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Forum Post: why does America lock up so many people?

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 31, 2012, 2:01 a.m. EST by Scout (729)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Caging of America Why do we lock up so many people?

" Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850 "

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik#ixzz1l17RS6D1

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik

26 Comments

26 Comments


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[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Prison Song

[-] 1 points by bill1102inf2 (357) 2 years ago

Florida- The PRIVATE FOR PROFIT system is coming here soon! And everyone is a criminal!

[-] 1 points by shooz (26705) 2 years ago

They like to torture people.

[-] 1 points by BannedForTruth (233) from Christiana, TN 2 years ago

You like to spam them!

[-] 1 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Privatization of prisons. Corporations can make money by running our prisons. The more people in prison, the more money they make. The more money they make, the more they have to donate to the campaigns of the lawmakers who authorize privatization of prisons.

http://government.cce.cornell.edu/doc/html/PrisonsPrivatization.htm

[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

Yep, that really adds up to what is happening. The fringe benefit of dumbing the populations down. The main benefit is that it is very easy to keep the people from figuing out how they are being turned into slaves.

[-] -1 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 2 years ago

That's BULLSHIT.

The BIGGEST union in the USA is the PRISON-UNION the most powerful in america, this same union is the #1 sponsor of OWS.

Funny how subject changes to private prisons, which are something new, and has the public prison folks with tight rectums out of fear the gravy days are over.

The simple fact is the USA loves prisons, they're MOFU's down to the infant, everyone in the USA is an asshole.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

If you are born male in the lower class, and especially male and black, you had better be one smart cookie to stay out of prison.

The reason is so obvious that it seems unnecessary to explain. It's called massive wealth dispairity. People without opportunity become frustrated and wreakless. Plus, it's a great way to keep a lot of poor people out of the voting booth.

[-] 1 points by RoughKarma (122) 2 years ago

I normally agree with your posts... but not this one, at least not entirely. The reason you give could be true...

...unless you're for gun control and then it's the over abundance of firearms available.

... unless you're against gun control and then it's because only criminals can have guns.

...unless you're for drug legalization and then it's because the US has criminalized recreational drugs.

... unless you're over 50 and then it's because kids don't grow up with the same respect for the law that used to exist.

Any of these points of view (and many others besides) could be right, but no single point of view tells the whole story. Not everything is attributable to wealth-disparity.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Well, certainly other factors come in to play. I won't dispute you there; but it seems to me that a lack of opportunity would largely account for the relatively high numbers of poor people in prision. I certainly don't believe there is a genetic factor involved, and if education is still the best indicator of upward mobility in America, than the state of education of the lower classes would certainly be a significant factor.

So while I say it is only one factor, I think wealth dispairity would probably be the dominant factor.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Can we have some numbers here? Meaning white/black and percentage of population?

I've heard this "war on drugs" TM thing really needs to be looked at closely.

What also needs closer inspection is white-collar crime, meaning banksters, politicians, and their cronies ripping off the rest of America, and then getting bailed out when they gamble and lose.

What the? Is that just playing, rather than criminal activity?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

From your link>>>

Of the 249,400 state prison inmates serving time for drug offenses at yearend 2004, 112,500 (45.1%) were black, 51,800 (20.8%) were Hispanic, and 65,900 (26.4%) were white.<<<<

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percent_of_prisoners_are_black#ixzz1ktKvFBGG

Which, I guess, begs the other question;>>> what is the black to white quotient in general population in the US of A?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

WOW. So it really doesn't pay to be black in US society. Hispanic people outnumber Negroid, and yet blacks outnumber everyone in the prison system.

If there is any parity between America and Australia, I'm thinking that separatism and racism is more of a factor before people actually front the corrupt court system than before.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

It took me a really long time to find this link. There are some episodes in our history that are pretty deeply burried. Also of note is the lead up article on Obama.

http://www.counterpunch.org/1999/06/15/race-and-the-drug-war/

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

Interesting observation: what I also find interesting is that even given these numbers, the US has made a lot of progress in racial relations, and I hope that that goes forward rather than backward. And I have to say here that that is also a factor in the Obama election. I think that enough white people were willing to vote for a black man to elect him president is a really good thing. It brings the underclass together, and it would really be sad to see that progress undone. That is another reason I think there is a real difference between Obama and Romney.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

It's a deep and convoluted issue GypsyKing. Goes way beyond colour. (or color, as you spell it)

People either choose to be a part of capitalism/consumerism, or they don't.

If you grow up feeling like most of the people on the street hate your guts, what are you gonna do? Undermine them, and try to make their castles fall? Or join in with them, and start hating against your own people?

It's tough. It happens here in the land of OZ too. There's nothing pretty about it.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

No, there is nothing pretty about it, and solutions, given human nature, are very hard to come by:)

[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 2 years ago

I don't normally agree with GK on anything, but in this case IT is 100% correct, you have to be an Einstein if your of color in the USA to keep your arse out of prison.

WHY?

The simple matter is the USA is a nation controlled by white assholes, that fear people of color.

Sure it's cheaper to educate them, but a white asshole fears an educated person of color more than he fears a un-educated.

Sending people to prison, get them a PHD in crime, and thus the entire LEGAL system of lawyers and judges have jobs,.... the prison unions are the #1 sponsor of OWS. The public prison unions today are the 500LB gorilla of UNIONIZATION in the USA.

Nope the USA loves prisons cuz it makes good money for all, and the only people hurt are non-whites. :)

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

I agree with a lot of this, but your last comment - "and the only people hurt are non-whites," shows a lack of understanding. There are a LOT of oppressed whites in this country, and there always have been.

It seems to me that in one comment you have tried to separate blacks from whites and OWS from unions - all of which seems either very naive, or suspicious to me. I really wonder where you're comming from, and I think that you are tying to pass for being black here, rather than actually black. I never hear a American Black use the word "arse."

[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 2 years ago

Nope the USA loves prisons cuz it makes good money for all, and the only people hurt are non-whites. :)


Virtually every person that I know that works in the prison industry is a white ex-military, given by design you can't have a criminal record and it virtually impossible to be of color and not have a record cuz its impossible to walk down the street and not be stopped ...

But FUCK all this ... OWS is a bunch of white NERD guys in Vancouver BC, on contract with the US PUBLIC PRISON unions to re-elect OBAMA, an OREO.

Nobody gives a fuck about anything or anybody, its all about "INTEREST".

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

"Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you; And sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own inclin- ing? Is it a free visitation? Come, deal justly with me. Come, come! Nay, speak."

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

This didn't really address either of my points, so I will ask you clearly: Are you a troll pertending to be black and trying to divide this movement with . . .

  1. Appeal to violence.
  2. Appeal to racism.
  3. Union bashing . . .?

Just wondering.

[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 2 years ago

Your PRISON UNION ( PUBLIC EMPLOYEES UNION ) are the most powerful arm of the Democratic Party, the back-bone of the OWS leadership, and the enemy of anybody who doesn't want to live in a cage.

It is YOU obsessed with Racism, Violence, and love of protecting the Public Prison Complex. It's too bad, I too love unions, but I love unions of the 1930's, even FDR said in 1935 that he feared that if Public Unions were ever formed they would destroy America, and guess what? He was right.

I love unions the kind that protect working people in factorys, ... I hate unions that protect cops and prison guards.

[-] 0 points by owsleader2038 (-10) 2 years ago

A NATION OF GOD DAMN FUCKING ASSHOLES ... OK

Why does the public prison unions use OWS as a tool to empower themselves?

1.) Make more criminals 2.) Re-Elect Obama 2012, to prevent privatization of prisons

The USA is a sick fucking nation of ass-holes, they have fucked the world, and now they're fucking each other. It's best to watch the show from afar, never in human history has there been such a god damn evil fucking hypocritical country.