Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Unfair US Justice System,

The justice system in the US, needs to be update, there re needs to be a reformed, it needs less paper and more technology. Most of the Justice System is well begin same with other government organizations such as the FAA.
It’s not working, The US is putting more individuals behind bars that any other country in the World, critics argue, that’s why this is maybe the best country in the world, where most people follow the rules. While this approach has not made our communities or neighborhood safer it has let to the overcrowded prisons in the US.

               “The federal government has added over 2,000 federal offenses in the past 25 years alone. Between 1980 and 2013, the federal imprisonment rate jumped 518%.  During the same period, prison spending rose 595 percent. Taxpayers now spend nearly as much on federal prisons as they spent on the entire Justice Department in 1980 – a whopping $6.9 billion.  Justice has no price tag, but emptying our wallets to incarcerate for the sake of incarceration is a disservice to the American taxpayer and society at large. Paying these rising prison costs means shortchanging other public safety priorities, like funding federal prosecutors and public defenders. In 1980, the Bureau of Prisons consumed just 14 percent of the Justice Department budget. Since then, that proportion has nearly doubled, to 23 percent, and that number continues to rise. Unless we address this issue, continued growth in prison spending will further erode support for law enforcement, state and local justice grants, and services aimed at minimizing recidivism rates.”(1)

The website Renaissance Universal published a great article by an activist named Bo Lozoff makes a great point, we should make some of the drug offences a health problem instead of criminal problem.
He states that “We need to address these issues in ourselves, our families, and our communities. At the same time, we must press for changes in drug laws. I'm not advocating that we "legalize" all drugs, because it's not that simple. But we do have to "decriminalize" their use, treating the problem as the public-health issue it is. Doing so would have tremendous benefits. Without drug offenders, our prisons would have more than enough room to hold all the dangerous criminals. As a result, we wouldn't need to build a single new prison, saving us some $5 billion a year. And if we spent a fraction of that money on rehabilitation centers and community revitalization programs, we'd begin to put drug dealers out of business in the only way that will last -by drying up their market.” (2)
Please visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Let’s be part of the solution.



He also states that violent offender should be separated from non-violent offenders. We teach nonviolent offender be violent. Most nonviolent offenders do in fact learn a lesson: how to be violent. Ironically; we spend an average of $20,000 per year, per inmate, teaching them this. For less than that we could be sending every nonviolent offender to college.

Allow transformation and rehabilitation, Our ideas of rehabilitation usually revolve around education, job skills, and counseling. But many ex-cons have told me they left prison merely better-educated and -skilled criminals. Until they felt their connection and value to others, nothing ever reached into their hearts. Take this letter from a former inmate, for example:
Dear Bo, Man, I went through a time of hating you and Sita before I came to my senses. Let me explain: When you met me in prison and looked into my eyes, you didn't buy the evil son of a bitch that I portrayed to the world. I believed it myself. But you two looked at me with respect. Man, I hated your guts for that. I'm serious, I have never felt a worse punishment than your respect. Cops and cons could beat on me all day long, I was used to that from the time I was a kid But for somebody to see the good in me--man, that was unbearable. It took a long time, but it finally wore me down and I had to admit that I'm basically a good person. I've been out for three years now. Not even close to a life of crime anymore. Thanks seems puny but thanks.
If we forget that in every criminal there is a potential saint, we are dishonoring all of the great spiritual traditions. Saul of Tarsus persecuted and killed Christians before becoming Saint Paul, author of much of the New Testament. Valmiki, the revealer of the Ramayana, was a highwayman, a robber, and a murderer. Milarepa, one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist gurus, killed thirty- seven people before he became a saint. Moses, who led the Jews out of bondage in Egypt, began his spiritual career by killing an Egyptian. If we forget that Charles Manson is capable of transformation, that doesn't reveal our lack of confidence in Manson, it shows our lack of confidence in our own scriptures. We must remember that even the worst of us can change.
Over the past twenty years I've had the privilege of knowing thousands of people who did horrible things and yet were able to transform their lives. They may not have become saints, but I have seen murderous rage gradually humbled into compassion, lifelong racial bigotry replaced by true brotherhood, and chronic selfishness transformed into committed altruism. The promises of every great spiritual tradition are indeed true: Our deepest nature is good, not evil. (2)

"Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it," Obama
President Obama wants to for nonviolent crimes make lower long mandatory minimum sentences or get rid of them. Some inmates spend or rather waste many years in prison when they should have been there for a few months.

Every single American tax payer should know what President Obama say and think about and urge our legislator to do much about it. Here is what he say:
               "Every year we spend $80 billion to keep folks incarcerated – $80 billion. Just to put that in perspective, for $80 billion we could have universal preschool for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in America. That's what $80 billion buys. For $80 billion, we could double the salary of every high school teacher in America. For $80 billion, we could finance new roads and new bridges and new airports, job-training programs, research and development. For what we spend to keep everyone locked up for one year, we could eliminate tuition at every single one of our public colleges and universities."

If we put that into perpective he has a very valid point, the question is are we going to put actions to our words?

Here is the rest of what Mr. Obama was taking about.
 On racial disparities in prisons and jails:
"And then, of course, there are the costs that can't be measured in dollars and cents because the statistics on who gets incarcerated show that by a wide margin,it disproportionately impacts communities of color. African-Americans and Latinos make up 30 percent of our population. They make up 60 percent of our inmates. About one in every 35 African-American men, and one in every 88 Latino men, is serving time right now. Among white men, that number is one in 214. The bottom line is, in too many places black boys and black men, Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated differently under the law. This is not just barbershop talk."
"A growing body of research shows that people of color are more likely to be stopped, questioned, frisked, charged, detained. African-Americans are more likely to be arrested. They are more likely to be sentenced to more time for the same crime."
On the impacts of over-incarceration on black families and communities:
"One of the consequences of this is that one million fathers are behind bars. Around one in nine African-American kids has a parent in prison. What is that doing to our communities? What's that doing to those children? Our nation's being robbed of men and women who could be workers, and taxpayers, could be more actively involved with their children. They could be role models, could be community leaders, and right now they're locked up for a non-violent offense."
On investing in opportunity instead of incarceration:
"If we make investments early in our children, we will reduce the need to incarcerate those kids. One study found that for every dollar we invest in pre-K, we save at least twice that down the road in reduced crime. Getting a teenager a job for the summer costs a fraction of what it costs to lock him up for 15 years. Investing in our communities makes sense."
"What doesn't make sense is treating entire neighborhoods as little more than danger zones where we just surround them, where we ask police to go in there and do the tough job of trying to contain the hopelessness, when we are not willing to make the investments to help lift those communities out of hopelessness."
On the school-to-prison pipeline:
"If you are a parent, you know that there are times where boys and girls are going to act out in school. And the question is, are we letting principals and parents deal with one set of kids, [while] we call the police on another set of kids? That's not the right thing to do. We've got to make sure our juvenile justice system remembers that kids are different. Don't just tag them as future criminals. Reach out to them as future citizens."
"[I]n too many cases, our criminal justice system ends up being a pipeline from underfunded inadequate schools to overcrowded jails.
On improving conditions behind bars:
"The people in our prisons have made some mistakes, and sometimes big mistakes. They are also Americans, and we have to make sure that as they do their time and pay back their debt to society, that we are increasing the possibility that they can turn their lives around…and that's why we should not tolerate conditions in prison that have no place in any civilized country. We should not be tolerating overcrowding in prison. We should not be tolerating gang activity in prison. We should not be tolerating rape in prison and we should not be making jokes about it in our popular culture. That's no joke. These things are unacceptable."
"What's more, I've asked my attorney general to start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons. The social science shows that an environment like this is often more likely to make inmates more alienated, more hostile, potentially more violent. Do we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, for months, sometimes for years, at a time? That is not going to make us safer. That is not going to make us stronger."
On re-entry into society:
"And if those individuals are ultimately released, how are they ever going to adapt? It's not smart. Our prisons should be a place where we can train people for skills that can help them find a job, not train them to become more hardened criminals."
"All the people incarcerated in our prisons will eventually someday be released….So on Thursday, I will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison."
"Let's reward prisoners with reduced sentences if they complete programs that make them less likely to commit a repeat offense. Let's invest in innovative new approaches to link former prisoners with employers, help them stay on track."
"Let's follow the growing number of our states and cities and private companies who've decided to ban the box on job applications so that former prisoners who have done their time and are now trying to get straight with society have a decent shot in a job interview. And if folks have served their time, and they've reentered society, they should be able to vote."
On equal opportunity and justice for all:
"Justice is not only the absence of oppression. It is the presence of opportunity."
"Justice is…making sure every young person knows they are special, and that they are important and their lives matter. Not because they heard it in a hashtag, but because of the love they feel every single day."
"In the immigrant tradition of remaking ourselves, in the Christian tradition that says none of us is without sin and all of us need redemption, justice and redemption go hand in hand."

These are all great points that we need to consider and take action on, here is how we can contact our legislators


References
1.    Collins, Doug, and Cedric Richmond. "Criminal Justice System Needs to Change." Thehill.com. The Hill, 15 July 2015. Web. 12 Dec. 2015.
2.    Lozoff, Bo. "Seven Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System." New Renaissance. The New Age Journal. Web. 12 Dec. 2015.

3.    Gwynne, Kristen. "10 Ways Obama Wants Our Unfair Criminal Justice System to Change." Rolling Stone - RS Country. Rolling Stone, 15 July 2015. Web. 12 Dec. 2015.

No comments: