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French economist Frederick Bastiat once wrote:

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
The foregoing quote quite clearly defines what is happening in America today.  Our society is in fact being plundered - morally and financially.  In this effort they have created a legal system that enables and encourages this plunder through harsh criminal justice laws, sentences and little in the form of true rehabilitation and a moral code that does indeed glorify such plunder off freedom stolen from those they exploit.

None of this would have been possible in 1970 - not even in 1980...but with the election of Ronnie RayGun in 1980 all that changed...

Knowing a picture is worth more than a thousand words, I'm going to provide the reader with a visualization of what is factually going on in the U.S.

Just take a look at these charts and that tells the sordid story of where profiting off of incarceration began and leads us to where we are as a nation today with the third chart showing where we're projected to be by 2025.
corr2

US_incarceration_timeline-clean

tis costs

Now let's take a look at the revenue stream of CCA for just the 5 year period from 2003 to 2008:
CCA financial 2003-2008

We can easily determine that as incarceration increases, so does the costs of that incarceration and finally so does the profit off of imprisonment.  One would be right to think that the US is plagued with a violent society who steal, rape, pillage, plunder and kill with great regularity.  However that assumption would be wrong.  Here is a chart showing the crime rates in the U.S. since 1990:

blog_fbi_crime_rate_2009_1_thumb_thumb (source: FBI statistics)

With the attention to "conservative" principals brought to the oval office in the form of Ronald Reagan came a partnership with the young American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Reagan wanted a war on drugs, increased criminal justice laws to lengthen sentences, provide mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun crimes and reduced opportunities for parole and rehabilitation.  ALEC was there from day one of Reagan's presidency, with their National Chairman chosen by Reagan to sit upon a Federal Task Force tasked with establishing policies and an agenda on incarceration and privatization of government services and facilities.

Today we're back to open discrimination and racism on the part of these conservatives and the cabal - going after African American's and Latinos to incarcerate, detain and profit off of.  Think I'm being overly progressive with that claim?  Take a look at this chart:

Inprisonment_Rates

This cabal is taking all of us back 100 years or more with their initiatives and agenda - they want us back where government didn't adequately support minorities; women, Blacks, Hispanics or Asians...to a time when only a certain "class" of American had any real rights - white Caucasian males.  They voted, ran companies and determined policies in their communities and through politics, the country.

The current partnership between ALEC and corporate money was a marriage of policies and beliefs that began the downward slide of our nation as a society and an upward climb of corporate profits and control.  Today we are seeing the culmination of what Ronnie RayGun began so many years ago.  Through ALEC and their cabal of institutes, foundations, "universities" and faux science and economics, we have all been led down a slippery slope leading to fascism.  Yeah, I know nobody wants to hear or use that word - or ever consider that the vaunted U.S. would be accused of participating in anything so insidiously evil - yet here we are.  Conservatives are actively trying to incarcerate more (in the face of less crime), return our society to a time of yesteryear where women had no rights - or voice in policy or legislation affecting them - and to a time when minorities were subjected to the will and "authority" of male Caucasians.  These "new" policies are being proposed and passed by state lawmakers belonging to ALEC.  The reports, scientific data and studies they use are provided by affiliates such as Heritage Foundation, Reason Foundation, CATO, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Pacific Legal Research Institute, Heartland Institute, Pacific Legal Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce...and an endless list of others associated with ALEC and funded by the likes of Charles and David Koch's family foundations, the Bradley Foundation, Scaife Foundation, Coor's Castle Rock Foundation, JM Olin Foundation and the FREE Foundation (trips and seminars for federal judges, state appellate and supreme court judges and evangelical religious leaders).  To make matters worse, we're faced with the Federalist Society, American's for Prosperity, American's for Tax Reform and dozens of conservative publications and media outlets such as Fox News.  Today the influences bought and paid for by this cabal reach through our Congress and right into the SCOTUS with no less than four Supreme Court Justices now compromised by the ideologies of ALEC and the Kochs.  They have installed a huge internship network to recruit college students and begin indoctrinating them and placing them in key positions within the cabal - the revolving door is used to transfer these individuals between the private and public sectors, making influence work smoothly.

Fascism - tough term and gives us all a case of the shivers - but it is what it is.  Today through decisions by SCOTUS we now have unlimited corporate money being poured into election campaigns as witnessed by the likes of an Adelson, Foster Friess, Charles Koch who are outright trying to buy their way to control over our government through weak Republican candidates.  Why else would billionaires be dumping tens of millions of dollars into individual campaigns of the likes of Gingrich, Santorum and Romney?  If one of  these creatures successfully won the 2012 election - what would Koch, Adelson or Friess expect in return?  How could "their" president refuse them anything after they spent millions to win them the oval office?  Do any of us have doubts about the future of America if any one of the current Republican candidates win the upcoming election and take over the executive branch?  What will happen to America if they have the SCOTUS in their pockets, 100+ ALEC Congressional alumni in their pockets, 22 Conservative Republican Governors and more than 2000 ALEC members serving in state legislatures?

When we understand that the likes of Koch and the corporations are behind all of this we're faced with today, the picture becomes clearer.  Much is at risk and to continue their agenda and replace some of the tens of millions of dollars they are spending to buy America - they need a return on those expenditures.  This is where prison and prison industries come in.

I'm sure everyone by now is aware of the latest prison privatization battles ongoing in FL., MI., OH. and elsewhere.  Each of these policies are being pursued in red states with Republican majorities and with Republican Governors.  It should be easy under those conditions to simply craft what they want and push it down the throats of the voters - but it isn't turning out to be quite that easy.  Let's look at the latest from Florida.  We know that Governor Rick Scott attempted to sneak a privatization bill through last year in the budget to privatize fully 1/3 of the state's prison system.  That was held unconstitutional and he and Republican lawmakers vowed to again try this year.  Since January they have been working on doing just that.   The first thing they did was to suspend the rules and "fast track" the privatization legislation.  This is a manipulation of our legislative rules all of you should be aware of and start researching - it is used to limit discussion on legislation and if a quorum is present once that discussion is concluded, the bill is voted on and passed or defeated based upon the members present at the time (this is how the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act [AETA] was passed in Congress in 2005 with only 5 total house members present and voting).

Last week there was a convergence of supporters, opponents, lobbyists, union reps and activists filling Tallahassee - all in either support of or against privatizing 29 state prison facilities. After a contentious battle the legislation was put to a vote and ultimately defeated by a vote of 21-19.  While this can be considered a victory for opponents of privatization - it is by no means the end of the battle there in Florida or elsewhere (right now MI. is in the midst of a similar battle both on issue and contentiousness).  Now the FL. Senate President and Governor Scott have announced that the Governor has the authority to privatize prison institutions on a case by case basis and it appears Scott is considering doing just that.  There is no doubt this issue is going to return to the House and Senate in Florida next year...and the year after until the corporations and lawmakers they own get their way.

Now that the immediate furor is over in Florida, reports are coming out about the battle that was had over this issue in the House and Senate - the brow beating, threats, arm twisting and ultimately the need for Republican lawmakers to provide security for one of the other lawmakers who refused to give in and vote for privatization.  This member had suffered several heart attacks and was besotted by fellow party members to change her position.  This continued until she had to be secreted away from supporting lawmakers and physically protected from further stress:

What are things in the Florida Legislature coming to when one senator needs protection to walk on the Senate floor? • The debate over privatizing much of Florida's prison system last week probably marks one of the few times a couple of senators provided an escort for one of their colleagues — from the opposing political party, no less. • It attracted little attention last week when Sens. Charles Dean, R-Inverness, and Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, walked onto the Senate floor before the debate on privatizing prisons with Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, between them. • Bullard, who has been seriously ill with a recurring heart condition, had been in tears after days of pressure from Senate leaders and lobbyists who wanted her to be the deciding vote in favor of a bill that would have privatized 27 South Florida prisons.

On the day of the final Senate vote, Rich and several other women senators accompanied Bullard back to her office after extricating her from a committee room where she had been lobbied by Thrasher and Alexander.

Summoned by Rich, Sens. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, stayed with Bullard for the remainder of the day to fend off colleagues determined to change her mind.

Gibson said supporters of the prison privatization bill were "dead-set to get it through at whatever cost."

"But we had the same vehemence to make sure she was able to be there and vote and not in the hospital,'' Gibson added. "Nobody should pounce on somebody's weakness. That's just not right.''

Gibson and Joyner got lunch for Bullard and watched as Dean came to visit and promised to protect her. Bullard said Dean, a gruff former sheriff who is also a veteran legislator, had tears in his eyes when he arrived at her office.

Dean said he told Bullard she would be safe "with the biggest guy in the world sitting next to you.''

I know the cabal is now after our public education (privatization), our local city and communities through Emergency Management legislation (MI. voiding the government elected by voters), our utilities (privatization) and our manufacturing and public sector jobs (prison industries).  They are pursuing limiting the vote of minorities (again) in more than half of our states so the majorities they have in many states remain, and are redistricting once again to eliminate districts representing Democrats.  They want to end legal abortion and regardless that it is a right protected and previously decided by the Supreme Court they choose to deny us that right - and are pushing cases forward through the courts to our SCOTUS to have Roe V Wade revisited by this SCOTUS...one that is heavily conservative with ties to the cabal through the federalist society (Alito, Scalia and Thomas are alumni and possibly Roberts) and more importantly five of the justices are bought and paid for with corporate money and at least two of them have made the pilgrimage to one or more of the Koch Secret meetings where they rubbed elbows with the corporate elite and wealthy Conservative donors of the Koch "Million Dollar" club.  Again, I believe a picture is more descriptive than my words can ever be on this subject, so here's how I see it:

scotus_corp

Since few want to call all this fascism I've termed it a Corporatocracy...recently another more knowledgeable than I called it a kleptocracy (stealing our democracy, wealth, education, jobs and future of our children).  No matter the terminology you use - what I've described above is factual and it is happening - and happening right now!  We know of the cabal here at DK due to my writing and the numerous other diarists addressing all of this...the Occupy movement gets it and has begun protesting ALEC and have called for a national protest against ALEC and the corporations on February 29th (F-29).  They are joining us in Charlotte in May and again in Salt Lake City at scheduled ALEC "conferences" where more despicable legislation will be formulated and dispensed back to every state.

I keep writing, presenting and speaking about this and have tried to convince Progressive groups, Unions and Labor groups, individuals and associations that unless and until we abolish ALEC - these bills will continue to be sent out from their HQ in DC year after year, session after session until they get what they want.  We literally have to rip the head off the snake before we'll get any relief.  Until then it is unproductive to attempt to reverse what they've done and continue to do with their agenda.  The cabal has our money, our government representatives, our courts...but they damn sure do not have our votes or our voices.  Both need to be put to good use in 2012 and beyond.  The situation has reached critical mass and to end this shit we simply have to vote and vote smart.  Visit ALEC exposed and check out the "Politicians" page of known ALEC members and see which legislators must be voted out of office.  Visit ALEC's site under "Federal Relations" and read their list of current Congressional Alumni to see which Congressional members must be voted from office. Until the November election take an active part in the now nationwide pursuit of protesting and abolishing ALEC - and continue on with us after the election to build support for 2014 to remove more of them from our political landscape.

Got side tracked from the original content - prison industries and privatization.  I'll briefly go back to it here...saying they're making one hell of a lot of money off of the sweat and freedoms of hundreds of thousands of us in their factories and billions in profits from running our prisons.  Again it is morally just plain wrong and unAmerican.  Please help us oppose privatization of prisons and prison industries in every state.  As long as there is profit in incarceration, it will never be reformed.  Once the profit stops and corporations are removed, our states will have the funds for public education programs, healthcare and many other things that are now taking a back seat to corporations.

Finally - let me leave you with another visual image of the cabal:

imageDownload (8)
Sorry it is so large it won't entirely fit on this page so you can read all the names, organizations and groups.  This is what we are protesting and trying to abolish altogether from our government and society.

In solidarity....

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 04:54 PM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, Earthship Koch, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

Poll

Would you support a privately operated non-profit prison? One operated with no profit incentive and with rehabilitation as the goal?

33%50 votes
22%34 votes
10%16 votes
2%4 votes
30%46 votes

| 150 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I do not believe the present system can be (8+ / 0-)

    cleaned up or as  you say, "end this shit",......

    the game is rigged and becoming more rigged every day....

    no this system is broken and needs an overhaul.....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:04:11 PM PST

    •  The alternative to not trying our best to clean it (20+ / 0-)

      up is too depressing to even consider.  They have our money our jobs and are going after all we have left to fight with - our voices and votes.  If we don't stop them here there will be fewer to vote in the coming elections - and those of us who are speaking out will find ourselves on domestic terrorist lists for our activism.

      This dilemma is akin to the one we Dem's find ourselves in regarding President Obama...he isn't as progressive as we wanted and expected on some tough issues (regardless of Congress tying his hands) but the alternative is completely out of the question...

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:23:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you probably already are on a list....see (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary, sb, chipmo

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/...

        the game is rigged and if you continue to try to win in a rigged game, you are simply hitting your proverbial head against the wall.....

        we need to overhaul the entire system.....

        The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by Mindmover on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:30:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm aware of this and that ALEC back in March (19+ / 0-)

          identified myself and three other Kossacks to their state chairmen and told them to monitor our activities here on DK, so I presume you are right.  However, that doesn't mean I'm going to lay back and stop going after them - not the government itself - but those who have subverted it for their own profits, personal and corporate.  If we don't speak up and out about this, nothing will get done.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:38:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will simply ask how you intend to change a... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sb, chipmo

            system that is totally rigged for those who have laid the ground rules of the game.....

            you are playing monopoly with people who own the bank and very soon all the property......

            The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

            by Mindmover on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:49:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mindmover, you sound like you have given up? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pat bunny, Bob Sloan, Catte Nappe

              I haven't and neither have the millions who came out to support OWS.  We are aware and becoming more and more aware each week.

              Bob's work on the cabal is great and he has tied so many disparate things together.  Word is getting out and more and more people are waking up.

              The real key is getting rid of the corrupt politicians who are owned by ALEC.  With the TeaBag movement falling apart and the rest of us awake over the Birth Control flap we need to get out side to vote.

              Congressional elections have consequences!

              by Cordyc on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:15:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well said and on point - vote and vote SMART this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glitterscale

                time and the next.  This is the surest way to get rid of the nastiness of this cabal...and if those we choose to replace ALEC members and alumni begin to falter, replace them and make the first term for any lawmaker a probationary term.  In that manner we can take back the right to be heard and have our representatives speak for us - and not them.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:52:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Bob - once again I thank you for your ongoing (5+ / 0-)

            effort to keep this issue front and forward.

            Prison exists to incarcerate those who broke the law. The humane goal is rehabilitation, which is in keeping with the fundamental goals of our democracy. From its inception, our government was founded to protect and serve the people.

            Prison privatization goes against the very foundations of democracy. Privatization is a cultural evil and a social destabilizer. There are sociopaths and psychopaths whose behavior can only be contained by incarceration, but the vast majority of the incarcerated are capable of and deserve to be rehabilitated.

            Education, job training and role modeling can help bring incarcerated individuals back into society and the work force. That is the appropriate role of incarceration.

            Using the prison population as a commercial work force is so wrong on so many fronts. I intend to contact Leahy's office, as he heads the Senate Judiciary, and see who is the contact for prisons in his office. I'll follow up to see who is monitoring what.

            •  Mention that DoJ is helping to fund (5+ / 0-)

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:52:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  So glad to see you taking an active part by (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, greeseyparrot

              contacting Leahy.  I've contacted many lawmakers but as a single voice I have little impact.  Now that the curtain has been pulled from ALEC and their pursuits of fostering profiteering from incarceration, others voicing the same concerns may get attention.  Good idea and application.

              This is why some of us have been looking at an alternative to for profit prisons...anytime we ask our lawmakers to change a venue, we must have a ready and well thought out "alternative" to that which we object to.

              Non-profit prison would save the taxpayers and allow a budget to address rehabilitation and actual programs geared to reducing recidivism...until there are more empty beds than full ones.  Today too little is spent on true reentry assistance and those involved in it are sadly in it for the money.  Prison Fellowship Ministries (Chuck Colson and Pat Nolan) is a long time ALEC member and they control the largest reentry program in the U.S.  Again, get the money and those who return to prison provide job security and financial streams for the future and continued greed.

              "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

              by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:59:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Our Vermont Democratic governor is very (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, Bob Sloan, greeseyparrot

                concerned about prisoners sent out of state to serve sentences to contain costs. He is bringing prisoners back into the state to serve.

                I'll also check into whether or not our state engages in using prison labor for profit.

                Thanks to you and WoE for the links. I'll do my best to have a reasonable grasp of facts and options before I make the calls.

                In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of. ~ Confucius

                by 4Freedom on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:21:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Glad to have your interest and assistance on a (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4Freedom

                  local level.  This is what is needed - boots on the ground in each state researching and speaking to their lawmakers to understand the impact in each state.

                  Wish more were so involved.

                  "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                  by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:18:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I do too. Prison is a fact of life in our society. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bob Sloan

                    Prisoners don't lose their humanity because life events landed them in prison. And way too many reasons land people in prison at great public expense.

                    A sane and rehabilitation-oriented period of incarceration can be a social benefit. It would both reduce recidivism and provide inmates with better life options after their incarceration.

                    There is also a cost-benefit from this approach. It saves taxpayer dollars through shorter prison terms and parolees not returning.

                    Turning our prisons into a for-profit situation is morally wrong. It is slavery by another name, and is more oriented towards punishment than rehabilitation.

                    I will do whatever I can to help re-direct America's prisons towards rehabilitation. I feel very fortunate to live in a state that takes this approach statewide.

                    In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of. ~ Confucius

                    by 4Freedom on Sat Feb 25, 2012 at 12:08:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Great analysis and observation. It is this kind (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      4Freedom

                      of thinking that will eventually return our society to sanity regarding how we combat crime - effectively and efficiently.  When profits are removed from the equation we can then work to reform rather than profit from prison.

                      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                      by Bob Sloan on Sat Feb 25, 2012 at 09:16:48 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Hazards of the non-profit arena (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greeseyparrot

                Such efforts can start out with great enthusiasm on all sides - mutual admiration at the press conference announcing the partnership.

                Then, a few years down the road, government needs to trim it's budget, and there isn't quite enough money to really do a good job at the rehabilitation part. And over several years there is less and less. Until the non-profit entity is sitting there essentially being an underpaid holding cell for inmates. And if the contract is per diem, they too face the problems of operating with less than full (or near full) capacity. I have seen it happen too many times.

                from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

                by Catte Nappe on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:21:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It always ends up being the last man standing (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catte Nappe, greeseyparrot

                  when budgets are pared.  Historically it is the prison budgets that are the first to be trimmed, then education followed by social programs.  With the involvement of private prison companies the corrections budgets have to take into effect their "contractual obligations" and that means education, welfare, healthcare and similar programs all are cut rather than default on a prison contract.  Every contract has strict provisions for default and this keeps the state cutting elsewhere to avoid such default and paying out huge penalties.

                  "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                  by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:21:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Right on, Bob! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mentatmark

            The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

            by a2nite on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:36:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yikes. Do we know who? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe

            Me?

            WOE

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:25:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Prisoners in several states are being sentenced (28+ / 0-)

    to long prison terms - for minor offenses.  These inmates are forced to work - for nothing, and a private corporation makes money from that labor.  The more laws that put people in jail that get passed, the bigger the labor pool.

    It's modern day slavery.  #1 type of person incarcerated?  A black man smoking or holding marijuana.

    The Drug War, Three Strikes, etc., have given us the world's highest incarceration rate.  People are being made into slaves - and they are dying in prison by rape, attack, disease, murder, lack of health care (certainly in my state), lack of sanitary conditions, etc.  There are many, many people in prison for what you and I might do occasionally for fun.

    It is in the CCA's financial best interests to increase the number of people incarcerated.  It's free labor.  Wonder why there are no jobs?  Many jobs are now done by prisoners.  Wonder why the US is still the biggest manufacturer, but there aren't any manufacturing jobs?  It's done in a prison now.  There are some functions of government that should NEVER be privatized.  Prisons are not supposed to make a profit.  This is very, very wrong.

    #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

    by Evolutionary on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:22:59 PM PST

    •  Even worse is that they use the cover story (20+ / 0-)

      of job training as the rationale for using inmates for manufacturing labor - preparing them for jobs in industry once they leave prison ... great PR stuff.  But as you mentioned above, those jobs no longer exist outside the prison system.  So when a prisoner has served his time he gets out with no marketable skills despite the "job training" he received, a perfect recipe for recidivism, and hence even more profit for the private jailers.  There are a lot of evil things in American political games, but this situation is among the worst.  There should never be a profit motive behind incarceration policy.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 06:58:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely. I've long argued that when those (20+ / 0-)

        companies using inmate labor inside the prison have the opportunity to hire inmates when they get out, they decline, choosing instead to simply use his/her replacement that take over their old position in the prison industry.

        Call centers is their newest gambit; customer service, tourism, reservations, tech service, etc.  Many of those jobs went over seas to India but due to pressure from customers the companies (like Microsoft, HP, McAfee, etc) brought them back here - but not to private sector jobs - to prisoners same as India.

        At some point corporations must be content with nominal profits in exchange for allowing the middle class to grow.  As it is that's antithetical to their thinking and actions.

        I know literally hundreds who have left prison well trained and ready and willing to work and can't get a job using the skills they were taught in prison.  Maybe 1 in every 250 do that the rest wind up in the lowest menial jobs possible, because that is all that's available.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:12:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget "Pay-to-Stay" & DoJ Grants (5+ / 0-)

          Two additional items to add to your information.

          Sorry, this will add to your ire, but I think this "pay-to-stay" trend  and the Department of Justice Grants are two missing pieces of the PIE explaining how CCA and others plan to be "profitable" jails and prisons.  A lot of this will be accomplished on County as well as State run prisons.

          I first learned of the pay-to-stay plan when my friends son was jailed for missing a court date for a traffic violation.  Just like a hotel, he had to drop by the "reservation desk" and pay $45 a day for his stay in the county jail.

          I wrote about this recently.  In this article you will find that our County Jail KEEPS 90% of the "wages" the prisoner works.  The county even brags about its revenues on their website (link in the diary).

          The rest of the "fair wage" is used to pay off the "pay-to-stay" "vicitim restitution", etc.

          I share this with you, Bob, so you can add this to your information.  You are actually mentioned in this diary:

          WIN WIN! Cheap Prison Labor Used to Pay-to-Stay in Jail: Hotel Labor Jail

          One more item of ire:

          OBAMA'S Justice Department is offering grants to help increase the prison industries.  Based on this doc it looks like corporations can get grants from the Department of Justice to set up prison labor:  Are these OUR tax dollars?  Like most, I see it as another so-called private/public scam that uses our tax money as venture capital for corps. who get to keep all the profits.  Sick and wrong.

          Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Technical Assistance Program FY 2011 Competitive Grant Announcement

          Applicants are limited to national-level for-profit (commercial) organizations, nonprofit organizations, and consortia.

          Deadline
          Registration with Grants.gov is required prior to application submission. (See “How to Apply,” page 8.) All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on July 7, 2011. (See “Deadlines: Registration and Application,” page 3.)

          Overview
          The Crime Control Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-647) continues the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP), which was originally authorized within the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-157). This legislation provides exemption from federal constraints on the marketability of prisoner-made goods by permitting the sale of these products in interstate commerce (18 U.S.C. 1761(c)), the Sumners-Ashurst Act, 1948) and contracting in excess of $10,000 with the Federal Government (41 U.S.C. 35(d), the Walsh-Healey Act, 1936). Fifty non-federal prison industry programs may be certified for this exemption when their operations have been determined by the Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, to meet statutory and guideline requirements. Currently, there are 44 certifications that have been issued to support PIECP operations throughout the United States. In FY 2011, this program is funded through the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program.

          The program was created to encourage states and counties to establish employment opportunities for inmates that approximate those found in the private sector. States or counties participating in the program must have statutory authority to administer prison industry projects. Project officials shall consult with organized labor and local private industry prior to start-up; pay prevailing local wages; assure that the certified program will not displace free-world workers; employ inmates only on a voluntary basis; provide benefits including the compensation of injured workers; comply with all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements; and involve the private sector.

          The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Technical Assistance Program (PIECTAP) will provide assistance to entities that hold PIECP certificates and to entities interested in applying for PIECP certificates.

          Goals and Objectives
          The primary purpose of the PIECP is to certify that local or state prison industry programs meet all the necessary requirements to be exempt from federal restrictions on prisoner-made goods in interstate commerce.

          Currently there are 39 state and 5 county-based certified correctional industry programs (a total of 44 PIECP certificate holders), with 191 business partnerships or CACs.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:46:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The grant announcement went out one month (4+ / 0-)

            prior to closing the application process.  One month they gave those interested in obtaining the grant and taking over from the NCIA who has held that grant and been given oversight of PIE for 17 years now.

            Yes it has been a grant paid for with tax dollars - but due to my continued complaining that they had to properly investigate and enforce compliance and about the NCIA being nothing more than a "trade association" representing the interests of the participants in the program, they finally put it out for bid - and used private foundation money - not taxpayer funding for the 2011 grant.

            Another historic event took place this week - UNICOR issued a statement in reference to a contract the Air Force issues for manufacture of their jackets and coats.  For years a private company in KY. has made those products but this year someone thought that contract should go to UNICOR and have the inmates mfg. the items.  The private company went public and UNICOR quickly backed down, stating they were not interested in the contract, which "would have caused harm in the private sector to workers."  This was something totally out of character for UNICOR...they NEVER fail to go after a contract, regardless of the impact to the private sector companies or work force.  So somebody at the highest level is listening to us.

            "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

            by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:12:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Looks like some built in protections? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error, Evolutionary
              Project officials shall consult with organized labor and local private industry prior to start-up; pay prevailing local wages; assure that the certified program will not displace free-world workers; employ inmates only on a voluntary basis; provide benefits including the compensation of injured workers; comply with all National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements; and involve the private sector.

              from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

              by Catte Nappe on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:26:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes that are being completely ignored by the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, greeseyparrot

                NCIA.  Under the NCIA/DOJ contract, the NCIA is to do compliance reviews, inspections and enforce the requirement provisions against displacement, wages etc.

                Problem is the NCIA also has "policy determination" abilities under the contract.  They have determined that inmate "prevailing wages" be set at minimum wage - and after years of work experience the inmate has the "potential" to earn up to the prevailing wage for his job description - set at the 10 percentile.  Translated it means the top pay an inmate could possibly earn after years of training is a wage that 90% of those in the private sector make in excess of.

                Instead of consulting with labor groups to get them to sign off as required, the NCIA has set policy that allows announcements to be made in local classified papers...and for competing private sector companies they no longer meet with them, instead the inform the local chamber of commerce and competing companies are supposed to learn of the new operation through that source.

                I have documented dozens of cases where local workers have been replaced by inmates - yet the DOJ will not intervene or make any corrections or enforcement.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:14:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Fantastic. Maybe that is what it takes. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe, Evolutionary

              Private companies YELLING about being taken over by prison labor.

              I know the printing industry has been really harmed.  Sometimes I wonder if the national chains offering printing services are, in fact, using prison labor?

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:41:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many publishing companies now use prison printers (0+ / 0-)

                for their publications.  In Florida the largest printing entity is PRIDE.  All the mom and pop printers are nearly gone.  The only private sector printers able to compete with the prison print shops are Kinko's Staples and similar operations.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

                by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:16:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Here in Florida (8+ / 0-)

      these fuckers spend millions lobbying our legislature for longer sentences.  They want to keep that slave labor coming.  These people disgust me to my core.  I'd have little problem seeing every elected official at least as far back as Reagan put on trial for treason.  It would be a good start.

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:00:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly PRIDE of Florida was the very first piece of (3+ / 0-)

        actual "Privatization" of an entire state program way back in 1981.  I worked for them in the 80's and thought it was the greatest program ever.  Sadly I since learned that the privatization idea was from ALEC and Heritage and that PRIDE founder and first Chairman, Jack Eckerd was a member of the board of Heritage, Hillside college and a member of the Council for National Policy - all RW Conservative entities with a desire to take over government through privatization.  PRIDE today leads the way in exploitation of inmate labor.  For instance, they are required to turn over the money they deduct from inmate wages for room and board to the FDOC to offset the costs of incarceration.  This is authorized by FS 946.523.  However the legislature created an Industry Trust Fund under 946.523 that diverts all that money taken from the inmates back to PRIDE to use to expand their PIE program.  In reality the inmates fund continued operation with 40% of their gross earnings and the taxpayer does not get one cent of that money - PRIDE keeps it all.  The DOJ will not enforce compliance, saying  they believe that expanding work programs benefits the taxpayers - regardless that PRIDE is to be self sufficient and not use tax dollars for their operations.

        Minnesota's prison industries does the same thing - costing the taxpayers $1.3 million a year.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:19:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Incidentally I have the lobby contracts issued by (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary

        PRIDE to two lobbyists, Guy Spearman and Wilbur Brewton.  PRIDE "retains" their services for $350,000.00 per year and pays additional for actual lobbying work both do in Tally.

        Hard to justify that a private non-profit corporation with a mission of training inmates and job placement upon release feels the need to spend that much money a year lobbying.  Hard to justify - and this is why PRIDE has such influence in Tally, from the free flow of cash they dump into campaign coffers.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:23:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The prison industry lobbies the legislature (7+ / 0-)

      One of the tricks of the prison industry is to lobby state and federal legislators for longer sentences.

      The expenditure of money on lobbying is greatly surpassed by the profits made by having more people in for-profit prisons for longer periods of time.

      The legislators are always inclined to pass stricter sentencing laws.  This puts the legislator on record as "tough on crime" and looks good at the next election.  Seriously, when was the last time you saw a politician running on a record of keeping people out of jails?

      These are easy choices for the prison industry and  legislators.  After all, all this is paid for with other people's money - the tax payer's money.  The lobbying, the longer prison sentences, the added profits for the prison industry, the additional terms of office for the politician, are all paid for by the tax-payers.

      Except that many states are now finding out they can't pay for all the imprisonment the prison industry and the polticians want for their purposes.  There simply is not enough money to pay fire departments, trash collection, education, prisons, health care, etc.

      So the lobbyist go back to work, explaining to the legislators how much better it is to eliminate school lunches in order to continue paying for prisons.  And if some hungry people get out of line and steal bread or maybe organize a protest, well, those new longer sentencing laws will keep those problems off the streets for a long time.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:03:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And lots of jails and prisons have added (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evolutionary

        Pay-to-stay programs.

        So the taxpayers AND the prisoners get to pay for private prison profits.

        And the Justice Department is giving out grants to help.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:49:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and in AZ. now visitors are required to pay (3+ / 0-)

          $25.00 to visit their family in prison.  AZ. says they use the money to maintain the buildings in their prisons - more of taxpayers funding operations so they can divert more and more money to the privatization contracts held by CCA and MTC in that state.

          In Florida now many counties charge $40.00 per diem per inmate and when released, they place liens on the ex-offender to recover if he ever owns a home or car.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:39:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately your comment is an exact statement (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, Evolutionary

        of how it has been worked in FL. and other states.  What most are not fully aware of is that privatization is a way in which corporations, banks and financial institutions get their hands on tax dollars.  Today the amount of taxpayer dollars is the largest "pool" in the US and the corporations found a way to get their paws on those funds - privatization.

        If we actually paid attention we would understand that in addition to the gross revenue of CCA and Geo in 2010 ($3 billion), they spend millions lobbying to keep the status quo.  Obviously, they do not operate facilities more efficiently than state authorities so how do they make so damn much money? Cutting portion sizes and calories in meals, hiring uncertified personnel for guard positions and paying them just above minimum wage, cutting rehab programs - and outsourcing the inmate labor to private companies.

        If you get a chance to Google and research US Technologies (USXX) which was disbanded in 2006 due to fraud, you'll see just how all this was designed to work - and see that upon UST's board sat General Alexander Haig, George J. Mitchell and former CIA FBI Director William Webster: http://www.secinfo.com/... pages 3-9 will give you a whole new outlook on prison labor and why we should oppose it at all costs.  They are ruining our private sector jobs and through PIE found a way to unfairly compete in the private sector allowing large corporations to cause the closure of those who would compete.  UST bought up several ITT companies and put inmates to work making the products.  They specifically targeted the PIE program as a cheap labor source and fully exploited that through partnerships with Geo Group to lease facilities for $1.00 per year and taxpayer subsidized utilities...

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:37:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bob, I won't be going to Phoenix for F-29, (12+ / 0-)

         but I hope somebody up there has this covered:

         

  •  Agriculture in prison (11+ / 0-)

    I dont support prison labor for profit or even privatized prisons but I want to see prisoners planting  veggies and livestock for themselves.

    I think this will soften hardened criminals or help rehab inner city prisoners who are in the drug trade and gangs.    

    Root of Job Loss: Low capital gains (tax incentive) for stock market casino compared to real businesses that produces Jobs. Great Business idea A Dept Store that sells only made in america goods

    by timber on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:32:40 PM PST

    •  I agree with you. Until about 1990 most prisoners (14+ / 0-)

      raised their own crops, butchered beef and pork and processed it for prison meals.  They had dairy productions for milk, cheese, etc. and trained inmates in all forms of ranching and farming.  Once the corporations got in and began providing food service operations under contracts all of that slowly stopped until now everything is bought from retailers.  Florida and a couple of other states are making the transition back to growing crops and raising livestock since they dumped Aramark and Trinity Food Service two years ago.

      Other states should do the same and get back to basics and not only train inmates but save tax dollars at the same time.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 05:44:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I grow my own vegetables in my front yard. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Sloan, timber, elwior, Matt Z

      I agree that growing your own food is worthwhile, and in fact a great way to learn to be self-sufficient once out of prison.

      If I can do it, they can do it.  They have more time on their hands than I do.  

      However! That wouldn't stop the CCA from saying the prisoners are growing food for themselves - and then turn it into back-breaking slave labor to grow and pick the crops that those on the lowest rung of the ladder of our society were picking for us before the Republicans shined a light on them.  Illegal immigrants are often only here to pick crops and go home where their money goes far.

      When you see orange jumpsuits in the fields in Alabama soon, you will know that slavery is alive and well in America.  They would enslave us all.

      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

      by Evolutionary on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:57:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alabama, Apples in WA. state and other crops in (9+ / 0-)

        Georgia.  Governors of each have implemented programs to replace experienced immigrant workers with prison inmates  who are  not in shape or have the experience to do that kind of work  - and also lack any desire, considering themselves slaves under those conditions.

        In AL., MS. and FL., prisoners were used to clean up after the BP Oil spill in 2010 - without pay and if they refused they were sent back to main prisons and locked in confinement for refusing direct orders.

        Others object when I say this is 21st century slavery...but it is what it is...

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 08:18:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is slavery. Plain and simple. There is no (5+ / 0-)

          no question about it.  Trumped up charges, ridiculous sentences, impossible parole requirements - increasing recidivism, the cutting of most of the help programs for ex-felons, the cutting of drug and alcohol programs and halfway houses - all lead to parole violation.  
          There are no jobs to go to.  Prisoners are shunned and become homeless - and not having a place to live can be a parole violation.

          Those are humans, and many have done their time.  Many should have been there in the first place.

          #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

          by Evolutionary on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 08:26:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry - should NOT have been there in the first (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            place.  Smoking weed can get you a lifetime of pain and suffering in the wrong state.

            #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

            by Evolutionary on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 08:27:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with your entire comment. If we just stop (7+ / 0-)

            even momentarily and think about it we'll come to the same conclusion - without the profit incentive there would be no private prisons and state courts would have developed alternative programs and diversionary ones long ago.  Parole would still be available (abolished nationwide in the 80's), no minimum mandatory sentences, etc.  It is simply because it is profitable that more than 160,000 private beds are available and more being built by the day.

            Private prisons are simply prison "convenience" stores for state courts and law enforcement.  When solutions have to be found we, as a society have always come up with them - in this case it has been a failure that created mass incarceration for us, mass wealth for the investors and corporate owners.  Sadly it has been so easy for them that they are now after our schools, universities and utilities.  They won't stop until we stop 'em.

            Go Occupy!

            "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

            by Bob Sloan on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 10:55:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Back in June, 2010 when I was the 1st (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Sloan, Catte Nappe, greeseyparrot

          to suspect that prisoner were being used to clean up beaches, I was pretty badly slammed.

          Turns out I was right as the media caught up with me in July.

          Keep up the great work, Bob Sloan!!!

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:06:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for keeping these kleptocrats in our sights (11+ / 0-)

    They have been too successful in stealing our democracy.  We have to expose them and their lies at every chance we get.  They are taking away our choices, by enslaving us in their system.

  •  Barbara Bush (6+ / 0-)

    first became awake of prison labor issue private prisons in 1999 during Bush campaign... media reports that at the time Barbara Bush was the biggest shareholder in Wackenhut private prisons;

    It’s an election year the GOP are already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill and step three is to keep drilling. We heard the line we’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. ~ Barack Obama

    by anyname on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:57:43 AM PST

    •  and as an aside, Jeb Bush's wife was a shareholder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anyname

      in Aramark which Jeb issued a no-bid contract to for prison food service operations right after taking office...

      My wife continues to call the Bushies, the "Bush Crime Family."

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:49:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's slavery by another name; we looooooove slaver (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kristina40, 4Freedom, Bob Sloan

    In America as long as its called something else and we don't have 2 c it.

    It's a problem, but we don't vote, corporate interests do thru sanctimonious bigoted puppets.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 04:58:02 AM PST

    •  It's community service, and a civic duty. (0+ / 0-)

      What better way to renter society while paying her your debt, than by providing service to the community.

      Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

      by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:03:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Community service and public duty is entirely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kvetchnrelease

        different from what they're doing.  Secondly you continue to make this argument - but have not spoken to the fact that in many cases the inmates are now holding the jobs that non-offenders used to have.  I think that is a point that most are unaware of.  350 out in Texas from UST and Lufkin Industries...hundreds in Fl. in the print business, 375 to a company in Ohio making military helmets when the contract was taken over by UNICOR, closure of a Montana furniture company due to competition involving the local prison industry...the list goes on and on.

        In order for this to be a "community service" that benefits the community this competition would have to stop.  What benefit is derived is a result of lost jobs and income within the community a prison is supposed to be protecting.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:12:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, that sounds like a legit problem, but isn't (0+ / 0-)

          your argument the same as used against undocumented workers, that they are taking away legit jobs from the community.

          Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

          by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:38:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why should prison be about rehabilitation? (0+ / 0-)

    People make mistakes and they are punished. Period. Everyone in prison knows the difference between right and wrong otherwise they would be in a mental facility. Rehab is such bs. I don't even understand the premise behind it. How do you rehab a killer? Or for that matter, a shoplifter?

    In this effort they have created a legal system that enables and encourages this plunder through harsh criminal justice laws, sentences and little in the form of true rehabilitation and a moral code that does indeed glorify such plunder off freedom stolen from those they exploit.

    Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

    by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:08:09 AM PST

    •  So you know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Sloan

      for a fact every person in prison knows right from wrong because otherwise they'd be in a mental institution?  You sure have a lot of faith in a system that obviously doesn't work.  Some might say that makes you stupid. #JS  Just how punished should someone be for smoking a joint?  Why do some get more punishment than others?  Our system is a disaster and needs to be torn to the ground and fixed.

      ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

      by Kristina40 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:16:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone who uses drugs knows the consequenses. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pee dee fire ant

        All because you break the law, doesn't mean ipso facto you are stupid. Why do some get more punishment than others? Life is not fair why should the criminal justice system be any different?

        Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

        by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:26:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh... (5+ / 0-)
          Life is not fair why should the criminal justice system be any different?
          You do realize that "just" is a synonym for "fair," right?  The whole point of the justice system is to try and impose fairness on an unfair world.  It's sort of the basis of civilization in that respect.

          All you need is three chords and the truth, man - Jimi Hendrix

          by CharlieHipHop on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:10:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the mind of John Rawls it is, "Justice as (0+ / 0-)

            Fairness" which is a nice theory but even he revamped it during his lifetime.

            http://www.enotes.com/...

            Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

            by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:20:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Philosophy as circumlocution... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4Freedom, Matt Z

              https://www.google.com/...

              You can re-write the English language all you want, but justice IS fairness by definition, rendering your "argument" above ("Life isn't fair so why should criminal justice be") patently absurd.

              All you need is three chords and the truth, man - Jimi Hendrix

              by CharlieHipHop on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:28:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some would say only if its fair to the majority of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey

                law abiding citizens. Utilitarianism.

                Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

                by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:42:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Legality doesn't mean justice. (3+ / 0-)

                  OK, we can have an abstract debate about whether recreational drug use should or shouldn't be illegal, in a perfect world. But that debate would miss some important points.

                  Because we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where the US imprisons a much higher % of its population than any other country, even repressive dictatorships; in which the national debt is skyrocketing; in which black people are a small minority of the drug-using population but a large majority of the prison population; in which tens of thousands are dying in Mexican drug wars, which are more and more spilling over into the USA; a world where we've tried both alcohol prohibition and alcohol regulation, and experience has shown that regulation is much better.

                  Screw the perfect world. In the real world, keeping recreational drug use illegal is unjust.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 08:02:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Because the CJ system is designed by us and (0+ / 0-)

          in place to not just punish but to cure.  Sadly it is really fucked up today due to agendas, desires and the pursuit of profiting off of the misery and ill behavior of others.  That's why those who suggest it needs reform are right.  It needs to be taken apart and reconstructed so it actually accomplishes what the title means criminal "Justice" for all equally.  Not as it is now, a slap on the wrist for the rich and years behind bars for those of no means.  If you can't see that, then why be in the conversation?

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:02:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Rehab is BS? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, history first, Bob Sloan

      So what do you recommend, putting shoplifters in jail for life, or a "catch and release" policy of recidivism.  

      Every single one of us has broken the law at some point.  Should we all be in prison for life since we're beyond redemption?

      Absurd.  Rehab is a hell of a lot cheaper from a societal standpoint than "punishment," not that I am opposed to humanely and fairly administered punishment.

      All you need is three chords and the truth, man - Jimi Hendrix

      by CharlieHipHop on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:13:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Humane punishment matches the crime. So no for (0+ / 0-)

        life imprisonment for shoplifters. Also, no for cutting off their hands as our Islamic brethren sometimes do under their system of justice. However, I will say muslim countries do seem to have lower crime rates than here.

        Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

        by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:26:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So if you don't rehab them... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Sloan

          ... you're going to keep putting them back in jail again and again, probably for progressively more serious offenses since they will be imprisoned with other similarly non-rehabilitated prisoners.

          Not too smart...

          Rehabilitation is cost-effective, humane, and not out-of-line with humane punishment.

          All you need is three chords and the truth, man - Jimi Hendrix

          by CharlieHipHop on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:31:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. Criminals know right from wrong. Rehab shows (0+ / 0-)

            them what? Not to do wrong. I still don't understand the point of rehab.

            Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

            by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:45:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  So, what should the humane punishment be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fiddlingnero

          for putting a chemical into a body that is solely your property, for the purpose of recreation?

          Even if said chemical is harmful, I have a right to damage my own property, my body included, correct, so long as I'm not directly endangering anyone else's life or property?

          So, please do tell me what the humane punishment for the grave crime of chemically altering my mood, or possessing the means to do so, should be.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:58:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When you are impaired due to chemical influences, (0+ / 0-)

            a host of behaviors manifest themselves that do indeed harm others: domestic violence, vehicular accidents, job truancy, et al.  Whether you have a right to damage your own body as you see fit depends on who then pays for repairing your body. If you OD and pay your own medical expenses and do not burden the emergency medical system with your injury, then I guess you might be OK.

            Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

            by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 01:56:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And, of course, it is appropriate to punish for (0+ / 0-)

              those behaviors; should they occur.

              And, as in the case of most instances of drug use, when they do not, what's the humane punishment for someone harmlessly pleasuring themselves?

              As for "who pays for it", last I checked, we had an amendment to the Constitution that prohibits slavery - thus, another party choosing to pay for the maintenance of a person's body does not establish a property relationship over it.

              See, the witless twaddle you just regurgitated presumes a special obligation for a police state to terrorize people for their own benefit; but hypocritically only for some drugs.

              My drug of choice, you see, is not only legal, but by far the most socially damaging. But, you see, your authoritarian arguments haven't really been popular since its prohibition was rightly repealed.

              Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

              by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:28:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unless they commit a crime see 13th Amend., (0+ / 0-)

                then slavery is OK. Personal responsibility for paying for damage to your body is what slavery? Own the consequences and pay for the damage yourself.

                Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

                by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:37:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Your argument has become totally disingenuous. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kvetchnrelease

          Muslim countries do seem to have lower crime rates than here and indicating that is because they cut off offender's hands or other body parts.  You've obviously been drinking the koolaid much too much. In Muslim countries let me guess that possibly their crime rates are lower because they don't have as many laws on the books AND they don't have privatized prisons to enrich a small group of investors.

          The FBI statistics provided above demonstrate that as our population has increased every decade, since 1990 our crime rates have been in decline...yet as the other graphs indicate, incarceration continues to ascend at an even steeper rate than crime lessens.

          You and I are all paying for the incarceration of all those who commit a criminal act.  Today there are hundreds if not thousands of new "crimes" defined by statute than there were just 30 years ago and those laws are being used to keep the jails and prisons full, the courts clogged with defendants and the bondsmen and attorneys fat, rich and happy.  The private jail and prison operators are laughing all the way to the bank and next ALEC meeting where they'll make new laws to outlaw behavior once legal.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:12:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "offenders" have been doing community service (0+ / 0-)

            for many many years. When kids get arrested for underage drinking, they are often "sentenced" to x hours of community service, yet no-one calls this indentured servitude or slavery. I'm all in agreement for punishing non-narcotic drug users with something other than incarceration. Community service for simple non-violent offenders presents viable methods of punishment and opportunities to learn from others so as not to repeat their offense.

            Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

            by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 01:44:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Community service is court ordered for one thing (0+ / 0-)

              and in lieu of imprisonment.  Secondly nobody is "profiting" off of a person doing community service.  CS is performed within the community and involves labor to the community by working for government or a non-profit (Goodwill, etc.).  There is no financial gain from that labor that is being used to put pennies in investor's pockets.  Big difference.

              "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

              by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:20:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  the simple fact is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper, Bob Sloan

      except for heinous crimes, convicts are jailed temporarily (6 mo, 6 years, whatever). At some point they are going to get back out in society.
      Do we want that person to be just as wrong thinking or worse when they get out? Or do we want that person to be able to stand on solid ground and make choice that contribute to society? Obviously the latter. Rehabilitation is the way to do that.
      Also to, many of these men and women are parents. They need to be good leaders for their children. They need to make sure their children don't make the same mistakes they did. Rehabilitation is the way to do that.

      The long-term benefits of counseling and retraining in prison far, far outweigh the costs.

      Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

      by history first on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:20:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let me see...if someone does something wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kvetchnrelease

      then your suggestion is to punish them to the max, offer no retraining or rehabilitation to ensure they don't recommit?
      If that is what you're advocating, then that kind of philosophy winds up creating future victims.

      If we as a society realize that if there is a stray dog in our neighborhood and we pen them up and treat them without any kindness or attempt to "train" or "rehab" them we wind up creating a mean dog that quite possibly goes out and bites a neighbor.  Probably a poor analogy, but you get the picture.

      If we simply incarcerate and as your handle indicates "catch 'em and release 'em" shouldn't we bear some responsibility for future criminal acts that person commits? I mean we had an opportunity to know that individual had a social problem and instead of attempting to correct that flaw we locked him/her up in a facility for the proscribed time and then turned them out within the community - angrier than they went in...and more prepared to commit other criminal acts after rubbing elbows with armed robbers, killers and swindlers.

      Everyone is entitled to redemption and help to change their ways when they exhibit poor behavior.  Your suggestion has already been proven to not work - that's why in the 60's our society decided to rehabilitate instead of simply locking an offender away.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:58:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you on drug/alcohol offenses but not (0+ / 0-)

        so much on property crimes. Violent crime is another matter as so much is committed while under the influence of some chemical, alcohol or other. Look at the sentencing recommended for the UVA student who killed his girlfriend. The jury in that case thought to incarcerate the man to the age of fifty because they believed by then he would have the maturity to stay off alcohol.

        Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

        by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:15:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even Democratic Governors Like To Supply Prison (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Bob Sloan

    labor for large private corporations at a sweetheart deal of $8.67 an hour instead of the rate the large corporations "advertised" of $150 per day ($18.75 per hour)! These large corporate apple growers are located in Eastern Washington State.  An area that is Teabagger Central and extreme right wing Republicans.  They hate "illegal immigrants" except when they can make them pick apples for a few cents and live in squalor.  But when there are no "illegal immigrants" available then the Governor makes prisoners available to the private corporations.

    The Democratic governor defended the plan to dispatch the male offenders from the Olympic Corrections Center in Clallam County, Wash., a minimum-security work camp, to an orchard in Wenatchee Valley, where they began work Monday, earning $8.67 an hour.

    She called it "a one-time deal" but said the nation's top apple-producing state had little choice when growers could not find enough workers, even after advertising jobs with pay of $120 to $150 per day.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:02:32 AM PST

    •  Yeah and the Governors of AL. and Ga. did the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kerplunk

      thing - attempt to replace immigrant field workers with inmates and probationers.  Fact is they all created harsh immigration laws following the agenda sent out from their political party leaders in DC without taking any time to discuss and factually look to the impact(s) upon their states from implementing such laws.

      Heritage, Reason and the likes of CATO provided the "scientific" research and facts relied upon by lawmakers to implement such immigration laws that resulted in ruining the crops of entire states, putting many farmers and growers out of business.

      Yes Governor Gregoire saw it being done elsewhere and attempted to apply a short term measure to help the growers out this season in WA.  She acknowledged it was a stop gap measure to be applied one time.  Hopefully WA. AL. and GA. will all find ways to solve their manpower shortages for farmers and crops next year - without resorting to using inmate labor - inmates who cannot refuse and in some instances do not have the physical ability to do such work.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:22:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prison Labor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan, Jean Sloan, Kvetchnrelease

    I see nothing wrong with a prison inmate being made to labor for the cost of his or her incarceration.  However, it is wrong for anyone to profit from this labor.  Once profit is involved, it is no longer labor, it is slavery.  

    •  Well said and echoes the sentiment precisely n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:22:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But it is constitutionally protected slavery. (0+ / 0-)

      Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

      by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:45:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...and making money for others. 13th Amendment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kvetchnrelease

        contains a loophole that was provided to appease those in opposition to the proposed amendment.  Regardless of actual intent, that loophole left a way to exploit the recently "Freed" Americans for their labor - legally.  Sad part is that after all these years it is still being pointed at as lending protection to those in 2012 who want to continue using such an inhumane provision.  Have we not learned anything since 1863?

        First it was the African Americans as a cheap labor force, then the Chinese by the rail barons, then most recently the Mexican Americans and once all of these groups obtained rights and protections - the prisoners are the final cheap labor force left standing.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:44:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two separate issues (0+ / 0-)

    We have the issue of incarceration rates.  And secondly, we have the issue of prison labor being bid out to private firms.

    Why try to relate the two?

    Because you somehow want us to believe there is some secret pact made between law enforcement, legislators and the judiciary to pack prisons so the states can sell their labor?

    Do you know how ridiculous this sounds?  Even if it was the goal of legislation, how do you convince one of the most liberal groups of people in the country ( local judges) to go along with it.

    And how does your theory jibe with all the criticism that judges are too lenient in sentencing?

    Yes, we should de-criminalize minor drug offenses.  Yes, we should find other ways to rehabilitate non-violent offenders.  That would bring down our prison populations.

    But those that have done the crimes should be made to pay, partially, for their incarceration expenses.  I have no qualms about states farming out their prison population to private firms as long as the pay the prisoners get is used to pay for their jail time, and perhaps for restitution.

    •  My suggestion is that you read more Bob Sloan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fiddlingnero, Catte Nappe, burlydee

      diaries. There is irrefutable evidence of the collusion you reference.

    •  That's silly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Sloan
      some secret pact made between law enforcement, legislators and the judiciary to pack prisons so the states can sell their labor?
      And that is not at all what is being said here. The for profit prison industry is lobbying hard to get legislators and judges elected who will "get tough on crime"; and those legislators and judges benefiting from it are not examining what's in it for the lobbying interests. No "secret pacts" needed, just the usual political back scratching and turning of blind eyes.

      And just who is levying the criticisms?

      criticism that judges are too lenient in sentencing?
      Folks who want the courts to "get tough on crime". Wonder who is influencing them to think that?

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:37:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Collusion HAS started. Here's proof (links) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els

      CCA sent letters to states offering to buy their prison systems as long as the promise to keep them at 90% capacity.

      The state must agree to keep the prison 90% full in return for CCA buying and running the prison.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

      by history first on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:57:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The rate of incarceration, privatization and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, Catte Nappe, 417els, Jean Sloan

      prison labor programs are all interrelated, that's why I have stated the diary in that manner.  I know it is hard for some people to conceptualize - but it is what it is.

      You obviously haven't been following these issues over the past couple of years so let me inform rather than argue...

      ALEC wrote the Prison Industries ACT in 1995.  They also wrote the Private Correctional Facilities Act around 1984.  At the time they crafted these acts their corporate members included those companies who would profit greatly from both prison industries and incarceration: Geo, CCA, AT&T (inmate wiring products), PHRmA (drugs for prison formulary use and drug experimentation programs using inmates), and other participating organizations such as Prison Fellowship Ministries (reentry) and the American Bail Coalition (criminal and appellate bonds).

      ALEC's legislative members took these laws back to their states and introduced them and helped to pass them.  Their alumni in Congress pursued the same initiatives at the federal level - and all have succeeded.

      Conspiracy involving judges?  Check out the Foundation for Research on Economics and Environment. They provide free trips to the federal judiciary where seminars are given by corporate CEO's, and conservative institutes to program the judges on important issues and the corporate positions on those issues.  This kind of program with trips and seminars are also provided by George Mason University, Northwestern University and two or three other conservative organizations.  These groups and institutes have opened their seminars to state appellate and supreme court judges and religious leaders.  The commonality of all these named above is they are funded by or affiliated with Koch foundation money, corporate funding by ExxonMobil, Shell, Scaife, Bradley and other similar conservative foundations.  SCOTUS Justice Scalia has attended more than one of these seminars:http://www.tripsforjudges.org/....

      20/20 did a full documentary on these programs in 2001 and it didn't get much attention then - but is now due to the discovery of the SCOTUS justices being involved.

      In 2010 two PA. juvenile judges were indicted for imprisoning juveniles and receiving kickbacks from the private facility operators.  Both have been given lengthy prison sentences for the scam: http://www.cjcj.org/....

      The "secret pact" as you termed it is not so secret anymore.  The Privatization battle in Florida this year opened it up for all to see the corruption, campaign contributions paid by CCA and Geo (more than a million paid out to legislators and Governor Scott) in their pursuit of operating another 29 state prisons.  Money made off of privatized prisons and prison industries is used to fund forward  the same programs to increase profits and keep the status quo.  If privatized prison industries were actually used to train and help employ inmates after release, why is it that those companies participating don't hire the released workers?  It's because it costs too much to pay fair wages, benefits and vacations - something they don't have to do in prison operations.

      Here is a linkto a National Institute of Justice article that identifies JC Penney, American Airlines, Victoria's Secret and many more companies taking advantage of prison labor to make products you and I buy off shelves - and they're paid slave wages with all profits going to the companies involved.  You think that's the right way to do things?  What about the employees and American workers displaced by this program?

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:01:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Graft is everywhere. The more a government spends (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burlydee, Bob Sloan

        the more private enterprises there will be trying to buy influence.

        It is why we should have very strict campaign financing laws and even publicly funded elections.

        Thanks for the links.  I will educate myself on the subject.

        Whenever a state thinks about "privatizing" any state function, red flags should go up everywhere.  Here in Illinois up in Chicago they have sold out some of the toll ways and even every parking meter in the City of Chicago!  Those deals were for billions of dollars and I have no doubt contributions to the politicians (campaign and otherwise) were involved.

        I am not a big fan of privatizing because of the graft usually involved and I believe a state should remain fiscally sound on its own and stay responsible for those services it undertakes.

        So, I do agree with you that privatizing prisons is a bad idea.  Your diary strikes me as perhaps being somewhat alarmist.  But that's ok!  As many, including President Obama, have said "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."  Keeping these issues and deals out in the forefront for the public to scrutinize is much better than finding out about them after the fact.  So, if this is an issue you feel passionate about, go for it!

        What I do disagree with you on is selling prison labor to pay for their incarceration.  Sorry.  Inmates should try to be rehabilitated, but there is nothing wrong with them paying for their housing and the services they receive.  And if a private company like JC Penny can give an inmate a job rather than sending that job to some maquiladora south of the border, I'm all for it.  That job would never have been done by Americans outside prison, it would have been outsourced.

        If a non-profit group could coordinate these efforts, so much the better.  It would take the profit motive for these corporations acting as middle men out of the equation.

  •  Private prisons are immoral (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Bob Sloan, 417els

    Private prisons should be illegal. There is no incentive to reduce the number of people in prison. They are essentially indentured servants.

    Instead of going overseas for cheap labor, and certainly not paying free Americans wages and benefits, companies are colluding with state governments to furnish cheap labor to produce their products onshore. and state governments are enabling this under the guise of "oh it's something we won't have to pay out of our budget".

    We will pay for it...or our children will, when there are more inmates that free people because it serves the prison industry's "bottom line".

    Warning: That light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

    by history first on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:29:08 AM PST

  •  Looking at those prison population charts, I'm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan, 417els

    reminded that crime has dropped nearly in half, as those populations have continued to rise.

    Considering that most offenses carry sentences small relative to that 30-year time scale, it's clear that "criminals taken off the streets" can not explain the simultaneous falling crime and increasing prisoner population. Rather, "laws have become more draconian even as crime has fallen" becomes a much more likely explanation.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:49:23 AM PST

  •  Only We the People (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    Prison is one of the essential functions of government.

    No private entity should be responsible for imprisoning any person - ever.  We the people need to own and pay for any type of incarceration.  Good, bad - proper, improper - it is our duty as citizens to be responsible directly for prisons.

    •  This is the crux and so true. It is the (0+ / 0-)

      responsibility of our society to punish those who offend and do it in a manner that is consistent, humane and designed to rehabilitate so that kind of behavior is less likely to occur after release.

      It is simply wrong from a moral and ethical pov and has to be stopped.  There is absolutely no incentive for CCA or other prison companies to work to eliminate their market share or reduce investor profits and returns.  If they did either they would lose investors and go out of business quickly.  This is why they quietly work to create more laws, lengthen sentences and reduce the ability for a reformed person to be released through parole.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:07:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't have a problem (0+ / 0-)

    with for-profit prison labor morally as a theory. It's the practice where things go South.

    You could have a prison that makes a profit, then either returns that profit to the government to reduce the cost of running a prison system, OR goes to fund the prison (rehabilitation programs, maintenance, repair, security, training, etc.).

    The problem comes when you use that profit to give to private actors.

  •  We have a very progressive prison system for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan, 417els

    financial wrong doers.

    Little if any chance of being sent there in the first place, and should there be  prison time, it's in a low-security, comfy environment away from 'hardened' criminals.

    •  I would reserve "close management" just (0+ / 0-)

      for those from the big banks and wall street - and of course the investors in CCA and Geo....just in the hope that at some point we'll finally prosecute.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:16:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would the 13th Amendment have to be changed? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    I don't know the jurisprudence concerning the exception to slavery provision of this Amendment, but as long as it exists, won't there be incentive to use it?

    Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

    by Kvetchnrelease on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:42:30 PM PST

    •  Good question and fairly asked. I continue to (0+ / 0-)

      look at the 18th Amendment that prohibited liquor and created speakeasies and the strife that created - and remember it was repealed.  I would like to see the 13th Amendment modified to remove that one section of a single sentence provision entirely

      "...except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,.."
      those 14 words are some of the most harmful of any wording in all the Amendments put together.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:50:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always tell the inmates at work that the state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Sloan

    would love to pay me the wages they get away with paying the inmate workers.

    I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. (Adlai Stevenson)

    by ProgressMoShuffle on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 04:26:34 PM PST

    •  Another profound statement - and factual. (0+ / 0-)

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 07:51:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their pay scale starts lower than the original (0+ / 0-)

        Minimum Wage. And the funniest thing of all is I hear management gets pissed if they get overtime:)...Like it will break the bank :)

        I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. (Adlai Stevenson)

        by ProgressMoShuffle on Sat Feb 25, 2012 at 01:31:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  PBS recently aired a show called 'Slavery By (0+ / 0-)

    Another Name', narrated by Lawrence Fishburne. It went into great detail, with a good deal of primary source material, (letters from inmates and families and interviews with descendants of those found guilty of violating 'peonage' laws), showing how the Powers That Be in the South functionally extended slavery for almost another hundred years via the use of forced labor from prisons. I'd never heard of peonage in modern context and no clue that it was a crime on our books, though the circumstances weren't a complete surprise, given I'd watched the Robert Redford film, Brubaker many years ago. And they're trying to launch a whole new cycle of peonage and effective slavery.  Filthy bastards.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

    by FarWestGirl on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:45:52 PM PST

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