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Are Today's Prison Sentences Too Long So As To Promote The "prison Business"?


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The rise of private prison companies  

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  1. 1. Do you think that the longer prison sentences that we see now contribute to the rise of private prison companies?



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I came across the below site several days ago and have been mulling it ever since.  It is mugshots of Austrailian women criminals from the 20s.  In reading the captions, I noticed that most of the prison sentences were relatively light compared to our "modern" day sentences for the same offenses.  Most of these crimes were of the non-violent nature.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9095938/Mugshots-of-Australian-women-criminals-from-the-1920s.html

 

So my questions becomes this: Are the longer prison sentences today contributing to the rise of private prison businesses instead of government run facilities that could accommodate prisoners if they were sentenced to the lighter sentences of yesteryear? 

 

Could lighter sentences cut down the costs of incarceration for local, state, and Federal governments?

 

Please discuss.


I think the answer is Yes.  I think we could use modern technology like house arrest/monitoring for sentencing for non-violent crimes.  I'd like to see prisons reserved for the prisoners who comitted violence.

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I think that prison sentences and other punishments are far too severe, especially for non-violent offenders.

The problem is, like many laws in this country is they will only ever become more strict. The laws that become more lenient are few and far between because nobody really cares. Literally, no one in this country cares to look at how we handle people who break the laws.

For instance. Drunk driving. Our laws are generally way too harsh. Nobody should go to jail for drunk driving on the first offense, nobody. I know a person who got a DWI on a 4 wheeler who did 30 days in PA. It's ludicrous.

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For instance. Drunk driving. Our laws are generally way too harsh. Nobody should go to jail for drunk driving on the first offense, nobody. I know a person who got a DWI on a 4 wheeler who did 30 days in PA. It's ludicrous.

 

Too harsh?  I know a lawyer here in Annapolis who can pretty much get people off on their first two DWI's without much punishment.  Your friend was obviously not smart enough to hire a good lawyer.

 

As far as prisons, I think the penalties for the violent crimes should be harsher (death penalty, limited time out of cell, limited comforts) but the libs won't allow that.  Time should be less for the non violent crimes.

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Chip, you shouldn't have to rely on a lawyer to get you out of jail time for a non-violent crime. This is exactly what I mean. We are way too quick to throw the book at the person. As far as the one case I mentioned, as I understand it the judge wanted to make an example of the person who got the DWI.

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Chip, you shouldn't have to rely on a lawyer to get you out of jail time for a non-violent crime. This is exactly what I mean. We are way too quick to throw the book at the person. As far as the one case I mentioned, as I understand it the judge wanted to make an example of the person who got the DWI.

 

In our society you need a lawyer.  It's the system we built.  It's a separate topic too.  The simple truth is whether it's a reckless driving, or DWI, or a serious crime, a lawyer will typically get you a better deal than no lawyer.

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For profit prisons are an instant recipe for disaster.

Oh wait,, human beings are not greedy slime who will sell their own mother up the river for some kickbacks, i forgot.

good thing we're so trustworthy when money is involved or this could really be a bad idea.

~Ban

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there ahs already been a judge (in PA?) busted for getting kickbacks and sending every juvenile offender in front of him away for maximum sentences.. there was a group of cops in Brooklyn busted for getting kickbacks for "insuring' evidence that would gain mandatory sentences, drugs mostly..

Typically you can say "The easiest way to avoid problems with jail is to not do anything wrong"..

But now you're not a citizen in this, you're a potential bit of income, a potential asset. If a cop WANTED to, he could earn money by dropping a bag of coke in your car, even if you're totally innocent. (He always could if he was a dirty cop, but now getting you arrested and convicted has a price, whether you're a gang member, drug dealer, suspect, anything. Everyone has a value when locking you up has profit.

The incentive for misconduct is greater than ever.

And there's no way I would ever trust that a prison "business" would not consider it good business to insure the stay of their guests with finder's fees.

~Bang

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While Americans represent about 5 percent of the world's population, nearly one-quarter of the entire world's inmates have been incarcerated in the United States in recent years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate

 

There is money in those numbers.

 

Well this could be it's own topic.  Other countries aren't as caring of their prisoners as we are, you know in most countries the serious criminals are just killed off, or prisons are so bad no one dares to live there, or the countries have not much form of a legal system.

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Well this could be it's own topic.  Other countries aren't as caring of their prisoners as we are, you know in most countries the serious criminals are just killed off, or prisons are so bad no one dares to live there, or the countries have not much form of a legal system.

 

I agree, but "private business" goes into the business of incarcerating people for just one thing, " money". Like it or not, here (the U.S.) is where the money is.

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Privatized prisons also often contract with major corporations because of the cheap labor.  So you have even more incentive for the owner's of these prisons along with corporations, to keep a steady pipeline of criminals coming in, and the younger the better.

 

I remember reading an article awhile back about Microsoft contracting for microchip assembly, and one of the major airlines having felons book your flights in prison call center's.

 

Forget the ethics issue, it is just downright sick that these companies are taking away jobs from citizens in order to make a buck, when they were already making a mighty fun buck in the first place.

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I don't think DWI sentences are too harsh. If they were, you wouldn't have people walking the streets with multiple offenses.

Just because people still commit DWI's doesn't mean that the punishments aren't too harsh. I don't think they could eliminate all drunk driving even if they made a life sentence a possibility.

It's the same for other victimless crimes as well. As long a there is a good chance that the person won't be caught then they will still do it.

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Just because people still commit DWI's doesn't mean that the punishments aren't too harsh. I don't think they could eliminate all drunk driving even if they made a life sentence a possibility.

It's the same for other victimless crimes as well. As long a there is a good chance that the person won't be caught then they will still do it.

 

This is for another thread.  Not here.

If you have some fact based information about DWI punishment being too harsh, start a thread.

 

I disagree with you though.  Not sure how you can defend DWI's.

 

My wife works in a law firm primarily in the auto insurance realm.  DWI's get off quite easy IMO. 

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This is for another thread. Not here.

If you have some fact based information about DWI punishment being too harsh, start a thread.

I disagree with you though. Not sure how you can defend DWI's.

My wife works in a law firm primarily in the auto insurance realm. DWI's get off quite easy IMO.

I didn't want to derail the thread and I don't support drunken driving. I used that as an example because people generally wouldn't support loosening the punishment for convicted people. Likewise with drug possession and distribution. Etc.

This is why we have such a prison problem.

Add to that private companies whose main goal is to make more money and more prisoners and longer sentences enable them to do exactly that...

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The points made that people in general don't care about the incarcerated criminal is correct IMO.

 

Plus, if your running for a position and you don't take a hard line stance on criminals then you get labeled as soft and voters are gullible enough to fall for it. Prison reform should absolutely be an issue in this country, but it's not. Too many people seem to treat it as some taboo subject with the notion that only bad people get incarcerated.

 

Plus, it's an absolute travesty how criminals are treated once their time has been served. If you were young and committed a low-level felony, even a non-violent one, good bye to your life over one mistake. You'll very likely never have a serious job and will just scrape by instead. This and corporate prisons are major contributors to what is also plaguing the prison system: repeat offenders. Rehabilitation efforts in this country are a joke, for-profit prisons don't want it, they want repeat customers. 

 

Until this country wakes up to the incarceration problem, that our numbers of jailed per population are ridiculously high compared globally, then for profit prisons will continue to exist, continue to have the conflict of interest that their very existence creates, and thus the problems mentioned by the OP will continue to persist.

 

Legalizing marijuana would cut into that number considerably. Taking non-violent crimes away from jail time and using home arrest and community service would be far better/constructive. Problem is, any solutions that don't include hard line stances favoring jail time are portrayed as weakness in election time and this severely hurts any real solutions being discussed at a level where actions can actually be taken to improve the problem.

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I do think there are issues with long term prison sentences for non-violent crimes that should be addressed.  As far as violent criminals, yeah, I'm fine with them not being treated like they're in a 4-star resort.

 

For instance. Drunk driving. Our laws are generally way too harsh. Nobody should go to jail for drunk driving on the first offense, nobody. I know a person who got a DWI on a 4 wheeler who did 30 days in PA. It's ludicrous.

What about if you kill someone drunk driving...but it's just your "first offense?"  Give me a break.  I think the penalties should be even harsher for "first time" drunk drivers.  Furthermore, if someone is stupid enough to drive drunk again and gets caught, they should face mandatory serious jail time.  

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