The prison biz…

The prison biz…


English: People sitting in the courtyard of a ...
English: People sitting in the courtyard of a building. Line Drawing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

today 3:12 PM
Brasscheck sent an E-Mail:
Annamaria
The bogus drug ware.
The prison biz.
It’s bigger than you think and the product is slave labor – in the US.
Video:
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/21173.html
– Brasscheck

Extreme Sentencing – The `New Normal?` (with two important links)

Extreme Sentencing – The `New Normal?` (with two important links)


English: A page from American Civil Liberties ...
English: A page from American Civil Liberties Union v. Ashcroft. This image was made public by the ACLU (from http://www.aclu.org/Files/getFile.cfm?id=15551). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Director of the ACLU‘s Center for Justice

GET UPDATES FROM Vanita Gupta

Extreme Sentencing — the ‘New Normal?’

Posted: 11/15/2013  3:19 pm
 

Director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice

It should outrage us that a homeless man will be in prison for the rest of his life because he was the middleman in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana. We can all pretty much agree that the punishment of growing old and dying behind bars for such offenses is a wildly extreme, tragic and wasteful overreaction to the crime.

But it should not surprise us. Cases like this man’s are just the tip of the iceberg.

Hundreds of thousands of people in American prisons are serving decades-long sentences that are far out of proportion to their crimes. They comprise an increasingly aging prison population that costs more and more to maintain as their health deteriorates, increasingly strapping state budgets. In many cases, the person incarcerated could have been effectively held accountable in the community with no prison time at all. In other more serious cases where incarceration may be warranted, the person incarcerated could successfully return to the community after a much shorter time in prison, especially if job training and education were available to ease reentry. But this is not the norm.

Instead, in jurisdictions all around the country, incarceration has been touted as the solution to scores of problems it is ill equipped to address, pushing the number of people in jail and prison to over 2.3 million people. That’s more than the number of people living in New Mexico. This prison-focused punishment system is wildly expensive, destructive to families and communities, and does not work. Research shows diminishing returns of long sentences–the longer a person is incapacitated and removed from family and work opportunities, the less bang we get for the buck in terms of reduced recidivism.

Many policy makers agree that sentencing law relics of the 1980s and 1990s are ineffective. So what stands in our way? For too many Americans, the long sentences we mete out are just the “new normal.” It is hard to shock us when it comes to our criminal justice system. The ease with which we throw away certain people’s lives, particularly the lives of black and brown men, women, and children, demonstrates a general disregard and devaluation of certain communities as irredeemable and unworthy of meaningful interventions that might actually change the course of their lives and heal their communities, and to which many other communities have easier access.

Much of the extreme sentencing in America is justified in the name of victims, with the aim of preventing violence and keeping communities safe. The irony and the lesser known fact is that the majority of crime victims in this country come from the same high incarceration communities. Moreover, polls of victims of crime have found that the vast majority do not want the people responsible for hurting them to be incarcerated if alternatives are available. What matters most to victims of crime is that what happened to them not happen to anyone else. They see the sky-high recidivism rates, and recognize that long prison terms are doing a terrible job of ensuring that people don’t commit crimes in the future. If our goal is to promote safe and healthy communities, we need a different strategy, one that promotes real solutions, such as robust, community-based programs that provide job training, education, classes, and other accountability measures to people who have committed crimes.

The 3,278 people profiled in the ACLU’s recently-released report, A Living Death, did not commit crimes with direct victims. Yet even they received sentences at the extreme end of the spectrum: life without parole. It is time to hold our system accountable for its actions.

We can do better. We know that extreme sentencing is not the answer. Help us fight it at www.aclu.org/fairandsmart.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanita-gupta/extreme-sentencing–the-n_b_4283971.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

The complete report A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses is available here.

Read some of the stories of people serving life without parole on our interactive story map.

“The US can lock up hackers, but it can´t crush their spirit” The Guardian

“The US can lock up hackers, but it can´t crush their spirit” The Guardian


Hammond's Flycatcher
Hammond’s Flycatcher (Photo credit: K Schneider)

The US can lock up hackers, but it can’t crush their spirit

Jeremy Hammond is just the the latest to be targeted in a global witchhunt against the brightest minds of a generation
Young boy aged 16 sat down in casual clothes on a laptop computer

To ‘the online culture … digital activists who risk everything for the public’s ‘right to know’ are heroes’. Photograph: fotovisage/Alamy

Why is the US sending some of its best young minds to jail? On Friday Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old digital activist from Chicago, will learn how many years he is to serve for participating in the 2011 hack of the private security firm Stratfor. “I believe in the power of the truth,” said Hammond, pleading guilty to helping liberate millions of emails from the company, which is paid by large corporations to spy on activists around the world. “I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”

Like the others who took part in the Stratfor hack, Hammond wasn’t out for money, and he didn’t get any. Nonetheless, he has spent the past 18 months in prison, including extended periods in solitary confinement, and now faces a 10-year prison sentence. Hammond is the latest target of a global witchhunt against hackers, whistleblowers and anyone who seeks to release private information in the public interest.

The witchhunt is being led by the US government, but its targets are international: Lauri Love, an activist from Suffolk, was arrested in Britain last month and may face extradition on charges of hacking into US government networks and a possible decade in a US jail. The legislation used to single out and lock up these people is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a flexible law that allows US courts to impose almost indefinite sentences against any crime committed with a computer, down to simple violation of terms of service.

In practice, by some staggering coincidence, the digital crimes that get prosecuted are those that happen to make governments and large corporations look foolish. Financial damage is the main thrust of the prosecutors’ claim against Hammond and his fellow LulzSec members, but it isn’t really the money that matters. Hammond is being asked to pay back just $250,000; by comparison, you would have to embezzle tens of millions of dollars to get an equivalent sentence for corporate fraud in the same Manhattan courtroom. …

Please, read more:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/14/us-lock-up-hackers-jeremy-hammond?

“Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes” ACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as possession of a crack pipe…”The Guardian

“Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes” ACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as possession of a crack pipe…”The Guardian


Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimesACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as shoplifting or possession of a crack pipe

in New York

A prisoner
65% of the prisoners identified nationwide by the ACLU are African American. In Louisiana, that proportion rises to 91%. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.”

A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.

Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools from a tool shed; yet another for attempting to cash a stolen cheque.

“It has been very hard for me,” Jackson wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of its new report on life without parole for non-violent offenders. “I know that for my crime I had to do some time, but a life sentence for a jacket value at $159. I have …

Please, read more here:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes

The Untold Story of War: U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide

The Untold Story of War: U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide


The Untold Story of War: U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide.

 The Untold Story of War:
U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide

Video

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives each day. Last year, more U.S. military personnel died by their own hands than the hands of others. On any given night, nearly 63,000 veterans are homeless.

Veterans continue to face extremely high levels of unemployment, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and homelessness. Since 2000, nearly 6,000 service members have experienced traumatic amputations from injuries caused by improvised explosive devices and other war-related dangers.

November 12, 2013

 

Jimmy Carter calls for fresh moratorium on DEATH PENALTY! (excuse me, but I have to say: Halleluja!)

Jimmy Carter calls for fresh moratorium on DEATH PENALTY! (excuse me, but I have to say: Halleluja!)


Jimmy Carter calls for fresh moratorium on death penalty

Carter says it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and justices should reintroduce ban that stood from 1972 to 1976
Jimmy Carter in 2008
Jimmy Carter said: ‘The only consistency today is that the people who are executed are almost always poor, from a racial minority or mentally deficient.’ Photo: Reuters

Former US president Jimmy Carter has called for a new nationwide moratorium on the death penalty, arguing that it is applied so unfairly across the 32 states that still have the death sentence that it amounts to a form of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited under the US constitution.

In an interview with the Guardian, Carter calls on the US supreme court to reintroduce the ban on capital punishment that it imposed between 1972 and 1976. The death penalty today, he said, was every bit as arbitrary as it was when the nine justices suspended it on grounds of inconsistency in the case of Furman v Georgia 41 years ago.

“It’s time for the supreme court to look at the totality of the death penalty once again,” Carter said. “My preference would be for the court to rule that it is cruel and unusual punishment, which would make it prohibitive under the US constitution.”

Carter’s appeal for a new moratorium falls at a time of mounting unease about the huge disparities in the use of capital punishment in America. Recent research has shown that most of the 1,352 executions that have taken place since the supreme court allowed them to recommence in 1976 have emanated from just 2% of the counties in the nation.

Amid a critical shortage of medical drugs used in lethal injections caused by a European boycott of US corrections departments, death penalty states are also adopting increasingly desperate execution methods. The new techniques range from deploying previously untested sedatives in lethal injections, to concocting improvised batches of the chemicals through compounding pharmacies….

Please, read article here:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/11/jimmy-carter-supreme-court-death-penalty

Americans are paying more attention now to the question: “Why do we have so many prisoners?” with so many behind brs for drug charges – when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country

Americans are paying more attention now to the question: “Why do we have so many prisoners?” with so many behind brs for drug charges – when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country


English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס
English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scooped by Circle of Hope
Locked Up in America: Visualizing Mass Incarceration in the United States | CIRCLE OF HOPE | Scoop.it
From                    www.tikkun.org                – October 19, 8:13 AM

With so many behind bars for drug charges at a time when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, Americans are paying more attention to the question, “Why do we have so many prisoners?