America's overcrowded prison system - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Crime and prevention thereof. Loopholes, grey areas and the letter of the law.
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#14092906
oppose_obama wrote:No. All you have to do is either not smoking the illegal drug or not get caught with it. It is not a defense to say it is just weed. It's illegal. When you choose to smoke it, you run the risk of being imprisoned. That's your own damn fault.


Lots of people imprisoned for weed can contribute positively to society, and putting them in prison for 20 years just languishes their skills and livelihood. Marijuana is also less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes, so it doesn't have as negative an effect on communities as the latter drugs. Perpetrators of certain violent crimes get less prison time than many marijuana users; it's a skewed sense of priorities.

The War On Drugs is like Prohibition of the 1920s: it strengthens criminal syndicates, so many people illegally consume the stuff that mass arrests will hurt society (as millions are imprisoned) and even then it won't make a dent on marijuana use.
#14092919
Again I make no comment on weed. I understand prohibition is useless. But it is still illegal. So if you get caught its your own damn fault. There are plenty of inefficiencies in this country. We will get by. Those who smoke weed, don't get caught, are probably smarter then the ones who do get caught. Or at least luckier.

Crying about prohibition is silly. Either get the laws changed or don't do said illegal substance. Or goto jail, makes no difference to me.
#14093541
oppose_obama wrote:I disagree with your assertion that it is a high percentage.


On what basis? It is, observably, a high percentage compared to what other advanced nations imprison, and even compared to a lot of not-so-advanced ones.

I didn't make the laws.


Not all by yourself, but unless you never vote, you certainly contributed to making them.

Weed is illegal in certain jurisdictions. If you get caught you run the risk of going to jail. That's a personal choice one makes.


So what? Look, human behavior can be predicted in the aggregate even if it's unpredictable on an individual level. Sure, any ONE PERSON can make a choice and not end up in jail, but if you make a law that you know a lot of people are going to break, you are GUARANTEED to increase the prison population. Any one person CAN choose to avoid the behavior and stay out of prison, but you can be sure a lot WON'T.

Any one person may be said to be in prison because of his own faulty actions, but that so many people are in prison is the fault of the law.
#14093566
I don't care to compare rates with other judicial systems and cultures. America has different crime problems then the UK or Germany. Even then, we have a prison population of 6-9 million? Probably a lot under 9 but I don't remember the exact number. Out of 320 million People. On the face of it that is a low percentage. Furthermore, I don't care what the percentage is, because it's irrelevant. People in prison are there most likely because they did something to deserve to be in prison. I wouldn't want a judicial system that checks the prison population percentage versus the whole population or what the ratio is in France in order to determine if someone goes to prison. If the state can prove they committed a crime beyond a shadow of a doubt, then they goto prison. So if the number is 6 million or 12 doesn't matter, aslong as they are guilty of a crime that deserves jail time.

I have never voted in my life and don't plan to. I didn't make the laws nor be responsible for who wrote them. On balance im fine with legalizing drugs, but I'm not going to march in the street or give a fuck about it either. If you wish to do drugs while they are illegal, then you risk going to jail. It's their life to do what they wish. Or throw away as they wish.

Edit: I don't understand your second part. So then change the law? I have no sympathy for drug addicts, not my problem they chose to break the law and get caught.
#14093723
oppose_obama wrote:I don't care to compare rates with other judicial systems and cultures.


Then you choose to avoid the whole question and you frankly have no business participating in this discussion.

America has different crime problems then the UK or Germany.


We do, but that doesn't end the question; you need to go into the specifics and ask yourself who is in prison, not just how many.

For example, we have a much higher murder rate than the UK or Germany. And yet, even so, the number of convicted murderers is much smaller than the number of convicts and doesn't account for more than a small part of the difference.

What is a crime resulting in imprisonment? There are three necessary components to this:

1) The government has to have defined the action as an offense punishable by imprisonment.
2) Someone has to have committed the offense and been convicted in court.
3) The court has to have sentenced the offender to a prison term.

So that means that, if the U.S. has a higher incarceration rate than other countries, one or more of the following things must be true:

1) Actions are illegal and punishable by prison terms in the U.S. that are either not illegal or not punishable by prison terms in other countries.
2) People are committing more crimes here.
3) Courts are more willing to sentence convicted criminals to prison.

Unless the higher incarceration rate is ENTIRELY caused by the second factor, we have something to be looked into in terms of public policy.

So if the number is 6 million or 12 doesn't matter, as long as they are guilty of a crime that deserves jail time.


DOES the crime deserve jail time? And if so, why? Also, we MUST recognize the consequences to society of having such a huge prison population, in terms of recidivism rates, increased poverty, the creation of a large criminal underclass subculture. Group questions, society-wide consequence questions, should be asked, not just individual questions. Here are two important questions that need to be asked.

1) Do we have laws defining acts as crimes punishable by prison that should not be crimes? (IMO the answer is clearly yes.)

2) Are we sentencing convicted criminals to prison time that would more appropriately be punished by probation, fines, community service, and other non-prison alternatives? (IMO the answer here is also clearly yes, especially in some states. I voted this year for an initiative that would modify California's 3-strikes law to require that the third strike be a violent felony rather.)

If we legalized drugs and treated drug abuse as a medical problem rather than a criminal law problem, we would reduce the prison population dramatically, releasing a lot of nonviolent offenders that currently go to prison.

If we also relied less on prison and more on other penalties for some offenses we would reduce the prison population.

Why don't we do these things?

I have never voted in my life and don't plan to.


Well, then who cares what you think? Your opinion isn't going to count anyway.
#14093734
As a future officer of the court, my opinion matters alittle bit ;) voting or not. But your opinion regarding my opinion is noted in the cute file.

As I said, what happens in other judicial systems has no authority over what happens in this one, as this one is supreme in this jurisdiction. Germany is easier on drug addicts? Move to Germany.

You use these silly terms like deserve. A law is passed, a crime is defined in elements, if you can be proven to have committed said crime beyond a shadow of doubt you are convicted, if you are convicted of a certain crime you goto jail. There is no room for deserve. You fuck up, you pay the price.

If we legalize drugs? Who's we? I'm not in your silly battle. Wanna legalize drugs? Have fun, but I won't cry for the people in jail. Fuck them. System is working as intended.

Edit: if your stupid enough to violate a 3 strike law I want you in prison. Sorry that you need it to be a violent felony, im sure the would be victim agrees with me ;)
#14093760
oppose_obama wrote:As I said, what happens in other judicial systems has no authority over what happens in this one, as this one is supreme in this jurisdiction. Germany is easier on drug addicts? Move to Germany.


If I do that, America's problem remains unresolved, I have simply avoided it. This is after all not MY problem; like you, I don't ever expect to go to prison.

You use these silly terms like deserve.


Actually, you used that silly term. I merely pointed out that it raised questions.

A law is passed, a crime is defined in elements, if you can be proven to have committed said crime beyond a shadow of doubt you are convicted, if you are convicted of a certain crime you goto jail. There is no room for deserve. You fuck up, you pay the price.


So in your opinion, there can never be any such thing as an unjust law. As long as something is illegal, automatically someone who is convicted of that thing belongs in jail. Any considerations of whether it should be illegal, whether the penalty is appropriate, all that is unimportant. The law is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and perfectly good, like God. We may never question it. Ours is merely to obey, on our knees.

I can see why you don't vote.

If we legalize drugs? Who's we?


Well, the rest of us, of course, who do vote. I guess if you don't, you're not included in "we." We'll decide what the law is and if you don't like it that's your problem.

Edit: if your stupid enough to violate a 3 strike law I want you in prison.


So in your view, not only is the law infallible and unquestionable, but it is also a penalty for stupidity.

This gets more interesting all the time. Maybe, in your view, we should proactively imprison all mentally retarded people. What do you think?
#14093776
Mentally retarded people are in their own prison. Not really that much different then drug addicts. Actually addicts are probably worse because they can fix their handicap.

Listen have fun changing the law. Bet you can't even get weed down to a schedule 2, let alone decriminalized or legalized. Again I make no judgement on the merits of law, I just don't give a fuck, not my problem your side is weak politically.

You get into these silly discussions of moral or infallible. What difference does it make when you goto jail? Pretty infallible. No one needs to smoke weed. You do it, you goto jail. You don't mean shit to me so why should I care?
#14093794
oppose_obama wrote:Again I make no judgement on the merits of law, I just don't give a fuck


If you don't give a fuck, why are you involving yourself in this discussion? That's a weird way to show you don't give a fuck, frankly.

Of course, you could just be trolling. Actually, come to think of it that's pretty likely. I guess we're done unless you feel like saying something that's actually worth responding to.
#14093805
No, your argument, if I understand, is America imprisons more people then countries in western Europe/ Australia? Don't know who else is a first tier country. My argument is that we don't.

You believe drugs should be legal and those who are imprisoned because of drugs shouldn't be. I have no sympathy for them, they break the law.

Yes I don't give a fuck for their plight. If you think that I don't believe in my position then hey, it's all good.


Edit: what I don't give a Fuck about is whether weed is illegal or not. It is currently illegal. It's not my problem.
#14094028
oppose_obama wrote:No. All you have to do is either not smoking the illegal drug or not get caught with it. It is not a defense to say it is just weed. It's illegal. When you choose to smoke it, you run the risk of being imprisoned. That's your own damn fault.


I take it you're okay with anything government does, as long as it's first given itself "permission" by passing a law. I'm sure that makes life easier, but it's a fast track to disaster.

There's a huge disconnect between the image America imagines itself to have, and reality. The reality is that a country of allegedly free people would not lead the planet in incarcerating its own citizens. The reality is that a political party that spouts off about support for liberty and "smaller government" at the same time wages a destructive, expensive war against its own citizens, thus proving themselves to be empty suits full of empty rhetoric and contempt for the people whose votes it woos.

People in prison for non-violent drug charges are nothing but political prisoners.
#14094051
America's prison system may be overcrowded and many criticize the "tough on crime" approach that began in the 80s and 90s but it has reduced our crime rate dramatically. Granted there's a case to be made that people should not be in prison because of weed but this is a misnomer. Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor tops. It should be a civil offense max but that's besides the point. Nobody is in jail for twenty years because of marijuana unless they are a big dealer. As for the three strikes law it is perfectly reasonable. You can say that somebody gets put in jail for committing a petty crime years later but how hard is it to avoid committing three felonies. Opponents of three strikes act like felonies are just an everyday occurance. But the vast majority of us aren't guilty of even one felony and it's not like I have to "try hard" not to be a felon. It isn't that hard. You make it sound like it's actually a challenge. For some it is, for most it isn't. But for those who it is think of how many more crimes they committed that we never found. Do I want some kid's life ruined because of a stupid mistake? No, we need to try to do a better job rehabilitating people like that. But rapists, murderers, and habitual felons are getting what they deserve, make no mistake about it. It's all about affects. You can say tough on crime hasn't worked but just look at the crime data since the 80s and 90s. I say this as somebody who opposes the death penalty on pragmatic grounds and favors marijuana decriminalization. But I do think three strikes laws have worked. It is obvious. The rise of stree strikes laws correlates with a rapid drop in crime. People complain about how stiff sentences for crack are "unfair." Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. But look where we've come since the crack epidemic of the 80s and 90s. The late 80s and early 90s were the most violent time in America. Gangs were at their peak. It still goes on but it isn't where it was twenty years ago and that's a good thing. You mean to tell me if we would have just been lenient the drop in crime would happen anyway?
#14097134
Isn't it ironic that America, the self-proclaimed land of the free and the leader free world has jailed the most people, in relative and absolute numbers, and far exceeds the rate of "evil" dictatorships such as Maoist China, Stalinist USSR and Nazi Germany? Americans love to lecture and extoll their supposedly superior liberal values to the world, sometimes by the barrel of the gun whilst helping themselves to their resources and destroying their sovereignty of course. They ought to look at their diseased, degenerate society before lecturing the world on human rights. I was reminded by a quote given by Samuel Johnson when he said, "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" It as true now as it was in the 18th Century.
Last edited by Quantum on 03 Nov 2012 18:57, edited 2 times in total.
#14097140
Quantum wrote:Is it ironic that America, the self-proclaimed land of the free and the leader free world has jailed the most people, in relative and absolute numbers, and far exceeds the rate of 'evil' dictatorships such as Maoist China, Stalinist USSR and Nazi Germany?


Three words: For-Profit Prisons.

Well, two words technically.

Just about anything can be turned into a lucrative business in a capitalist society. It was only a matter of time before someone seized upon incarceration.
Last edited by EastCoastAmerican on 03 Nov 2012 18:58, edited 1 time in total.
#14097141
The prison advocates' defense appears to be: "Americans are degenerate criminal savages and therefore a much higher proportion of them must be kept in cages than other countries."
#14097143
Ombrageux wrote:The prison advocates' defense appears to be: "Americans are degenerate criminal savages and therefore a much higher proportion of them must be kept in cages than other countries."


Don't forget the other ones: "All those prison guards need jobs, too!"

and

"It's good for the local economy! It brings in money!"
#14098735
1) Drug laws that incarcerate people for non-violent drug-related offenses.
2) Prisons as a private business.


These are the main reasons behind our overpopulated Prisons.

Not only does it make incarceration an industry, but that in turn makes more police men. The Federal Gov can thn oversee a state to state police department revamp- which in turn will get our nation into a function that resembles a police state.

They don't legalize or decriminalize drugs because underneath all the said taxing profits each state would gain, I argue that the Fed gov is making more money by keeping the drug war ongoing. The CIA has undisclosed funds... hmmm.
#14098793
oppose_obama wrote:Again I make no comment on weed. I understand prohibition is useless. But it is still illegal. So if you get caught its your own damn fault. There are plenty of inefficiencies in this country. We will get by. Those who smoke weed, don't get caught, are probably smarter then the ones who do get caught. Or at least luckier.

Crying about prohibition is silly. Either get the laws changed or don't do said illegal substance. Or goto jail, makes no difference to me.


So whatever is, is right, because what isn't, is irrelevant?

Sounds pretty cynical to me, but then again, Statism makes a person so, I know.
#14098838
[quote="oppose_obama"]Again I make no comment on weed. I understand prohibition is useless. But it is still illegal. So if you get caught its your own damn fault. There are plenty of inefficiencies in this country. We will get by. Those who smoke weed, don't get caught, are probably smarter then the ones who do get caught. Or at least luckier.


Oppose...

Let's not forget why weed is really illegal and alcohol ain't...
Smoking pot promotes peace which hardly causes problems and fights and DUI deaths like them arrogant drunks are constantly capable of.
Those who rather smoke the herb than to down a few drinks know as much as the people who fight to continue its ban that it's all just a money making scam.
Great things come from hemp other than just a euphoric feeling.
Numerous beneficial products with all natural ingredients can be made from this marvelous plant as well.
Can't seem to get any greener than that now can we?
The war on hard drugs is one thing...
Putting people in prison over a petty plant... well... that just goes to show how greedy as well as pathetic man had truly become.
If an authority figure wants to ruin someone's life for something they probably do or once did themselves... then they shouldn't feel too surprised when they are truly despise of and disrespected by those who know they're nothing but greedy, full of crap hypocrites.
If there really is a thing called karma... I surly do hope it eventually finds its way to those exact type of people.
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