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Zer Netmouse
February 6th, 2009
04:27 pm

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Staying aware of how many of our people are in prison

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From:dd_b
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
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Sure, all we have to do is drop the war on drugs.

I suppose it might help if we let the South secede after all, too.
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From:autopope
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
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The War on Drugs isn't enough.

Assuming 75% of the US prison population are there for drug-related offenses, you could end the WoD and release all of them ... and you'd still have a per-capita imprisonment rate about 2-3 times higher than the EU norm (and 50% higher than the UK, with its barking mad surveillance state and jail-em-and-let-em-rot penal policy).

Something's gone wrong. I suspect prison labour and racial intimidation have something to do with it. That, and the absence of psychiatric in-patient care facilities. (Many schizophrenics self-medicate; given the WoD, that makes them criminals.)

Edited at 2009-02-06 10:02 pm (UTC)
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From:dd_b
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Okay, but why assume that number? I've heard 90% and higher frequently suggested as the number (don't remember if anybody has actually produced a number based to some extent on real information).

Also, lots of violence is related to the illegality of drugs, some of those people won't have been specifically convicted of drug-law violations, and yet wouldn't be in prison without the WOSD.

Does your barking mad surveillance state contribute to the prison population? I thought I'd seen the police quoted as saying it hasn't helped solve crimes. You probably just need better surveillance cameras, like the ones all the cities and private stores use in the TV shows, where you can expand a license plate out of a corner of the street scene big enough to read.
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From:dd_b
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
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On the other hand, a stop-the-drug-war outfit at http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/409/toohigh.shtml claims numbers around 50%.
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From:netmouse
Date:February 7th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
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There's also the fact that a single conviction makes it harder to get work, and not being able to get honest work contributes to the tendency to use criminal means to support oneself, and then there are effects of children being raised in single parent or foster homes because their parents are imprisoned and/or, on release, can't get work. Secondary effects of the war on drugs are probably responsible for at least as many convictions as direct drug-related charges.
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From:minnehaha
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
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Remember that one of the two major political parties in this country sees felony conviction as a reasonable voter supression tactic.

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