Skip to comments.The Real Prison Industry
Posted on 11/25/2011 9:46:47 AM PST by Kaslin
I've long thought the notion of a prison-industrial complex to be laughable left-wing nonsense peddled by Marxist goofballs and other passengers in the clown car of academic identity politics.
For those who don't know, the phrase "prison-industrial complex," or PIC, is a play on the military-industrial complex. The theory behind PIC is that there are powerful forces -- capitalist, racist, etc. -- pushing to lock up as many black and brown men as they can to maintain white supremacy and line the pockets of big-prison CEOs and shareholders with profits earned not just from the taxpayer but from the toil of prison-slave labor.
Self-described "abolitionists" in the anti-PIC cause seek to get rid of prisons altogether. Indeed, they want to abolish punishment itself.
That goes for murderers, rapists and pedophiles.
"People who have seriously harmed another need appropriate forms of support, supervision and social and economic resources," explains the website for Critical Resistance, the leading outfit in the "abolitionist" cause. In other words, if Penn State's Jerry Sandusky is found guilty on all counts, he doesn't deserve prison; he deserves "support, supervision and social and economic resources."
Personally, I think that is just bat-guano crazy.
Still, the state of our prisons has become something of a scandal. We have more prisoners today than we have soldiers, and more prison guards than Marines.
Our prisons have become boot camps for criminals. That's one reason why I'm sympathetic to Peter Moskos' idea to bring back flogging. A professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Moskos argues in his book, "In Defense of Flogging," that flogging -- aka the lash -- is more humane than prison and much, much cheaper. He suggests that perpetrators of certain crimes -- petty theft, burglary, drug dealing -- be given the option of receiving one lash instead of six months in prison.
Before you shrink from the cruelty of the proposal, ask yourself which you would prefer: six lashes or three years in jail?
Moskos' motive is to reduce the size, scope and influence of prisons while keeping them around for the people who truly must be locked up: murderers, rapists, terrorists, pedophiles, etc. I might disagree with where he would set the ideal size of our prison population (I think incarceration rates have reduced crime more than he does), or how many lashes criminals should get, but he makes a compelling case, and his objective is reasonable.
But it's not an objective shared by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). This was the outfit that essentially destroyed then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to fix the state budget.
In a state where more than two-thirds of crime is attributable to recidivism, CCPOA has spent millions of dollars lobbying against rehabilitation programs, favoring instead policies that will grow the inmate population and the ranks of prison guard unions. In 1999, it successfully killed a pilot program for alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. In 2005, it helped kill Schwarzenegger's plan to reduce overcrowding by putting up to 20,000 inmates in a rehabilitation program. It opposes any tinkering with the "three strikes law" that might thin the prison rolls.
According to UCLA economist Lee E. Ohanian in a illuminating paper for The American, "America's Public Sector Union Dilemma," California's corrections officers have exploited their monopoly labor power to push policies that will expand the prison population and, as a result, the demand for more guards who just happen to be the best-paid corrections officers in the country. That's why, contrary to what the Marxist sages would expect, they've successfully kept privately run prisons out of the state.
Meanwhile, incarceration costs in the essentially bankrupt state are exploding. California spends $44,000 per inmate, compared with the national average of $28,000. A state prison nurse exploited overtime rules to earn $269,810 in one year.
Also contrary to left-wing expectations, these policies have been implemented not so much by the hard-hearted captains of industry and their Republican lackeys, but by a Democrat-controlled state legislature lubricated with donations from a powerful public-sector union.
The system is now up for much-needed reform thanks to a court order mandating that California fix the prison mess. Gov. Jerry Brown, whose 2010 gubernatorial campaign received more than $2 million from CCPOA, has been forced to figure something out.
Still, I suppose I owe the folks in the clown car at least a small apology. They're still nuts, but they're right about the existence of a prison-industrial complex. They were just looking in the wrong direction.
He's wrong! Everyone on that list should be executed - not in prison!
The idea might fly if the SEIU can
incorporate all lashor’s into their
I'd pay to see some legislators get
the lash for lying. Could reduce
My son and girlfriend were pulled over Wednesday night for “following too close”, officer arrested both of them for oustanding traffic violations. Thrown in the county jail until family bails them out. (Yes, over Thanksgiving holiday). Yes, the prison system has become a huge money maker for some. (County prosecuter with financial ties to prison food vending company) The present “Correctional” system is not correcting anybody and making huge profits for those with “connections”.
A couple of decades ago an American kid in (I think) Singapore was caught spray painting graffiti and was sentenced to the lash. America was scandalized. But on the plane into Singapore there was an orientation lecture. No gum, no graffiti, etc. The laws and penalties were explained. The sentencing was on the news nightly and the whole thing was followed like the OJ trial. After the sentence had been carried out the news commentator, who had flown over special so he could have local color in the background, was explaining how barbaric it was, but he ended his piece with, Well, I bet he never does THAT again. Back to you, Walter. It hit me that, no, he wouldnt. And that should be the point of any punishment.
What scares me is there will be attempts to balance the punishments by including a sufficient amount of Caucasians, for example, to ensure fairness; whether it is Caucasians committing the offenses or not.
One lash? Seriously, one lash?? - Get freaking real
Close - it wasn’t the lash it was the Cane.
I agreed with Singapore 100% - and we NEED that here, as well
I think that spanking criminals would help with their lack of impulse control.
...officer arrested both of them for oustanding traffic violations.
You did a real sweet job of raising the boy to ignore laws. Maybe, in the future he will ignore enough laws to end up in the “Prison industry” too.
I know a lotta guys that would volunteer to administer spankings-and then turn around and swap places.
“Still, the state of our prisons has become something of a scandal. We have more prisoners today than we have soldiers, and more prison guards than Marines. “
I question that old canard. Per http://www.cis.org/ImmigrantCrime
“The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that 26.4 percent of inmates in federal prisons are non-U.S. citizens. Non-citizens are 8.6 percent of the nations adult population.”
That’s a big number.
Unpaid traffic tickets is nothing. In my province, you can’t renew your drivers or register your car until the fines are all paid up, so the government gets its money any way.
There is also a government/corporate medical-complex, and it makes the PIC look like a piker.
3 strikes,...you're out.
“Unpaid traffic tickets is nothing. In my province, you cant renew your drivers or register your car until the fines are all paid up, so the government gets its money any way.”
That’s nothing; here in NJ many illegals dirve with no license, insurance, or registration.
To their surprise, the two nations of the world that graded at the very top were Denmark and Singapore. It was a surprise to the researchers because they initially couldn't find anything in common between them: Denmark was known for being democratic, laid-back and libertarian, while Singapore was known for its fast-paced economic climate and its pretty repressive government run by a ruling family.
The two countries that ranked at the bottom of the list were Iraq and Italy.
When they looked a little closer, what the researchers found was that "happiness" was not primarily a function of freedom vs. repression in a society, but by a sense of objective order. Despite the perception among outsiders that Singapore's government was repressive (or even brutal, in some cases), what gave its citizenry a sense of contentment was that they lived under a legal system that was governed by an objective order in which all people would be treated just as harshly as the next if they violated that moral/legal code. They were perfectly fine with that, and the presence of that underlying objective order was the one key element that was common to both Singapore and Denmark.
Iraq and Italy, on the other hand, were marked by large-scale discontentment because most of the people in those countries went through their daily lives with the expectation that their government -- and even their entire social order -- was rotten to the core and corrupt beyond repair.
“I know a lotta guys that would volunteer to administer spankings-and then turn around and swap places.”
Reminds me of the old joke:
Masochist: “Beat me! Whip me now!”
Sadist: “No, I won’t!”
I think Moskos’s proposal is light, but his proposal is one lash (on bare skin with a nasty whip or cane which will cut the skin with each stroke) per six months of prison sentence. One stroke of the lash per three months of normal sentence strikes me as a better trade-off. Of course, his main point was to get us to think about what “penitentiaries” have become, not places where any penance typically take place, and far less humane than the punishment they replaced for most crimes: flogging.
Of course, considering that the courts are giving out six-month sentences for “fleeing and eluding” to folks (at least black folks, or maybe folks with an eight-year old DUI as their only previous brush with the law) with the temerity to not instantaneously realize that the patrol car’s flashers coming on was directed at them before they’d driven 100 feet or so (yes, I have an example), maybe in some cases his proposal might even be harsh.
My son and girlfriend were pulled over Wednesday night for following too close,
Good. Was your girlfriend more pissed at your son or the cops?