05:51:22 am on
Thursday 25 Jul 2024

Doing Time, Why
M Alan Roberts

I was watching the evening news, always a cheerful pastime, and I heard statistics have been developed concerning the incarceration rates, the number of women and men in jail, in the US. The Pew Centre reported, that for the first, time in history, more than 1 out of every 100 American adults are incarcerated, that's 4% of all Americans.

Locked up, just think about it. You can't provide for your family, maybe can't have a family. You can't provide for yourself, other than to survive. You stay in your area and play cards, watch television, read books, maybe, and wait for your next meal. You spend all or most of you days in a space fit only for somebody half your size.

The prison keeps you hungry, all of the time, and you are forced to lean on your already impoverished family for money to spend at the commissary. The commissary is where you but overpriced candy bars, microwave popcorn and other high fat foods, which will eventually lead to your health failing thus creating another burden to pressure state budget.

One in 36 Latinos, the reporter said, were in jail or prison. This does not include juveniles. This does not include people on probation or parole. When you add up all the numbers, for all ethnic and regional groups, the final tally is close to 1 in 25 Americans!

Over the past two decades, there has been no significant rise in the crime rates. In the news, an elected representative, from Kentucky, said that with only a 3% increase in crime since 1990, there has been a 678% increase in the incarceration rate. How can this be? It seems outrageous! It is.

The reason for this unbelievable degree of unrighteous social dictation is clear. Over 50% of those incarcerated nationwide are non-violent drug offenders. Nonviolent, and most often, first time offenders. The courts have gone insane. Is it so hard for people to see that the lower classes are targeted for the financial gain of the government?

One in every 25 African Americans are behind bars, locked away. They can't advance. They can't better themselves. They're losing time, and losing precious hope, every day. Alternative penalties, such as community service or counseling, are far less expensive to initiate, especially for petty criminals, while maintaining and providing equal or better rehabilitative results.

The government increases the number of police, increases the number of prisons or jails, imposes stricter penalties for lesser "crimes" and grows its authority, as it lessens respect for individual lives that it so disdainfully reigns over. "The Land of the Free," indeed, I say.

No chance for release. The report by the Pew Center also reports that all states spent in excess of $49 billion (with a "b"), on corrections in 2007. In 1987, the total was 11 billion. Kind of makes you wonder. In comparison, the US feral government spent less than 1/6 of that amount on higher education, during the same time frame. Makes you wonder a lot more. What is America promoting with that lovely philosophy of social regulation?

Coincidentally, it seems to be just fine to continue to spend $100s of billions on war, and global domination. One might say that the government is using its "lower class" "citizens" to fund these efforts: Perform to our exacting standards with very little freedom of expression or choice or be incarcerated - plain and simple.

These men and women sit in their cages, and rot. The United States comprises 5% of the world's population. It also is responsible for 25% of the same world's incarcerated individuals. I like that word: individuals. It is a word that has ever less and less meaning in America. China is left behind as a distant second place for the number of people incarcerated when compared to the "greatest nation on the planet." What is so great about repression and bullying?

There is no question that violent or repetitive criminals need to be behind bars, and for a good long time. That decreases crime rates. That instills public safety and well being.

On the other hand, these out-of-control statistics of incarceration for American citizens will only create havoc. People will grow tired of being afraid to live. They will grow wary of trying to keep up with all of the new laws passed to control their every thought and action. They will stand up! They will get pissed! If we as Americans do not initiate proactive responses to this madness, then the government will certainly continue to implement its plan of social destruction.

If we do not unite and demand fair treatment, alternative and therapeutic intervention for nonviolent "crimes" and some respect from the government that we work hard to keep so rich. I guess I'll see you on the inside.

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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