Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crime and Punishment

The American prison system is insanely flawed. Our answer in the 1980s was privatized prisons. Thirty  years later we see the effects of what we had created and they havent seemed to work. This follows along with the War against drugs as well. Many people believe that the war against drugs has created criminals and that is one of the biggest factors in our over crowding. The United States makes up 25% of the entire worlds prison population. No other country comes even close. Our lack of understanding of drugs like Marijuana have created criminals all because we have deemed a plant evil. I'm not someone who wants drugs legalized but maybe instead we need to reevaluate our position on drugs. Instead of treating drug addicts as criminals maybe we should focus all our prison spending money on the treatment of these so called "criminals". The medical field is already the largest money maker in the united states. Certain countries have taken the initiative to change this idea of the drug addict. )

In 2001 Portugal became the forerunner for what seemed like an insane policy. Portugal was to decriminalize all drugs. People then could carry 25 grams of marijuana, 1 gram of herion, 2 grams of cocaine without penalty. You could also openly use and distribute. That was 12 years ago. Use has now dropped through the roof. I like to call this the "Rebel" aspect. Their country is doing great right now and this program is working.

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Another major issue here is that most of these people have ignored is some of the contracts the states our signing with corporations that control prisons. Most of these corporations won't even touch a state prison unless they are guaranteed that there will be roughly about 1,000 beds per block and the prison will have to have the ability to hold a 90% occupation rate. This basically makes a business out of creating criminals. Most of these facilities that were supposed to create better  places for women wont even take women because of their high healthcare costs. If many of these private prisons took in women they would loose money. The idea of privatized prisons were a great idea in the short term but in the long run the eventually start swallowing up the profits.

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Let me know what you guys think...

-Johnny Lee Fields

1 comment:

  1. The Portugal piece was interesting. I never knew a country decriminalized a vast amount of drugs. And that usage has gone down is entirely mind-blowing. But that is besides the point. Privatizing prisons has affected more of us than we care to know. The way they bring in money is almost criminal in itself. The prison system was supposed to reform those criminals, but instead, relapse rate is high. Most of the time, once you're in, you'll probably become a repeat offender. And that's how privatized prisons make their cash. And they cost the same amount whether public or private to the state. So whatever benefits were thought possible by the state are basically gone.