future victimization.” What’s more, a rogue’s gallery of conservative crime warriors have joined Gingrich’s call for Americans to rethink their incarceration reflex. They include Ed Meese, Asa Hutchinson, William Bennett—even the now-infamous American Legislative Exchange Council. Most importantly, more than a dozen states have launched serious criminal justice reform efforts in recent years, with conservatives often in the lead.

    Skeptics might conclude that conservatives are only rethinking criminal justice because lockups have become too expensive. But whether prison costs too much depends on what you think of incarceration’s benefits. Change is coming to criminal justice because an alliance of evangelicals and libertarians have put those benefits on trial. Discovering that the nation’s prison growth is morally objectionable by their own, conservative standards, they are beginning to attack it—and may succeed where liberals, working the issue on their own, have, so far, failed.

    This will do more than simply put the nation on a path to a more rational and humane correctional system. It will also provide an example of how bipartisan policy breakthroughs are still possible in our polarized age.


    It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

    While I agree that the war on drugs has been no more successful than the war on poverty, I think the problem is much deeper than law enforcement or bad laws. The problem is with morality and core values. We have too many people who want to write their own moral code. I don't refrain from murder because there is a law against it. I refrain from murder because it is immoral. If people were taught moral values, we would not need all these prisons.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

      Until the prisons can break the 'Crime University' that is being conducted in there, it's only going t get worse.

      The recidivism rate is way too high, especially when the criminal is released they have gone through 'Crime U' and have gotten tougher, nastier, smarter, and more violent.

      Some are of the opinion that this is result of insufficient spending rehabilitation programs. I disagree. I think it's the results of the wrong rehabilitation programs being implemented. Spending more money on the wrong programs isn't going make anything one little bit better.

      I'd say that insufficient fear and dread of a prison term in the segment of the population that ends up there. Granted well adjusted people are motivated by moral values, as Old Man Dan points out. Many are not, and many have never been taught moral values.

      The teaching of moral values, and values in general is a tricky subject in that really it's the parents responsibility to endow their children with these, yet many parents are AWOL on this count, and society ends up dealing with this fall out, one way or another.

      I don't have a problem prisons having prisoner work programs. Wouldn't these be opportunities to learn marketable skills to be able to survive on once released? In the mean time, the compensation the prison received for prisoner work could be used to help defer the cost of running the prison and prisoner housing, feeding and healthcare, etc.

      I strongly don't agree with the idea that the society is responsible for prisoner's sex change operations and crap like that. Even if, what appears to be an activist judge, ordered it.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

        I'm sure Americans are no more criminal than people in the UK so it is rather odd that the difference in prison population is so pronounced.

        BBC NEWS | In Depth

        I'm sure the vast majority of the petty criminals could be dealt with in another way that doesn't have such a devastating impact on employment opportunities.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
          While I agree that the war on drugs has been no more successful than the war on poverty, I think the problem is much deeper than law enforcement or bad laws. The problem is with morality and core values. We have too many people who want to write their own moral code. I don't refrain from murder because there is a law against it. I refrain from murder because it is immoral. If people were taught moral values, we would not need all these prisons.
          But one must face reality oldman. Man is not moral, and actually never was. Given that we are not moral, and given that locking people up for immorality can cost too much, ruin too many families(adding to future problems), society has to make a decision on what immorality we will just accept, and what we will not accept. We should never and cannot accept murder or theft. These crimes have victims. But what about the other immorality, the victimless crimes? Things that we have made illegal, punishable by incarceration? Like prostitution and substances that makes one high just like legal alcohol does? We have discovered that when we make booze or other mind altering substances illegal, we immediately break up families and spend vast amounts of taxpayer dollars on incarcerating these people who were simply exercising their rights to body ownership, no different than the woman who owns her own body and aborts. She has that right because we have said it is her body. Yet the prostitute owns her body, and the pot smoker owns his as well. There is no consistency in the argument, which to my mind makes the argument invalid, nonsensical, wrong.

          Laws against immorality is a 100 per cent guaranteed method of raising revernue when it is made illegal. The desire for some to get high is as old as mankind is. The woman who sells her sexural favors is as old as mankind is. It endures and cannot be stamped out because it is a part of what makes us human. So why fight it? Why break up families, spend billions on incarceration for folks simply catching a buzz? It is utter insanity oldman, and the only way to stop drug use is to have a powerful police state with death sentences for druggies and prostitutes, and drug screens for every american. Short of that we have wasted a trillion bucks one way or the other in this ludicrous war against american citizens.

          I never thought a great reform in laws would come from the republicans, being hard asses and all as evidenced by the example of the oldman, but this could be one thing they could do in trying to get back some voters other than fat old white men and their sons. We are long overdue in gettng some sanity back into the victimless crimes. That the US has such a high rate of incarceration shows our laws are too expansive, too strict.

          You can get more time in my state for getting caught with a bag of meth than if you killed someone. You can get more time for growing one plant of pot than if you killed someone. There is absolutely no justice in sentencing like that.

          But I cannot see the republican party ever moving towards what Gingrich spoke of. They have got too many folks who think like oldman dan in that tribe. These people incessantly accuse the libs of wanting to dictate and control lives while they are doing exactly the same thing themselves. Imposing their morality on others. Both sides seem to want to control folks in different areas. Control freaks that stems from being damn gossipy busy bodies who think that their values are the only values, as they want to impose them on everyone. I would rather let folks do what they want to do as long as they were not killing or stealing, or driving like idiots. If you don't like prostitutes, don't give em any business. If you don't like the effect of pot, hell don't smoke any. But that ain't enough is it? No sir. Instead we just gotta force what we think is best upon others, and we will even do it by writing laws. The people that wanted prostitutes and druggies locked up are MUCH WORSE than the prostitutes and the druggies. Those are greater in immorality than the whores and the druggies.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

            Wisdom from the man who used to be called the father of conservatism.

            Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations - wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
            Edmund Burke

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
              While I agree that the war on drugs has been no more successful than the war on poverty, I think the problem is much deeper than law enforcement or bad laws. The problem is with morality and core values. We have too many people who want to write their own moral code. I don't refrain from murder because there is a law against it. I refrain from murder because it is immoral. If people were taught moral values, we would not need all these prisons.
              That is not quite it. The US is number one the 'prisoners per 100,000 of the population' list almost exclusively of our own doing as we manufacture too many ways to place people in prison and for way too long. Plenty of countries with far less "morality and core values" beat the US on this list, which means this has little to do with some nonsense about people wanting to write their own moral code. Becoming a nation of more Sunday bench warmers will not solve the problem.

              One key issue is we have a horrible criminal justice system that has become inefficient and costly, without any real respect for it, and by effect handles different groups of the population in very different ways. The disproportion is easy to see when you look at drug convictions or even violent crime convictions by race. Another huge issue is in comparison to other nations for the same crime we keep prisoners in jail much way too long having to deal with mandatory sentencing legislation. There is a constant push to be harder on crime with longer sentences and what we end up doing is creating a vicious cycle where we also end up topping the list of nations with the highest re-incarceration rates. That does not lead to respect for the law, it leads to a culture of expected incarceration in a very disproportionate way.

              Another key issue is a political pressure system of "anti-crime" legislation. We constantly look to new rounds and levels of law to handle concerns with no real care at all as to why we have the concern in the first place. It explains why gun laws here are ineffective, it also explains why the war on drugs has been a total and complete failure, and it also explains why concepts like "zero tolerance" and "mandatory sentencing" removes judicial reason from the application of justice in a case. The unintended consequence of this thinking is a system of justice that no one can respect. It is not a question of "morality and core values" in the sense of some massive march back to religion, as it is difficult to take that lesson from organizations bent on wealth accumulation and concentrations of power anyway.

              At it's core it is a question of community respect for one another in a current culture of societal based division and exclusion supported by a very broken system of justice. Of the western nations, we are near the top of the list in economic disparity. We also are in decline on economic mobility upward trends but on the rise in economic mobility downward trends. The problem will only get worse now as we are making our own manufactured problems worse. The costs to our economic system is immense, it was only a matter of time that it spilled over into our dealings with incarceration. Any look to social program efforts ends up in the political knee-jerk spectrum of "that is socialism" or "spending" reactions. Most ventures into rehabilitation efforts ends up in "soft on crime" brands. Doing something for education in our worst and more depressed economic areas ends up in "why bother" conversations.

              Between our anti-society views, our incessant need to divide and exclude, and a horrible non-respected criminal justice system we end up also topping the list of nations creating the highest levels of career criminals. It really is no real shock that we are where we are.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

                Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                That is not quite it. The US is number one the 'prisoners per 100,000 of the population' list almost exclusively of our own doing as we manufacture too many ways to place people in prison and for way too long. Plenty of countries with far less "morality and core values" beat the US on this list, which means this has little to do with some nonsense about people wanting to write their own moral code. Becoming a nation of more Sunday bench warmers will not solve the problem.

                One key issue is we have a horrible criminal justice system that has become inefficient and costly, without any real respect for it, and by effect handles different groups of the population in very different ways. The disproportion is easy to see when you look at drug convictions or even violent crime convictions by race. Another huge issue is in comparison to other nations for the same crime we keep prisoners in jail much way too long having to deal with mandatory sentencing legislation. There is a constant push to be harder on crime with longer sentences and what we end up doing is creating a vicious cycle where we also end up topping the list of nations with the highest re-incarceration rates. That does not lead to respect for the law, it leads to a culture of expected incarceration in a very disproportionate way.

                Another key issue is a political pressure system of "anti-crime" legislation. We constantly look to new rounds and levels of law to handle concerns with no real care at all as to why we have the concern in the first place. It explains why gun laws here are ineffective, it also explains why the war on drugs has been a total and complete failure, and it also explains why concepts like "zero tolerance" and "mandatory sentencing" removes judicial reason from the application of justice in a case. The unintended consequence of this thinking is a system of justice that no one can respect. It is not a question of "morality and core values" in the sense of some massive march back to religion, as it is difficult to take that lesson from organizations bent on wealth accumulation and concentrations of power anyway.

                At it's core it is a question of community respect for one another in a current culture of societal based division and exclusion supported by a very broken system of justice. Of the western nations, we are near the top of the list in economic disparity. We also are in decline on economic mobility upward trends but on the rise in economic mobility downward trends. The problem will only get worse now as we are making our own manufactured problems worse. The costs to our economic system is immense, it was only a matter of time that it spilled over into our dealings with incarceration. Any look to social program efforts ends up in the political knee-jerk spectrum of "that is socialism" or "spending" reactions. Most ventures into rehabilitation efforts ends up in "soft on crime" brands. Doing something for education in our worst and more depressed economic areas ends up in "why bother" conversations.

                Between our anti-society views, our incessant need to divide and exclude, and a horrible non-respected criminal justice system we end up also topping the list of nations creating the highest levels of career criminals. It really is no real shock that we are where we are.
                Our criminal justice system is just another element of the nanny state. People want to be protected from every ill they could possibly encounter in this life. They continually push for more laws and bigger government to take care of them whether it is a restaurant inspector of a cop on the beat. Grow government and they have to do something to justify their existence. Cut government and the less important functions go away. Chasing pot smokers would disappear if the money wasn't there to chase or incarcerate them.

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                • #9
                  Re: Bravo conservatives, you would have my support!

                  Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                  Our criminal justice system is just another element of the nanny state. People want to be protected from every ill they could possibly encounter in this life. They continually push for more laws and bigger government to take care of them whether it is a restaurant inspector of a cop on the beat. Grow government and they have to do something to justify their existence. Cut government and the less important functions go away. Chasing pot smokers would disappear if the money wasn't there to chase or incarcerate them.
                  Not it at all, but I am sure it sounds good to you so run with it...

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