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mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Barlow posted:

Are there any responsible organizations that are doing work to change the justice system? This is an issue that I would really like to do something about but other then write to Congress and the state I'm unsure how to go about it.

I think this really is a case where people don't know about the situation. Lots of times people don't care or have differing opinions or whatever. In this case I think spreading the news is important because while lots of people have generally abhorrent ideas about "justice" very few people want this. So spreading the word is probably the best direct thing you can do at the moment.

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mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Fluoride Jones posted:

The most depressing thing about word of mouth are the aforementioned abhorrent ideas. I've seriously tried to convince friends and family that the prison system is a nightmare, but it usually ends with something like, "Well it's not supposed to be rehabilitation," or the typical, "Why have sympathy for killers and rapists?" I find this kind of thing is also very common when talking about the death penalty. Great thread, btw. Thank you, Fire for saving all of this info.

I think most people have limits, I think if many Americans got a magic wand to design our justice system however they wanted they'd make something terrible, but I think even then most people are simply and literally unaware how bad the system actually is (and are even proud to be unaware). I really feel if more people knew a lot of people would be angry even if their system would still be pretty inhumane.

edit: it's not true anymore, but I always had some great luck with 'America is the only country that allows executing retarded people....and children.... and retarded children" because if you could get a person to look and see it was true most people really would quickly back down on at least parts of their beliefs of our system being totally okay.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Does any other country have anything like our sex offender registry stuff? Criminal for life stuff for any crime for that matter.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Broken Knees Club posted:

Remember the time sex offenders were literally forced to live under a bridge because everywhere else fell within a certain distance of pools/schools/whatever they were not allowed to be around?

The best part of that story was the guy who got the laws set up (some legislator that had a daughter raped who is all crazy sex offender vengeance) got elected the commissioner in charge of homelessness in that city just to make sure he could screw with them more after he already made them homeless.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Forced labor of prisoners is explicitly constitutional. Like it's one of the few things the constitution goes out of it's way to be all "yeah, you can do this" in the 13th amendment.

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

Wow, really?

It was written that way specifically to sort of compromise that we could still arrest all the black people for being homeless and make them farm more after they were released as slaves (and homeless).

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

"Look at what they do in Canada, they leave them unchecked and let the behead people in buses. Is that what you want to see in America?

That's what I thought "

Seriously, though, anyone remember that Greyhound beheading case? It made me pretty angry when the mother of the victim went on the news and tearfully asked why the government didn't lock up every schizophrenic permanently.

This thread should include stuff from Canada as well, like the new law preventing violent offenders and sexual offenders from getting pardons after the 5 year period (to prevent a notorious murderer from getting her pardon. She's out of jail, stayed out of trouble for 5 years and she's cheated out of her right for a normal life.)

In California the governor has to sign every parole but once someone on parole raped a baby or something scary like that so for decades they just refuse to sign any ever. Parole board goes through all the work of checking someone for release, prisoners go through all the stuff to earn good behavior and then pretty much every single one gets flat out rejected because no one wants to sign off on someone that goes on to kill again.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


I think a part of it is that the US has such rock bottom terrible social programs that it makes it hard to stomach making the prison programs.

Basically all our safety nets are so terrible that if you give prisoners ANYTHING it ends up better than what non-prisoners get and that upsets people.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Zeitgueist posted:

I knew this would be a response to that post, but I still stand by it. I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist in those countries. I'm saying that it's not as pervasive and institutionalized as it is in the US.

I think it's really the opposite, it's so institutionalized over such a long period of time it's worked itself out more. Europe has a lot of ethnic fights heading towards the one or two thousand year mark and things have long since settled into well defined regions and even countries by now so things don't even come up much these days.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Sylink posted:

Racism is still a huge problem. And while the prison system in the US system holds more minorities than whites, I think that has to do with the long standing poor economic treatment of nonwhites.

I don't know that would be better but if you read about the prison system, especially in the south a ton of systems we use explicitly were started with racism intentionally in mind.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


The New Black posted:

So I just read through the Joe Arpaio site, and I have to ask: how is he still sheriff? I can see how he gets elected time and again, but after the multiple suspicious deaths and violent assaults in his custody, how has there not been some kind of proper police investigation into him? Or do I not understand how the US system works?

I mean, surely at some point he's got to be held accountable?

Killing non-whites is pretty largely what the people that vote for him want. He's doing his job as intended. He is being held accountable. Scared old white people love what he's doing and no where has more scared old white people than rural Arizona.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Y-Hat posted:

Except Arpaio is sheriff of an area that contains Phoenix and most of its metropolitan area, so we're not exactly talking about rural white Arizonans here.

I still don't think he's exactly slipping anything by anyone. He writes books about the crap he does and people love it, he's a terrible person and the people vote for him because he is not unknowing that he is.

I think it comes down to 'who the heck votes for sheriff" and the answer so far is 'people that are wicked scared of Mexicans and want someone to go shoot them"

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


I would think that making black people pick cotton on slave plantations run by decedents of slave owners makes it require a few mental gymnastics to try and pretend this isn't modern slavery.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


olylifter posted:

Article in the Economist about this last week.

http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

Didn't see it posted.

I'd be hard pressed to find something more legit than the Economist.

From the article:

Jail is expensive. Spending per prisoner ranges from $18,000 a year in Mississippi to about $50,000 in California, where the cost per pupil is but a seventh of that.

Why aren't the 'make the gubmit smaller and spend less' tea party assholes trumpeting about this as a means to reduce the deficit and the debt?

I mean, they're not racist, so putting black people behind bars shouldn't be a sufficient motivation.

I guarantee that solution that would come out of this would be to spend less per prisoner by cutting any meager program that does anything humane or beneficial for any prisoner in any way.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


DarkCrawler posted:

There are a lot of plain stupid people in the world. People, when measured by any metric of intelligence, will always return horrible results. Some of these people live in United States.

You know in the matrix how zion exists so people that escape the matrix get a fake life as a safety valve.

In US politics calling people stupid sheep is that. Most people that notice something is wrong never go farther into looking at reasons than "heh, inferior sheeple"

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


taremva posted:

I don't mean any offence, but for a country which shouts "FREEDOM" I'm really starting to wonder.

Just being curious, what is the general opinion of the level of freedom in other countries, for the average American? Does a large part of the population believe that other countries are more oppressed? (Thinking about western/northern Europe mainly, not trying to compare with north Koreaor something).
And what do the Americans here think?

We are a country that has prisoners stamp 'live free or die" on license plates unironically.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


angry armadillo posted:

I work in a prison in the UK, interesting to see that compared to the US we seem to have the opposite problem in that overall, we are probably too soft

To soft to do what? behind harder doesn't actually reduce crime and studies show that.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


baquerd posted:

The US problem is a combination of poorly supervised violent inmates, unsympathetic guards, a strict internal prohibition about telling the guards when it does happen, removal of normal outlets of sexual expression or even recreational activities, and gang related activity.

There is lots of times and places you get a lot of bad dudes together in one place, it doesn't seem like them all raping each other is exactly a natural consequence of that. I mean three of your reasons come down to 'no one is stopping them' and it's not really the case that in other countries there is a bunch of people straining to all surprise sex each other but are being stopped. If you took a bunch of prisoners in other countries and had the guards close their eyes and turn around it wouldn't turn instantly to rapefest and I think most of the inmates would be a little weirded out by the idea it might.

Why it happens here? I don't really know, but it's not just normal.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


angry armadillo posted:

Too soft in that you hear stories about cons saying 'yeah i just steal stuff in winter because I'm not sure where I will be staying, it will be warmer in prison so I'll do something to go there for a bit'

This has to be a case of "didn't think through what your saying before posting" I can't imagine homeless people dieing of exposure is something so precious to our society we have to take steps to avoid losing it!

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


angry armadillo posted:

You have a lot of faith in rehabilitation to think that someone who opts to commit crimes and opts to go to prison could come out wanting to contribute to society.

How does not letting them in prison because they have no home and it's winter help anything? Except maybe that they die and you don't have to worry about them anymore?

I mean how drat bad do you want prison to be so that it can be worse than loving freezing to death?

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Woozy posted:

Yes and no. It is the result of running prisons for profit but we have to be clear about what that means.

Like, it's obviously not just banal corporate evil at the heart of this. The world's CEOs didn't just get together and say "we're going to get 3 strikes laws passed so we can exploit the prison system! Muahaha!" You can't really explain overcrowding, for example, as a cost-cutting measure to maximize the number of prisoners held with the smallest amount of prison capital. It's not the same thing as cramming as many employees into small cubicles as possible to reduce overhead, because you still have to explain why we have so drat many prisoners to begin with.

The problem is also not a matter of prison labor being cheap and therefore useful to corporate America, putting pressure on the state to imprison more people and treat them more brutally or something, which I think is maybe it a bit overemphasized as far as critiques of the prison system go (the usual technique is to point out the relationship between slavery and the modern prison system and that's just a little tenuous I think). It just doesn't make sense that we'd need prison labor when third-world labor is just as cheap and effective and even more disciplined, and except in a few industries immune to criticism from social activists in American political discourse. Sure, there a few isolated areas that you can't move the labor overseas because it has to be done here and so prison labor is a bit more appealing (sorting through hazardous waste, for example, and more heinously BP's use of prisoners to clean up the oil spill). But honestly, the last number I heard was like under a 200,000 prisoners actually employed in this fashion (i.e., in the private sector only) which is really a drop in the bucket compared to third-world labor and even that has resulted in expensive PR backlash at times, as was the case with Walmart back in '06. And third-world labor is much less of a lawsuit magnet, limited as prisoners rights may be.

It's furthermore not clear that outlawing the privatization of prisons, which some states have apparently done, will help improve conditions overall--many public prisons are just as terrible. Also, I'm not an expert on the prison industry but I imagine you still have to contract out certain services like food and healthcare and its pretty much always a poo poo show from there, quality-wise.

So privatization isn't really the whole story, I don't think. Again, you can kind of explain certain things here and there as basic moral hazards that pop up whenever there's a private industry where there shouldn't be (healthcare, military). But the big thing that we can't explain within that kind of framework is the ridiculous number of prisoners, many of whom are just of no obvious benefit to the private sector in terms of actual dollars. And I think it sounds a bit too conspiratorial to suggest that this is some kind of concerted effort on behalf of the corporate sector to get more prisoners. Like it's just too complex and too big to happen as some kind of scheme, and it happened alongside a ton of other major changes in the justice system as a whole (policing in particular). Three strikes laws, mandatory minimums, drug wars and so fourth are all incidentally good for businesses but I think putting that kind of apparatus in place had to have happened organically and outside of any particular lobby.

But I do think you're essentially right that the profit motive is at the heart of this. It's just a little more abstract than lobbying and collusion and the prison industrial complex. It's more about how you deal with people that can't be included in the capitalist system. You have to find a way to sort of waste their productive capacity because the system can't sustain them, and war and prisons are just a couple of the way we have found to do that. You can blow a ton of public dollars on social welfare programs and lift up the lower classes, but it is, in fact, much more profitable to send to them to prison and its much more stable socially. What's happening with prisons is that it's an entire industry centered around wasting production, wasting human potential, because too much production exacerbates problems organic to a capitalist system and will eventually tank the economy. So really its just the natural consequence of growing wealth disparity and increasing need to discipline the working class. And I again I want to stress that I don't think this is some kind of grand conspiracy--it's not the aristocracy getting together and twirling mustaches and saying "how can we gently caress over the poor?". But it is a natural consequence of having an extreme wealth gap, of which crime is an obvious symptom, and needing a way to keep people on the wrong side of that gap from threatening those on the right side.

Look at this graph and try to guess the exact year the deregulation that lead to privatized prisons happened:



It's not a ethereal loose connection like your making it sound.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

so is it really surprising that this is the case when you effectively do this in prison, which after all has a lot more people who are inclined to surprise sex?

It *IS* surprising because every country has prisons but it's not something that happens to any other system as far as I can tell. It's not a natural inevitable consequence, it's just something America accepts for some reason.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

"Well at least that will never happen to me, that only happens to people who break the law and I would never get in that position in the first place." -> Point to any wrongful conviction case, the fact that Prosecutors often care about nothing but having a perfect conviction rating or that video by that lawyer about why you shouldn't talk to police because of how the system works.

It absolutely happens, so no need to link me a counterexample, but in general wrongful convictions are more rarely towards random middle class white people. In that way I think people have a weird "yeah but he was bad anyway" escape clauses in their brain towards people getting wrongfully convicted.

A weird racist/classiest "he would have done it except he didn't, who even knows, 'they' are interchangeable" sort of thing when finding a black person or a poverty stricken redneck got sent to jail for something they didn't do.

Edit: specifically they have some trait that lets people say "well if they didn't want to be wrongfully convicted they shouldn't have ______"

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

Yeah, you're kinda right... But not everyone who thinks "it'll never happen to me, I follow the law" agree that poor people/black people/hispanic people deserve to be jailed. Those who do are about racism/classism and that's a different issue. Different from Justice, I mean.

I don't think it's rational but I think the sense is that people who get wrongly put in jail weren't the nicest people to begin with, and honestly that may well be true. America loves 'any punishment for any crime" in general. So if a drug addict gets thrown in prison for a murder he didn't commit, it's pretty much okay to a lot of people. It's seen as a minor injustice.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

My point is that you should tell whoever uses the argument of "I obey the law, it could never happen to me" that wrongful conviction could happen to anyone. Even them.

Except a lot of the people that say it aren't the sort of people that get wrongfully convicted very often. It's most people that they see as below them anyway and see it as unfortunate but still something the people brought upon themselves by being ruffians or whatever euphemism for "poor people" that happens to fit.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

"Do this" referred to the failure to defend inmates from each other. I think the breakdown of norms against inmate-on-inmate violence (including surprise sex) is a fairly inevitable consequence of this failure.

Can you find other examples? Like I said there has been a kajillion examples of a bunch of bad people all together at various times in history without it becoming rapetoberfest.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


Broken Knees Club posted:

I think he's agreeing with you? The reason surprise sex is prevalent is not because the people inside are good, bad or clinically insane. It's because the conditions are inhumane. If you put any thousand people in a concrete box, give them no personal space, beat them and randomly shove them in segregation for months at a time, things will get violent very quickly and irreversibly.

Thats what I am questioning, we have a bad prison system but it's not like we are the first country on earth to have one. As far as I know russian gulags, nazi prison camps and midevil dungeons weren't also rapeatoriums.

Like maybe I'm wrong and they were, but as far as I can tell we have something weird and unique to get the surprise sex thing. When it's not a natural inevitable consequence of just "bad prisoning"

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


TyroneGoldstein posted:

The only time he really crossed over into 'bad guy' territory was during that episode when they were hunting down an international child pornography ring and he had to go to..I want to say Amsterdam but it may have been more eastern european than central/west and he literally beat the everliving crap out of one of the guys they brought in after getting the nod from the local detective he was working with (a chick, can't remember her name). I think it was more to illustrate how different police work is between us and them.

Nah, he is a bad cop, as are most cops in media, none of them follow any sort of legal procedure. Of course part of that is they only do things that make good tv, but a lot is the "but he gets results!" where we know the guy he's bullying or tricking or roughing up or arresting with no proof is a real bad guy and justice is served.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


TyroneGoldstein posted:

We'll have to disagree on whether or not he's a 'bad' cop in intent, but I do agree fully about how he, as well as other television detectives do what 'makes good TV'. People really wouldn't want to watch some angry mid life crisis having detective sit there and basically fill out forms in triplicate and excruciating detail about crime scenes they worked. Reading those on the smoking gun is fun but its really dry stuff unless you're into procedural stuff or are, in fact, a cop.

In the end they won't show all the paper work and really dull stuff, but tv cops are very very bad people. It is only in that they are always right that their techniques seem acceptable. They solve most crimes by doing things that are flat out illegal.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

Then again, i wonder, what does a banker have to gain or give back to society that needs him in prison? A Banker who steals billions and is found out is pretty hosed. What does jail time do to him?

Please explain what jail time does for anyone that bankers should be a unique case?

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

I'm not saying Bankers should be a unique case. I'm saying that White Collar criminals don't really fit in a rehabilitation-based criminal justice system like, say, murderers or burglars.

Let's say you murdered someone, you might have mental issues or got involved in a gang.

Let's say you're a burglar or a drug dealer? What you did is probably motivated by how easy it seemed to steal/deal drugs rather than get a job with the limited skills you have.

This can be fixed in a rehabilitative institution, somewhere that gives you the tools needed to integrate into society.

White collar criminals, Bankers and Ponzi schemers, they don't do it because they need money, they do it because they want absurd amounts of money. It's not something that can be "fixed" since it's something that has to be planned long beforehand. What they're doing is wrong, but it's not motivated by lack of ressources.

So in a country with a good rehabilitative justice system, where do white collar criminals go and why?

What in the world are you trying to say? It sounds like white collar crimes don't fit into your world view because you have an extremely odd worldview that is some sort of bizzaro reverse 'just world' hypothesis where all criminals are all driven by a sole outside factor that could be fixed or something? but that excepts white collar crime for some reason?

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


S.T.C.A. posted:

I figured the state would seize the financier's assets except for a hard cap of $1000, ban them from working any sort of financial job, guarantee them Section 8 housing credits and food stamps if they need it, and force them to attend state-paid psychiatric sessions. Basically, you'd force them to live the life of the people whose livelihoods they destroyed and demonstrate they understand what happened.

God, don't even start with these complex goony eye for an eye poetic justice plans. That is not what our justice system should ever be.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


S.T.C.A. posted:

I thought about that, but there's a significant difference between, "We're freezing your assets and ensuring you can live freely," and, "Have fun in a surprise sex dungeon!" If someone commits a violent crime, we aim to rehabilitate them in some way (in name only for the majority of the time at the moment) and take away their ill-gotten gains from their crime and their ability to commit crime again (felons can't own guns for X amount of time/forever depending on the state).

Setting up poetic justice for crimes works for poems. It is not the basis of a real justice system.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


S.T.C.A. posted:

If my crime revolved around abusing my job in the finance sector, and I made 70% of my personal net worth by that abuse, and that abuse was deemed illegal, you're calling it 'poetic justice' if the state seizes 70% of my personal net worth and says I can't have a job in the finance sector again (or for X years)?

Now wait just a second, what you said before was your plan was "Basically, you'd force them to live the life of the people whose livelihoods they destroyed and demonstrate they understand what happened."

Now you have changed it to simply having to pay back what they took with a weird lifetime restriction of job choice slapped on.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


21stCentury posted:

Wait, so you disagree that if someone embezzled 1 million dollars, they should pay back 1 million?

That is a much diffrent concept than the elaborate plan to put bankers in section 8 with 1000 dollars to make them learn what it is they did to others.

If something is physically returnable that is clearly reasonable. It is unreasonable to start pulling up karmic returns that it becomes a horrible system.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


S.T.C.A. posted:

How is it vengeance-based to say, "You cannot keep the wealth you illegally made?"

That's what I'm asking at this point. I concede that I poorly worded what I said initially because I didn't mean to make it sound like, "MAKE THE RICH BOY LIVE POOR HAW HAW!" but it clearly did sound that way.

Now I'm asking you a very specific question that poetic justice does not fit at all. I am saying take away the personal gain the white collar criminal earned for their crime. This is the same as someone who is caught for theft is forced to return the goods they stole. That is not vengeance-based. That is restoring things to the point they were at prior to the crime. Vengeance-based would be saying now the victim gets to do to you what you did to them; that's poetic justice (sort of, but hey, you're misusing it too so whatever).

So in other words, how is it poetic justice to disallow white-collar criminals from keeping the wealth they illegally created?

You are continously watering your idea away down to nothing.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


The "and ban them for life from being a banker!" is the problem. Because the problem is of having a ton of catagories of 'criminals' that have all sorts of various bans on their freedoms. You get caught, you go to jail, you get out, you pay your fine, then welp, your still not a full citizen. I mean if you are singling out just bankers for this sort of justice it's overy specific to just pick one crime if it's a philosophy for justice it's evil, as it arbitarily carves up the population to have varying levels of rights and by definition that only leads to fewer and fewer people having full rights.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


I would absolutely not hold up things like the restrictions felons have put on them as a good system that we want to expand and emulate either.

mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


olylifter posted:

In response, the Republican party is going to spin it as Obama trying to increase the spread of AIDS. That makes sense.

In response the republican party is going to spin it as awesome because they friggin love absurdly bad things happening to prisoners.

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mew force shoelace
Dec 13, 2009

by Ozmaugh


HidingFromGoro posted:

Everybody deserves to do they time in peace

Therefore we only give that chance to rich and famous people?

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