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View Diary: The Monster we've created (161 comments)

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  •  am willing to bet strong opposition by CCA (8+ / 0-)

    Corrections Corporation of America, the lead in the for-profit incarceration industry

    absent criminalization of minor drug offenses they would almost certainly lose money

    I am also betting that they anticipated this might happen which is why they have pushed for strict laws and imprisonment of undocumented aliens - another source of revenue for them

    I realize this will be somewhat off topic, but once the profit motive is allowed to dominate aspects of what should be the Commons, the function of government, several things begin to happen

    - democracy begins to wane
    - the rights of individuals to be protected against governments also begins to disappear, as non-state actors are not the target of the Bill of Rights

    The so-called War on Drugs illustrates another aspect of this:

    -  targets minorities, as was especially seen in the disparate sentencing for crack versus powdered cocaine
    - disrupts minority families as those imprisoned for drug offenses are often incarcerated far from their homes, whether within state or if shipped out of state
    - reduces rights as ex-convicts in some states do not automatically get voting rights restored, and meanwhile are barred not only from voting but also from many positions requiring licenses - this often forces them into lower income employment without benefits

    There is of course the additional factor that prison industries often profit mightily from the undercompensated labor of those imprisoned, at the same time that labor cost drives wages down outside of the prison

    there is so much wrong with our criminal justice system

    it is worth noting that we not only have the world's highest gun death rate among democratic governments, but we also have the world's highest incarceration rate, by quite some distance.  Oh, and compared to other nations, whose drug laws are not so draconian, we also have a much higher level of violence of all kinds.

    Just a few random thoughts this morning

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:20:38 AM PST

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