Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Can Fix Our Ailing Prison Systems

I should probably begin this blog with a little explanation of what is motivating me here. I spent a couple of hours last night watching "Gangland" on the History Channel. For those of you who have not seen this show, the title is pretty self explanatory. Each episode generally spotlights a different specific gang. Some gangs in prison, some gangs outside of prison, some gangs spanning both.

After all of that depressing crap documenting the downward spiral of society, today, I cruised on over to itdontmakesense.blogspot.com to see what Nickie had to say and wouldn't you know it, it was about prisons. What it comes down to is that the California prison system is in a real bad way. Many prisons around the country are not functioning so well and the economic situation is not making it any better. Many prisons are severely overcrowded and understaffed and this poses a lot of obvious problems. You can find the article about the California State Prison Mess here. My focus is going to be a bit more broad.

It is true that the justice system in this country is a barely functioning farce where you may get a stiffer sentence for possessing drugs or driving under the influence than for armed robbery, rape, or murder. When somebody does land themselves in prison, the horseshit only gets deeper from there. I'm not going to go into great detail on what our prison system costs, I think for my topic some basics will be sufficient.

Our prison systems are a money pit, plain and simple. There were roughly 2.3 million people in United States prisons as of 2008. That means that approximately 1 out of every 100 adults was behind bars. Somewhere very near 3,300 of those incarcerated were on death row having been sentenced to die but instead soaking up taxpayer money for an average of about 14 and a half years. In order to house and feed your average inmate it costs on average, about 40 to $45,000 dollars per year not including extras and medical problems and such. This comes out to something like $101,250,000,000 per year. Now tack on all the medical issues that are going to occur. Many prisons will employ their own doctors but specialists are contracted out. We all know how government contractors work, think Halliburton. One urologist charged California's prison system $2,036 an hour to treat inmates. An orthopedic surgeon billed the state for 30 hours' work for a single day.

Tell me any of this surprises you? Seriously, would we expect anything less? Should we accept this?

The best part of all this is who is in prison for what. Take a look at some of these:

TYPE OF OFFENSE (Sentenced Pop. Only) - Federal Prisoners

Drug Offenses 59.6%

Robbery 9.8%

Property Offenses 5.5%

Extortion, Fraud, Bribery 6.8%

Violent Offenses 2.7%

Firearms, Explosives, Arson 8.6%

White Collar 1.0%

Immigration 2.8%

Courts or Corrections 0.8%

National Security 0.1%

Continuing Criminal Enterprise 0.8%

Miscellaneous 1.5%

So basically, more than half of our prison population is in prison over "drug offenses." We spend over 50 billion dollars a year to keep people in prison over drugs. Now I'm not absolutely sure what constitutes a "drug offense." Maybe some readers can help me out. My impression is that it means using, selling, buying, not murdering a family while under the influence but I could be wrong. Reading through the rest some of them I'm not sure of like the obvious Miscellaneous category.

What's the point of all this Dillinger? I can fix out prison problems. This is not a difficult issue at all. It may have a lot of parts to it and I may not manage to remember some of those here but I'm going to do my best to point out the most obvious.

First and foremost, you want to cut prison money you need to cut prison population this is true. We legalize drugs. Before you shut me off hear me out. We legalize all drugs and we regulate them like cigarettes or alcohol. All drugs are heavily taxed just like cigarettes and alcohol, this would bring it a lot of money for state and or federal government agencies. This would create a ton of jobs all across the board whether it be cultivating, manufacturing, processing, regulating, and so on and so forth. In addition to this, the illegal drug market would wither and if not die it would be virtually obsolete. Not many people are going to go buy drugs on the corner from some shady fuck when they can buy them in the seven eleven.

Now we've drastically cut crime related to distribution and pursuit of drugs. We've cut off a major avenue of financial survival of the gang element and we've put a severe cramp in Mexico's drug cartel and violence issues because we don't need their drugs anymore. Drugs are bad in many cases, you would create a monster you may be thinking. For a while we probably would but that can be kept under control as well. When you go to the store to buy drugs, whatever they be, you must sign a wavor and your information is put into a database.

Your waver says basically that you will not further distribute the drugs, this would be a crime. The wavor also says that if you do not use them in a responsible manner (i.e., overdose, crimes under the influence, etc.) there will be much more severe consequences than the same crime without drugs. If you drive and kill somebody or cause injury to somebody else you will pay heartily and accordingly. If you overdose you will not be revived, you will be hauled away and straight to the morgue. Insurance and taxpayers will not pay to help support your habit. Overdoses would be drastically cut in the first place by simple regulation. When you bought it you would know exactly what you were getting.

At first you would have a spike in use I'm quite sure, but eventually it would slow down significantly with the loss of the stigma and it would become no different than alcohol or cigarettes.

There's obviously a lot more involved than what can be simply stated here but that's the basic idea. Far fewer drug related crimes, and far fewer stupid hippies getting sent to jail for having a bag of pot in the glove box of their shitty Volkswagen on the way to burning man and far fewer criminal elements building empires on such things.

Next we must punish people according to their crimes. The only way to keep people out of prison is to simply make the punishment so unbearable that even the most hardened criminals fear it. As it is now the criminal element practically runs prisons. Prisoners get cable tv, books, educations, time to work out, medical treatment, etc. Why the hell do we pay for this. Obviously some people can be rehabilitated and should be. Some people maybe could be but simply don't deserve it. We need to figure this out first but I have some basic ground rules.

You will not get any luxuries in prison. There will be no books, magazines, or letters, no paining, no drawing, no nothing to pass the time. You will sit in your cell and think about what you have done or you will be working and working your ass off. There will be no gym equipment, no yard time to run or play basketball. We do not need to build bigger, stronger criminals who are in better (more dangerous) condition than when you went in. You will get no television at all, none! You will live in a cell that is barely big enough to house a single inmate, his bed and his toilet and that is it, you get nothing else. Meals will be just enough to keep you alive and nothing more. No dessert, no Sunday special meals, just meat, potatoes, and a piece of bread. If you qualify, meaning your first time in prison and it did not involve a heinous crime such as murder, rape, molestation, you can qualify for an education and attempted rehab. There should be no air conditioning and no heat. Make no mistake, if you go to prison, you will suffer.

As far as the above mentioned heinous crimes, I have a solution for this as well. If you commit pre-meditated murder you will die. No fancy methods either, if you take the life of another person you qualify for the ultimate in governmental moneymakers I'll explain very soon.

If you're in our prison for immigrating illegally we kick you out with the warning that if you return illegally you will get to play a part in my plan that is yet to come.

If you are a legitimate threat to national security you get to play a part in the plan yet to come.

White collar crimes cost the government and the public billions of dollars each year, you should get no less of a sentence than somebody who walked into a bank and held it up for the same amount of money at gunpoint. It may not be physical harm being caused but the financial harm may be nearly as bad. This especially includes internet crimes such as hacking and fraud. Find something better to do with your fucking time. If you are caught creating hacking programs or viruses you will get an part in the plan yet to come.

If you rape somebody or molest, you also qualify for the my new government program. Before you do though, you will be castrated and then allowed to heal first.

If you repeatedly cause harm to the public or commit armed crimes 3 strikes and you're out, or you're in my new program better yet.

All of these things go for "mentally ill" offenders as well. You can't fix stupid and you can't fix retarded so you might as well deal with it in a manner that will keep it focused and not causing more harm.

Gang related crimes automatically gain you two strikes the first time. The message, joining a gang is not a good idea.

What is this great plan you may be wondering. Here it is. My solution has two parts. The first one should appease the retards at PETA. We have a lot of medications, cosmetics, and general medical things to study for the good of society. You decided to harm society and now you will have the chance to help it. If medical research companies want to buy you, you belong to the state now and you will be sold to them for research purposes until they are finished with you or you die. If they finish with you and nobody else wants you, you then qualify for part two of my plan along with all those who were not purchased by these companies.

Part two of my plan is a grand one I assure you. Remember the good old days of the Roman empire when the masses could head on down the the Colosseum for a gladiator fight, a reenacted sea battle or some other famous land battle. Of course you don't, it was too long ago, but you will, part 2 of my plan will bring it back.

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Chariot races abound, it will be a grand event.

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I personally will have season tickets. We have plenty of stadiums around the country to house it, we charge heartily for it, and all the money can go back into government systems. This way we discourage some crimes, we rid the world of criminals who can't be deterred, and the public is entertained in the process at a profit. Not politically correct? Against human rights? Maybe, but I don't like political correctness anyhow, if you don't care so little about the rights of others that you violate them willingly and in the right manner then you have given up yours.

Humans love to waste money and to feel like they're helping those who are less fortunate or other stupid designations of the sort. I don't, I like a society that functions properly and protects the rights and the lives of those who are deserving. I like feeling safe when I walk in the street after dark no matter where it is I may choose to walk. Society is simply better off without some people. There really are people that cannot be saved and there isn't a single reason why we should keep them around clogging up prisons and burning up taxpayer money. I like solving problems and this is the only type of prison reform that will ever actually work.

2 comments:

Nickie Goomba said...

Man, there's a lot to like here. There are some serious suggestions and serious reforms that should be discussed seriously. We're just constantly talking to the legislators who don't worry about re-election. The Dems rule "Golden State" politics.

In California, the main opponent to prison reform is the union that represents Prison Guards.

They don't want any changes that will mean less overtime, more hiring, more work, or privatization of prisons. In other words, the unions own Sacramento and the prisons.

The union will decide what will be done, and it won't be based on public safety.

Dillinger737 said...

I agree, the union is one of the groups with the biggest share of blame in the downward spiral of business in our country in general. They're absolutely nothing more than legal mafia.