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View Diary: Texas Wants to Shame Its Criminals Into Reformation (21 comments)

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  •  Tough on crime policies... (8+ / 0-)

    ...are real crowd-pleasers all the time, no matter how stupid, punitive, and regressive these policies are.

    The US is a leader in incarceration rates, especially for nonviolent and consensual "crimes". It is an embarrassment. I'd suggest firing the politicians responsible, but our (generally) stupid and vicious public would probably replace them with people who are even worse.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:45:35 PM PDT

    •  You forgot "expensive". (11+ / 0-)

      It costs incredible amounts of money to keep minor offenders locked up, yet that's what we do (and the private prison industry loves it). But still, we have a populace (at least here in Texas) that hates taxes enough to keep voting for morons who cut billions from their kids' education. Not a peep about prison spending, though. And cutting education and other social supports may very well result in more prisoners. And so it goes.

    •  P.S. Sparhawk, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, thomask, commonmass, elginblt, kyril

      I disagree with you on some matters, but this is one in which Libertarians and Democrats like myself should be in full agreement: depriving a person of his liberty by incarcerating him is a very serious matter, and should never have become as routine as it is now for minor and victimless "crimes". Thank you, war on drugs!

      And of course we don't have just one justice system, but many, based on the means and standing of those accused. If every little suburban twit who got caught with a doobie was treated the same as a minority citizen from a bad neighborhood, people might wake up.

      •  I disagree with many people on many matters (7+ / 0-)

        I think it's one of my finest characteristics :)

        That being said, libertarian Democrats and less libertarian Democrats can make common cause in ending stupid and counterproductive abuses like these.

        And of course we don't have just one justice system, but many, based on the means and standing of those accused. If every little suburban twit who got caught with a doobie was treated the same as a minority citizen from a bad neighborhood, people might wake up.
        Decriminalization of consensual activities is imperative to achieve your dream. As long as prosecutors and police have the tools in place to charge such 'offenders' with disproportionate penalties, they will pretty much always tend to charge disfavored persons more heavily than others. This is not necessarily due to evil intent all the time (systemic biases can play a role), but happens the same anyway.

        It is important that these tools be removed from the hands of police and prosecutors so they lack the power and discretion to do the wrong thing. They will argue and sing sad songs that they need these tools to deter crime and do their jobs, but they don't. There is simply no reason under just about any circumstance that any user of drugs or person involved in (consensual, adult, nontrafficking) prostitution should ever see the inside of a jail cell. So police and the state should simply have the option removed from their powers.

        Again, police, prosecutors, the DEA, the prison industry, and various moralizing 'interest groups' like churches will whine endlessly about this. Their pleas must be ignored.

        After that is done, we can argue about what to do with the saved money. I'll tell you what: let's split the difference and put half into schools, health care, and social welfare programs, and give the other half back to the people as a tax cut. Win/win no matter your political persuasion, unless you're an ambitious DA or you run a prison. Tough luck to those people.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:41:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  also our recidivism rate is 2x or 3x what other (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, SoCalSal, Yasuragi

      industrialized nations have (though people argue I am comparing apples to oranges since EU countries are homogenous)

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