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Forum Post: For-Profit Prisons: Eight Statistics That Show the Problems

Posted 10 months ago on Dec. 27, 2013, 3:22 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
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For-Profit Prisons: Eight Statistics That Show the Problems

Friday, 27 December 2013 09:55 By Kevin Mathews, Care2 | News Analysis

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20880-for-profit-prisons-eight-statistics-that-show-the-problems

As private prisons become the norm in the United States, it's time society takes a look at the institution and asks, "Are prisons really being used as rehabilitation/deterrence for crime, or have private interests started attaching price tags to lawbreakers’ heads and exploited their incarceration for profit?"

Here are several key statistics that paint an ugly, troubling picture of the for-profit prison system in America:

500% Increase

The biggest private prison owner in America, The Corrections Corporation of America, has seen its profits increase by more than 500% in the past 20 years. Moreover, the business’ growth shows no sign of stopping, having already approached 48 states to take over government-run prisons.

10-60 Pounds Lighter

One way for-profit prisons to minimize costs is by skimping on provisions, including food. A psychiatrist who investigated a privately run prison in Mississippi found that the inmates were severely underfed and looked “almost emaciated.” During their incarceration, prisoners dropped anywhere from 10 to 60 pounds.

100%

100% of all military helmets, ID tags, bullet-proof vests and canteens are created in federal prison systems through prison labor. Though prisoners are “generously” compensated cents per hour, it’s clear having this inexpensive, exploited labor force is critical to the military industrial complex. I bet that the irony that mostly non-violent offenders are making war gear for others to perpetuate violence abroad without consequence is not lost on many of the inmates.

90% Occupancy

States sign agreements with private prisons to guarantee that they will fill a certain number of beds in jail at any given point. The most common rate is 90%, though some prisons are able to snag a 100% promise from their local governments. Because of these contracts, the state is obligated to keep prisons almost full at all times or pay for the beds anyway, so the incentive is to incarcerate more people and for longer in order to fill the quota.

25%

One in every four people that is incarcerated worldwide is held captive in a United States jail. How is it that a country with only 5% of the world’s population has 25% of all the inmates? Simple: prisoners are source of revenue for private companies, so the demand for incarcerating them is especially high.

11 Times

Violent crimes are down overall, so how does the United States keep prisons stocked instead? Amplifying the war on drugs: there are now 11 times as many people in jail for drug convictions than there were in 1980, constituting 50% of the prison population. Longer mandatory minimum sentences also keeps the inmates in longer. Most people incarcerated for drug charges are non-violent, have no prior record, and are addicts rather than major drug-traffickers.

50%

Nearly half of all detained immigrants are held in privately owned facilities. The fact that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has stepped up its game to detain more undocumented immigrants – about 400,000 each year – has actually increased the need for private systems as most detainees will linger in the system waiting for court dates for months if not years.

Civil rights groups have deemed the quality of care provided in immigrant detention centers unacceptable, particularly because of the large numbers of preventable fatalities and sexual assaults.

$45 million

The three largest for-profit prison corporations have spent more than $45 million on campaign donations and lobbyists to keep politicians on the side of privatized incarceration. In light of all of their ethical violations, it’s obvious that they have to offer some incentive for keeping their business legal.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.


The Graying of Our Incarceration Nation

Friday, 27 December 2013 10:18 By Conor F McGovern, Truthout | Opinion

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20743-the-graying-of-our-incarceration-nation


What America Would Look Like if Libertarians Got Their Way

Friday, 27 December 2013 09:11 By Richard Eskow, AlterNet | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20872-what-america-would-look-like-if-libertarians-got-their-way

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[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 months ago

In America, Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not For Most People Who Are Stuck in Jail

Sunday, 29 December 2013 15:38 By April M. Short, AlterNet | News Analysis

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20914-in-america-innocent-until-proven-guilty-not-for-most-people-who-are-stuck-in-jail

Most people in jail in the U.S. have not been convicted of any crime. That is unless poverty can be considered an automatic-lockup offense.

Tour a jail in any county in the nation and chances are six of every 10 inmates are people legally presumed innocent and still awaiting trial. The majority of those inmates are stuck behind bars not based on their presumed risk to the outside community or likelihood to appear in court, but solely because they were unable to afford their bail bond.

And the people who can’t afford to pay are not typically the high-stakes defendants with bail bonds set to the tune of $50,000 plus. Far more often the people with low-stakes bonds, between $50 and $1,000, are the ones that sit in jail, unable to work, accumulating bills and costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

Why is this the case? A for-profit, unregulated, centuries-old $14 billion bail bonds industry thrives in this country. The people in the business of dishing out bail bonds for desperate defendants are looking to turn a serious profit from the high-stakes bonds, in part via nonrefundable fees charged to the defendents.

The current system works in such a way that the folks with money can buy their freedom, and the folks without money cannot. On top of that, the highest level alleged criminals are the ones getting bailed out by profiteering bail bonds companies, while nonviolent, low-risk petty crime defendents end up filling America’s already-overcrowded jails, at times for months—even years—on end before they’re even been allowed their constitutional right to a fair trial.

New York's WNYC Radio published a story titled "No Bail Money Keeps Poor People Behind Bars" in which they cite the case of Raul Hernandez who was arrested Aug. 2 for misdemeanor drug possession after a cop accused him of "dropping an empty plastic bag containing heroine residue."

While Hernandez told WNYC he has multiple convictions on his record, mainly for drugs and larceny, he said that this time he was innocent, so he turned down a deal that would put him in jail for 7 days if he plead guilty. When Hernandez rejected the plea agreement, a judge decided to set his bail at $500 pending trial. “I couldn’t post it,” Hernandez told WNYC. “I don’t have nobody.” So he was held in Rikers Island, New York City's primary jail complex, for nine days—more time than he would have served if he’d accepted the plea deal.

"On his next court date, he came back expecting to argue his case — only the cop who allegedly witnessed the incident was off that day and unavailable to testify," the article notes. "So Hernandez had a choice: maintain his innocence and stay in jail, or plead guilty, get credit for the time he already served and go home. He pleaded guilty to get out of jail."

Fifty-three percent of all felony defendants in the U.S. remain in jail the entire time leading up to their trials due to lack of funds for even seemingly small financial bonds, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute a national nonprofit organization focused on pretrial research and education. The most common reason someone is held in jail pretrial is money—the inability to pay their monetary bail bond, according to PJI.

That bond could be for $100, or $50,000, and regardless of their alleged crime, if the person can’t pay, they will remain in jail. On average, this means a person will be stuck in jail for three or four months, but in some cases pretrial jail time can last more than a year.

Keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jail while awaiting trial is not cheap. Pretrial incarceration costs the U.S. about $9 billion every year. It costs $60 on average per day to fill a single jail bed, and in some counties that cost jumps to more than $200 per day. Taxpayers are picking up the tab.

Debtor's Jails in New Jersey and California?

New Jersey offers one of the more severe examples of how pretrial detention in the U.S. is keeping poor people behind bars. A report conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance and Luminosity revealed in March that in New Jersey, on any given day, close to 75 percent of the 15,000 people in jail are awaiting trial rather than serving a sentence. Often, their detention is solely based on their inability to pay a nominal financial bail bond, and has nothing to do with the risks associated with their release from jail.

About 40 percent of the total New Jersey jail population has the option to post bail, but lacks the funds to do so—and more than 1,500 of those cases could secure release pending trial with just $2,500 or less. As a result, thousands of low-risk pretrial defendants end up stuck behind bars. While PJI estimates the average length of stay for pretrial inmates in the nation is between three and four months, in New Jersey it is a whopping 10 months.

In California the pretrial statistics are similarly grim according to Zachary Dal Pra, managing associate with the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice, an organization focused on accountability in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

“It is fairly consistent in California that 60 to 70 percent of the inmates in jail are pretrial defendants,” he says. “This coupled with jail being a criminogenic factor and that the longer an individual spends in pretrial detention the more likely they will be convicted regardless of charge or criminal history, does not bode well for those who can’t afford to bond out.”

CJI works with jurisdictions across the country, and in California in particular. Dal Pra says over the last several years the institute observed high percentages of pretrial inmates in overcrowded local jails.

“These jurisdictions were asking for assistance to address these issues and other related issues affecting their systems,” he said. “Without effective pretrial programs to provide alternatives to keeping defendants in custody while they await charges or trial, local systems will spend a great deal of their jail resources on individuals who do not need to be held. These resources could be used in other parts of the system or jail if courts and others knew who they could release safely and were confident they would attend their court hearings.”

Money Bonds Do Not Decrease Risk

But doesn’t the money-based bail bond system, and resulting pretrial detention, keep criminal threats off the streets and ensure that alleged felons show up for their assigned court dates? According to the research, the answer is a resounding no.

Dal Pra says the more CJI worked with county jail systems, the more they saw reliance on financial release conditions.

“This concerned us as we knew the research indicated that financial bonds plays no role in predicting who will show up in court or commit new crimes while released,” he said. “So we started looking at pretrial risk assessments based on validated research on predictors of pretrial behavior as an alternative jurisdictions could use to assist decision-makers in releasing offenders.”

Mike Jones, a senior project associate for PJI in Colorado, has worked on criminal justice issues for 10 years, and pretrial issues for six.

“The fact is, money does not address public safety, but systems act as if it does,” Jones told AlterNet.

At the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver last month, Jones was part of a panel discussion titled, “How Money Bail Exploits the Poor and Makes the Bond Industry Rich."

The panel outlined issues of inequity caused by money-based bail bonds, and presented a new study released mid-October that for the first time compares pretrial release outcomes by the type of money-based bond used.

The study controlled for the statistical risk level of defendants released pretrial—meaning their presumed public safety risk as well as flight risk.

The study compared unsecured bonds (meaning no money is paid upfront but the defendant promises to pay the full amount if they fail to appear in court at the scheduled date) with secured bonds (meaning either cash or surety that a defendant must pay upfront in order to be released from jail). The Colorado-based study took into account a total of 1,919 cases.

The results showed unanimously that the amount of money attached to a bond does not make a difference in the likelihood of whether a person will appear in court for his trial date.

Unsecured bonds are just as effective at achieving public safety as secured bonds. Unsecured bonds are also just as effective at achieving court appearance as secured bonds, and the amount of money attached to the bond did not make a difference in court appearance rates. A larger dollar amount attached to a secured bond is, however, associated with increased pretrial jail bed use, which makes sense because when it comes to unsecured bonds, the lower risk, releasable defendants are allowed to leave jail sooner (94 percent unsecured vs. 61 percent secured).

The study also found unsecured bonds are just as effective as secured bonds at preventing defendants who fail to appear in court from “remaining at-large on a warrant.”

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 months ago

The For-Profit Bail Bonds Industry

In some countries, including Australia, Canada and England, it is a crime to write bail bonds for profit.

In the U.S., a century-old for-profit commercial bail bonding industry thrives around the cash-based bonds system. Defendants who can’t afford to pay bail often turn to bail bonding companies, which can (and do) charge a nonrefundable fee in exchange for the bail bonding company’s promise to pay the full value of the bond to the court should the defendant fail to appear.

According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute, a national nonprofit focused on justice reform, about 15,000 bail bond agents work in the U.S., who write bonds for approximately $14 billion every year. Those companies are backed by multibillion-dollar "insurance giants."

According to JPI, bail bond companies take billions from low-income people every year, with no return investment in in society as far as public safety goes.

In March 2012, PJI released a report titled, “Rational and Transparent Bail Decision Making: Moving from a Cash Based to a Risk Based Process,” a section of which outlines the various ways the private bail bonds industry is unchecked and unaccountable to both defendants and the courts system.

Among the most alarming facts about the bail bonds industry include the fact that bail bonds companies have immense financial incentive to put up bonds only for the highest level offenders, who are typically awarded higher bail bond amounts by the court. It follows that the higher the bond, the more expensive a non-refundable fee the company can logically charge.

More alarming still is the idea that bail bonding companies can actually profit from increased criminal activity. They are only liable to ensure the defendant appears in court, but have zero accountability for that defendant's potential crimes once they are out in the community on a bond. “In fact,” the report states, "the more that defendants are rearrested while on bond, the more potential business for the bonding companies. Rearrests simply become opportunities for repeat customers."

Perhaps most striking, however, is the fact that a bonding company can legally take a fee from a defendant, and once they are released from jail the company has complete authority to return them to custody the very next day without providing any reason for their actions. And the company gets to keep the fee.

Pretrial Reform Is Possible

Bail bond reform bills are already in place in four states. Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Oregon have done away with commercial bonds.

At the International Drug Policy Reform Conference panel, speakers discussed the example of Kentucky, where in 2011 lawmakers began working to improve the state’s pretrial system. They successfully shifted the pretrial procedure from reliance a money-based system to a risk-based system that assesses who is best-suited for release. Kentucky’s system now relies on required risk-assessments and an improved system of pretrial supervision, which emphasizes alternatives to jailing lower risk defendants. Courts require conditions like GPS monitoring and drug testing for more moderate risk offenders. When defendants are kept in jail while awaiting trial, they receive $100 credit toward their bond each day, which allows them to earn their release while locked up.

Organizations like PJI and CJI among others are working to expand reform efforts, and change the way the pretrial criminal justice system works nationwide. They are focused on shifting it away from money bonds and toward risk assessment.

Jones noted that especially now, as government funds are tight across the board, it is time to establish more efficient, risk-based pretrial systems.

“The system cannot afford to lock up people it doesn’t need to anymore," he said. "In the current pretrial system people are ending up in the wrong spot, whereas a risk-based system helps assure the right people are in the right place, whether that’s jail or the community."

Zachary Dal Pra of CJI told AlterNet the best way people can work to change the current system is to “urge their elected officials and criminal justice policy makers to use research-based jail alternatives to strategically reduce the use of jail for many pretrial defendants.”

He continued, “There are safe and effective risk assessment instruments that courts and others can use in making release decisions, and encouraging them to look at these can help. There is also a need to educate criminal justice stakeholders in the pretrial research and literature and the costly use of financial bonds."

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 months ago

Arizona's Tenacious Laws Against Sex Workers

Friday, 27 December 2013 12:01 By Jordan Flaherty, Arizona Prison Watch | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20892-arizonas-tenacious-laws-against-sex-workers

Editor's note: Last month, journalist Jordan Flaherty produced a ten minute TV news report for Al Jazeera America on a controversial program in Phoenix Arizona called Project ROSE. After he saw his story re-edited and its focus changed, he wrote an article about Project ROSE for Al Jazeera English, featuring information left out of the news report. Al Jazeera English posted the article, and then took it down days later without explanation. Because Truthout believes this issue is important, below is the story removed by Al Jazeera.

Arizona has some of the harshest penalties for prostitution in the US. Even the Phoenix Police Department and District Attorney’s office see a need for change.

Project ROSE (Reaching Out on Sexual Exploitation) is a new collaboration between police, prosecutors and University of Arizona’s School of Social Work that is hailed as an effort at offering an alternative.

However, after spending two days with Project ROSE, I found many of those affected by these laws felt that this high-profile reform made little difference.

Arizona is one of a handful of states that dictates mandatory minimums and felony upgrades for selling sex. Those convicted for the first time serve 15 days in jail with no possibility of probation or parole. The fourth conviction rises to the level of an automatic felony and a minimum of 180 days.

“I've worked on these issues for more than 20 years,” said Penelope Saunders, an advocate for reform of policies related to sex work and director of Best Practices Policy Project. “I've been a harm reductionist, I've been a service provider, I've been a researcher, and even I was not aware of the degree to which people are being incarcerated here in Arizona for prostitution related offenses.”

However, the city of Phoenix has had a diversion program on the books since 1997. On their first prostitution conviction, people are offered the choice to take classes through a programme offered by Catholic Charities instead of jail. If they complete the programme, they will not have a conviction on their record.

Project ROSE, which started in 2011, brings a new innovation: Those arrested are brought straight to a donated space in a church rather than taken to jail or seeing a judge. Once there, they meet with representatives from the police and prosecutors and if they agree to stay, they meet with social service agencies and are asked to take a several-month-long diversion programme offered by Catholic Charities.

About 10 percent of those arrested and brought to Project ROSE do not qualify for any assistance, generally because they have an outstanding warrant or too many convictions. Those people are led out in handcuffs and taken to jail.

'No Real Reform'

Of those that remain and choose to take the diversion programme, about 30 percent complete it, and overall about 10 percent are re-arrested within the first year. These percentages of completion and of re-arrest are nearly the same as without Project ROSE, fueling complaints from advocates that it does not offer real reform.

For many, the injustice of Arizona’s system was crystallised by the death of a 48-year-old woman named Marcia Powell.

Powell was an indigent woman with mental health issues who had been convicted multiple times for drug possession and prostitution. In 2008, offering oral sex to a police officer for $20 got her a 27-month felony sentence in maximum security at Perryville prison, just outside Phoenix.

Once inside, she got placed on suicide watch. But instead of keeping an eye on her, corrections officers placed her in a cage in the blazing sun for nearly four hours on a 107 degree day.

Powell died, and sixteen corrections employees were eventually fired or disciplined. A report from the Arizona Department of Corrections recommended negligent homicide charges against at least seven of the officers, but the district attorney declined to pursue charges.

“If one person faced what Marcia Powell faced, then many, many other people who are incarcerated in Arizona are also at risk,” says Saunders, who points out that Powell, like many women on the fringes of society, would not have qualified for the help offered at Project ROSE.

“Prison is not a safe place for women. Your health will get worse while you're in prison. You are not kept safe. Violence can be perpetuated against you. You can lose your life. Marcia Powell was sentenced to 27 months in Perryville Prison for prostitution. But really it was a death sentence.”

Lawyer Consultations Prohibited

Another issue that has legal advocates concerned: Those arrested and taken to Project ROSE are not allowed to consult with a lawyer. Monica Jones, a former sex worker who was arrested and brought to Project ROSE, told officers she was innocent and asked to see a lawyer. She says she was told the only lawyer she could talk to was the prosecutor.

I asked John Tutelman, charging bureau chief with the Phoenix prosecutor’s office, why defense attorneys were not allowed.

“We have considered that,” he told me. “But this is not a legal process. You are entitled to an attorney to defend you when it’s a legal process.” Tutelman added: “The women are not under arrest. They go in and they talk to police officers in the police room here. And they give them a lot of information. And it’s not because they are under arrest or they are in any way compelled to do it at that juncture, just like we’re not compelling them as prosecutors.”

Tutelman’s stance that the women are not under arrest did not seem to match the reality I saw around me of women in handcuffs. I asked him about what happens when police put these women in a car and tell them they are coming to Project ROSE. If the woman asks if she is under arrest, what will police officers say? “They are under arrest,” admitted Tutelman.

“But when a police officer arrests someone, they don’t have to book them into jail. And basically, that’s what they’re doing.” Advocates I spoke with questioned if those arrested and denied attorney are really not “compelled” to speak with officers and prosecutors.

'Traumatic Police Force'

Project ROSE involves 100 officers or more engaging in two days of mass arrests. For founders, the large amount of officers involved is part of the appeal. But advocates say this is part of the problem. A recent editorial in a social work journalquestioned the ethics of Project ROSE because of this collaboration.

“Social workers should be deeply troubled by social work interventions that target individuals for arrest as a means of providing services,” write Stéphanie Wahab and Meg Panichelli. “We believe that targeting people for arrest under the guise of helping them violates numerous ethical standards as well as the humanity of people engaged in the sex industry.”

“Project Rose seems to be blurring the lines between linking people to social services and arresting them,” agrees Saunders. “And as a harm reductionist, that is worrisome to me. When we link people to services, they should be given freely. No one should be forced to engage in the program. There's a justification to say even if we help only one person, or 10 people, the rights violations of all the other people are worth it. And I would say that that's a false dichotomy.”

Activists from Sex Workers Outreach Project of PHOENIX have protested against Project ROSE, and done public outreach in the days leading up to the raids, offering supplies for both safe sex and drug use. The group also warned people about the raids.

“By viewing all sex workers as victims, and then going out and revictimizing them through using police force, which is violent and traumatic, it just seems very counterintuitive,” says Jaclyn Moskal-Dairman, a volunteer with the organization. “The way they're going about it completely lacks a nuanced analysis of these women's lives. For example, if I was working and taken off the street and told I couldn't work, then I wouldn't be able to afford basics or I wouldn't be able to go to school, or take care of my children, or have child care.”

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Associate Professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Social Work and co-founder of the program, strongly defends Project ROSE. She says that almost all of the people she sees in this work are victims in need of rescue.

“Once you've prostituted, you can never not have prostituted. You are always identified, even by yourself that way,” she says. “Having that many body parts in your body parts, having that many body fluids near you and doing things that are freaky and weird really messes up your ideas of what a relationship looks like, and intimacy.”

'Enforcing Morals'

Monica Jones, who has been through the programme and is also a member of SWOP, finds this attitude overly judgemental.

“They're forcing their morals on you,” she says. “It doesn't help the women that are single mothers and trying to make money. It doesn't help a runaway teen. It doesn't help a person out there making money for themself.”

When Jones went through the prostitution diversion programme offered at Project ROSE, she says she was kicked out because of her views. SWOP activists believe that in her most recent arrest Jones was targeted because she is a transgender woman. The fact that she was arrested just hours after she was protesting Project ROSE has also drawn suspicion about the motivations behind her arrest.

Jones is being charged with “manifesting” prostitution. Phoenix city law allows officers to arrest people they suspect of prostitution, even if they don’t offer sex for money. Evidence can include what they are wearing, what neighborhood they are in, and even asking someone if they are a police officer or attempting to “engage passerby in conversation.”

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 months ago

'The Push to Treat Sex Workers as Victims'

Nationally, there has been a shift towards seeing women involved in the sex trade as victims, rather than criminals. Public relations campaigns by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, and increased federal funding that encourages law enforcement to go after “sex traffickers” has fueled the push for reforms.

But activists say the result has been to treat all women in the trade as victims. Organistions like Sex Workers Outreach Project, which are mostly made up of current and former sex workers, say that the victimisation framework ignores the experiences of women who make the choice to sell sex and robs them of their free agency.

A study of sex workers by Young Women’s Empowerment Project in Chicago found that violence and harassment by police was the biggest danger reported by those in the business. About 32% of respondents reported violence or harassment from police, including sexual assault, while only 4% reported violence from pimps.

They concluded that the biggest threat was not the work itself, but the atmosphere created by making it illegal.

This data makes clear why advocates are distrustful of programs like Project ROSE that rely on police. In two days at Project ROSE, I watched dozens of handcuffed women led in by police. It seemed like a traumatic experience.

“This is hostile. I'm the one being kidnapped,” said one woman I observed during her intake into Project ROSE.

'Victims of Trafficking'

Lieutenant Gallagher, an 18-year veteran of the Phoenix police department sees every sex worker as a victim of trafficking.

“What we have found through our investigations, through interviews and our contacts with the victims of this problem is that everybody's trafficked by something,” he says. “Most often they're trafficked by a pimp. Other times they're trafficked by an economic need or, you know, a need for socialisation, or they've got a kid that they have to feed.”

While seeing the women as victims, Gallagher also believes that arrest is an important tool. “You have to break down these barriers that traffickers put on these women, to get them to give up their normal. They've come to normalise the abnormal.”

Not surprisingly, Saunders disagrees. “Trafficking in humans is not the same as sex work,” she says.

“Trafficking is an egregious human rights violation that can occur in any sector. It can occur in agriculture, it can occur in domestic work, it can occur in restaurants. I think that Project Rose miscommunicates this by saying that arresting people who are engaged in sex work on any level is an initiative against human trafficking. No, arresting people engaging in sex work is arresting people engaged in sex work.”

Another woman I met after her arrest, Cacee (she asked me not to reveal her real name), was arrested three times this year. In the spring, she completed the diversion programme offered through Project ROSE, so she is not eligible again. This means this arrest will likely bring her jail time. She thought the diversion program was a positive experience, but the allure of the money makes sex work hard for her to leave.

“If someone offers you 200 bucks and says ‘let's go have some sex,’ you're just like, oh wow. You know what you can do in 10, 15 minutes to bust a nut with somebody, you can get 200 bucks. It's like wow, I've been doing it all my life for free. It's so easy to make somebody come. Somebody can look at your breasts and just come, and you'll get 200 bucks.”

Cacee has tried other jobs, and was good at them. “I was the assistant manager to Denny's for all the servers, and I was the trainer for all the servers,” she says. “I even worked at McDonalds. I did CNA work, I've been in pretty much every field that you can be in. But as a single mother, I just never wanted to struggle, ever.”

But Cacee found sex work offered stability she couldn’t find in other work. “When I was going through the Project Rose, I was getting kicked out, evicted from a lot of places,” Cacee explained. “I didn't have money for rent because I was doing so much to, you know, trying to be good and have a job and stay out.”

The experience of going through Project ROSE made Cacee want to start her own programme, one that would offer free housing to women that needed support, and be less judgmental than shelters and other services that exist now.

“Any place like that should be open to anyone,” she said. “You accept all people for who they are, no matter what they've done, they should all be able to have a home.”

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 months ago

Q&A: "Libyan Women Were Handed Over as Spoils of War"

Friday, 27 December 2013 09:24 By Karlos Zurutuza, IPS News | Op-Ed

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20874-qa-libyan-women-were-handed-over-as-spoils-of-war

[-] 0 points by AlwaysIntoSomething (42) 10 months ago

Being that most crimes are so because of political reasons, are most of our prisoners actually political prisoners?

Being that it was a "war on drugs" are not half those locked in a cage prisoners of war?

Interesting questions being brought up in a book Im currently reading.