We know that our prison population has ballooned tremendously because of the phony war on drugs, a psyops war fueled by the government with the dual goals of wrecking communities and making prison owners and others very rich. The CIA has been working diligently for many years to flood communities with drugs, and they have succeeded, and the reason they did this is to generate a huge black market economy that made lots of people stinking rich. And it came at the expense of communities. For more on this, check out Catherine Austin Fitts’ work.
When people go to prison, they learn all about crime. It’s a life changing experience, and not for the better. Also, obviously, going to prison will obviously really wreck the other parts of your life, like your family life, your employment prospects, etc.
Now the economy is coming unglued. Local communities can’t afford the tremendous costs of keeping all these prisoners in prison. What to do? Well, here’s an idea: release some of these people back out into the communities to save money.
Lawmakers from California to Kentucky are trying to save money with a drastic and potentially dangerous budget-cutting proposal: releasing tens of thousands of convicts from prison, including drug addicts, thieves and even violent criminals.
Officials acknowledge that the idea carries risks, but they say they have no choice because of huge budget gaps brought on by the slumping economy.
“If we don’t find a way to better manage the population at the state prison, we will be forced to spend money to expand the state’s prison system — money we don’t have,” said Jeff Neal, a spokesman for Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri.
At least eight states are considering freeing inmates or sending some convicts to rehabilitation programs instead of prison, according to an Associated Press analysis of legislative proposals. If adopted, the early release programs could save an estimated $450 million in California and Kentucky alone.
Oh sure. This is going to blow over like a lead balloon. Send unemployable people out into communities plunging into a huge recession. That should work out swell.
A Rhode Island proposal would allow inmates to deduct up to 12 days from their sentence for every month they follow rules and work in prison. Even some violent offenders would be eligible but not those serving life sentences.
A plan in Mississippi would offer early parole for people convicted of selling marijuana or prescription drugs. New Jersey, South Carolina and Vermont are considering funneling drug-addicted offenders into treatment, which is cheaper than prison.
Here we go. Every state will have different rules. Some of the people will be pretty harmless. Others might be violent criminals. You will have no way to know who might be milling around and crossing state borders or anything. The whole thing is just scattered enough to send people off into panic-mode. Who will we rely on to protect us? The police, silly. Conveniently, the reporter found an officer to ask about this.
The prospect of financial savings offers little comfort to Tori-Lynn Heaton, a police officer in a suburb of Providence whose ex-husband went to prison for beating her. He has already finished his prison term, but would have been eligible for early release under the current proposal.
“You’re talking about victim safety. You’re talking about community member safety,” she said. “You can’t balance the budget on the backs of victims of crimes.”
Surely, she is an authority on these matters. She is an officer and a victim.
But prisons “are one of the most expensive parts of the criminal-justice system,” said Alison Lawrence, who studies corrections policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “That’s where they look to first to cut down some of those costs.”
Rhode Island Corrections Director A.T. Wall was not sure how many prisoners could be freed early. The payoff for doing so may be relatively small: less than $1 million for the first fiscal year, although that figure would increase over time.
In California, where lawmakers have taken steps to cut a $16 billion budget deficit in half by summer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed saving $400 million by releasing more than 22,000 inmates who had less than 20 months remaining on their sentences. Violent and sex offenders would not be eligible.
Laying off prison guards and making it more difficult to send parole violators back to state prison would account for part of the savings.
Well, maybe the financial payoff for the states would be small to start, but the psychological payoff is huge and immediate. This will totally plow the ground for people to accept and welcome the coming police state. They will be living in fear of dangerous criminals, and naturally, some people will even become victims of these criminals. So their fear will be in part justified. Yet, the fact that the government created these criminals precisely for the purpose of destroying our communities, and now that the fruit has ripened they will spill the seeds all over the country…that part won’t get discussed.
Barbara Sampson, chairwoman of the Michigan Parole Board, said early release often makes sense, especially for low-risk offenders who get help rebuilding their lives.
“Getting that prisoner back to the community so that he can stay connected to his family, getting him back into the work force … that’s a positive thing,” she said.
But not everyone is sold on the idea.
“Economics cannot be the engine that drives the train of public safety,” said Terrence Jungel, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association. “Government has no greater responsibility than the protection of its citizens.”
Yes, it would be great if these people were released into communities with jobs, but there will be no jobs waiting for them. Therefore, they will be supporting themselves any way they can. Unemployment is rising to 5.1%, which is an ‘official’ number, which means the real number is much higher.
Mr. Sheriff says our government has ‘no greater responsibility than the protection of its citizens’? That’s a good one. That’s rich.