Mass Incarceration

Madea

zip a dee doo dah
Staff member
#1
What does this term mean to you? Jim Barksdale (the man with the hat) refers to it as one of his "top 3" points in one of his commercials. I posted on Facebook to see what he meant. (He didn't answer.)

So, I decided to google it. It's apparently the new buzzword of the Democrats. The first thing that caught my eye was "ACLU".

Why are Republicans constantly accused of being racists, when it's is consistently the Democrats that choose to define people by labels? I really don't get that.

Here's an except from:

Two days later, Obama became the first sitting president to visit a prison. Speaking immediately after his visit, the president blamed mandatory drug sentencing as a “primary driver of this mass-incarceration phenomenon.” To underscore that point, he met with half a dozen inmates at the prison, all of whom had been convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. Three days earlier, he had commuted the federal prison terms of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, most of whom had been sentenced to at least 20 years’ imprisonment.
***
No one has captured and fueled this zeitgeist better than Michelle Alexander, an ACLU lawyer turned Ohio State law professor. Her 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, is, as Cornel West put it, “the secular bible for a new social movement in early twenty-first-century America.” She condemns “mass incarceration . . . as a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.” Ex-felons, like victims of Jim Crow, are a stigmatized underclass, excluded from voting, juries, jobs, housing, education, and public benefits. This phenomenon “is not — as many argue — just a symptom of poverty or poor choices, but rather evidence of a new racial caste system at work,” like Jim Crow and slavery before it. She even implies that this system is just the latest manifestation of whites’ ongoing racist conspiracy to subjugate blacks, pointing to the CIA’s support of Nicaraguan contras who supplied cocaine to black neighborhoods in the U.S.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424059/mass-incarceration-prison-reform


Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424059/mass-incarceration-prison-reform

The term is (really) new to me, although the concept isn't.
 

lotstodo

aka "The Jackal"
#2
I do believe that there are too many non-violent drug offenders serving harsh minimum sentences. There is something decidedly wrong when a three time marijuana possession defendant, or an 18 year old speeder with an ounce of weed and a gun in his car serves a harsher mandatory sentence than an armed robber who shot his victim. Mandatory minimum sentencing has gone too far. It's the same problem as no tolerance rules in school, but with far more dire consequences.

It's not a race problem, it's a sentencing problem. In 2014, half of sentenced inmates in the Federal Corrections System were there for drug offenses. Of those sentenced for other crimes alone, or drug offenses and other crimes, only 18% committed their crime to obtain money for drugs. Violent offenders make up only 7% of the Federal Prison population. The numbers that some would use to say it's racial are the facts that 54% of drug offenders in the federal prison system are there for cocaine (powder or crack). Methamphetamine offenders were at 24%, followed by marijuana (12%) and heroin (6%) offenders. This however is a matter of demographics, not racist cops or judges.

I don't believe that drugs should be decriminalized, but I do believe that there should be alternative options available to both federal and state court judges including treatment and public service alternatives. Simple possession, or possession with intent based only on quantity should not ruin a life. I also believe that mandatory minimum sentencing, while a feel good reelection promise for politicians, has backfired ,crowding the system with drug only offenders who are serving a far harsher sentence than prudence and good judgement would allow.
 

Madea

zip a dee doo dah
Staff member
#3
I do believe that there are too many non-violent drug offenders serving harsh minimum sentences. There is something decidedly wrong when a three time marijuana possession defendant, or an 18 year old speeder with an ounce of weed and a gun in his car serves a harsher mandatory sentence than an armed robber who shot his victim. Mandatory minimum sentencing has gone too far. It's the same problem as no tolerance rules in school, but with far more dire consequences.

It's not a race problem, it's a sentencing problem. In 2014, half of sentenced inmates in the Federal Corrections System were there for drug offenses. Of those sentenced for other crimes alone, or drug offenses and other crimes, only 18% committed their crime to obtain money for drugs. Violent offenders make up only 7% of the Federal Prison population. The numbers that some would use to say it's racial are the facts that 54% of drug offenders in the federal prison system are there for cocaine (powder or crack). Methamphetamine offenders were at 24%, followed by marijuana (12%) and heroin (6%) offenders. This however is a matter of demographics, not racist cops or judges.

I don't believe that drugs should be decriminalized, but I do believe that there should be alternative options available to both federal and state court judges including treatment and public service alternatives. Simple possession, or possession with intent based only on quantity should not ruin a life. I also believe that mandatory minimum sentencing, while a feel good reelection promise for politicians, has backfired ,crowding the system with drug only offenders who are serving a far harsher sentence than prudence and good judgement would allow.
I agree with the majority of that.

However, from the article:

President Obama’s and Alexander’s well-known narrative, however, doesn’t fit the facts. Prison growth has been driven mainly by violent and property crime, not drugs. As Fordham law professor John Pfaff has shown, more than half of the extra prisoners added in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s were imprisoned for violent crimes; two thirds were in for violent or property crimes. Only about a fifth of prison inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses, and only a sliver of those are in for marijuana. Moreover, many of these incarcerated drug offenders have prior convictions for violent crimes. The median state prisoner serves roughly two years before being released; three quarters are released within roughly six years. For the last several decades, arrest rates as a percentage of crimes — including drug arrests — have been basically flat, as have sentence lengths. What has driven prison populations, Pfaff proves convincingly, is that arrests are far more likely to result in felony charges: Twenty years ago, only three eighths of arrests resulted in felony charges, but today more than half do. Over the past few decades, prosecutors have grown tougher and more consistent.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424059/mass-incarceration-prison-reform
 

lotstodo

aka "The Jackal"
#4
I agree with the majority of that.

However, from the article:

President Obama’s and Alexander’s well-known narrative, however, doesn’t fit the facts. Prison growth has been driven mainly by violent and property crime, not drugs. As Fordham law professor John Pfaff has shown, more than half of the extra prisoners added in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s were imprisoned for violent crimes; two thirds were in for violent or property crimes. Only about a fifth of prison inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses, and only a sliver of those are in for marijuana. Moreover, many of these incarcerated drug offenders have prior convictions for violent crimes. The median state prisoner serves roughly two years before being released; three quarters are released within roughly six years. For the last several decades, arrest rates as a percentage of crimes — including drug arrests — have been basically flat, as have sentence lengths. What has driven prison populations, Pfaff proves convincingly, is that arrests are far more likely to result in felony charges: Twenty years ago, only three eighths of arrests resulted in felony charges, but today more than half do. Over the past few decades, prosecutors have grown tougher and more consistent.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424059/mass-incarceration-prison-reform
Actually, taken in it's full context, Pfaff's 2011 empirical study proves my point. Police are not necessarily arresting more people, but each arrest results in stiffer charges and sentences. Often times a person with a felony drug conviction who shows up three years later on something like a shoplifting charge is going to face big boy prison instead of probation. Then there are three strike laws. A person might have two felony possession convictions and then be found to be in possession of a firearm, or may commit a crime such as purse snatching. As a direct result of prior drug convictions, what should be a six month sentence now becomes ten years. The new get tough guidelines are requiring prosecutors to seek charges that carry mandatory minimums. If a person was as in my previous example found to be in possession of a firearm and over an ounce of marijuana, he would actually face life in prison for possession of a gun while in commission of a felony. The original "felony" is the possession charge, but he goes in on a firearms violation. Previously, a prosecutor and a judge would take his past into consideration, but are now stripped of that option.

Pfaff's study indeed goes against the idea that more drug arrests are being made, but more convictions and longer sentences are coming from those arrests as a direct result of the war on drugs and the sentencing guidelines that are the result.
 

Madea

zip a dee doo dah
Staff member
#5
I think anytime you remove a person's (in this case the Judge) ability to make common sense decisions that fit the individual situations, you create a mess (just as we have in our schools with our "no tolerance" policies).
 

Winchester

When you need FIREPOWER!
#6
Oh boy....where to start on this one. I have a little experience with this subject and I hope GC jumps in here also.

First off, please tell me again how these drug offenders are "non-violent"? Please, please, please tell me? Especially after last summer's "non-violent" drug user (casual recreational usage I'm sure) shot at me and my Sgt at 1am in the morning and then later that same day shot at officers from 4 different agencies before killing his girlfriend and her unborn baby, carjacked a tractor trailer log truck, fully loaded, and rammed 4 police vehicles before finally being shot himself!

Please tell me how these non-violent drug users never break into people's homes and businesses to steal their belongings? Or how they never commit armed robberies or home invasions to get money to buy more drugs? Or how these non-violent drug users never drive a vehicle while high on drugs at all hours of the day.....while YOUR family is also on the road?

There is NO SUCH THING as a non-violent drug offender, lets get that straight right now. If you never had the pleasure of dealing with a drug offender, you have no clue what you are talking about! Period, end of story! Come back when you, or a close family member, has almost been killed by one of these "non-violent" drug offenders.


Second, the prison systems is full of "non-violent" drug offenders. Just ask one of them and they will ALL tell you that they didn't do anything. But if you want the truth, go talk to the people who put them in prison!

Third, mandatory sentencing came about because "bleeding heart" liberal judges were letting these free for them only to get arrested time and time again. It's still a revolving door but it's somewhat better now.



Sorry for the rant. And I have lost my train of thought as the wifey just came in with dinner.
 

lotstodo

aka "The Jackal"
#7
I do have experience with drug offenders, lots of it, but I'm also smart enough to know that my personal experience is not universal nor is it a replacement for scientifically conducted national studies or the statistics published by the federal and state governments.
 

Madea

zip a dee doo dah
Staff member
#8
Winchester, I do recognize that you (and Colson) come at this from a different viewpoint. I truly started this because I had researched the term "Mass Incarceration".
 

Winchester

When you need FIREPOWER!
#9
Winchester, I do recognize that you (and Colson) come at this from a different viewpoint. I truly started this because I had researched the term "Mass Incarceration".
I think that was where I was headed the other day when the wifey brought home dinner. I usually loose my train of thought when food appears. lol

I also saw his advertisements and was wondering the same thing. The only thing I can think he's talking about is the population of prisons being predominately black or Latino. And because of this, their liberal thinking concludes it must be wholesale mass incarcerations in order to have such a imbalanced racial diversity. That is simply total BS. Cops go where the crime happens. Crimes happen more often in black neighborhoods so naturally more blacks are arrested. If more blacks are arrested, more go to prison. It's simple math.

To be honest with you, you'll have to ask him directly what he means by that comment.
 

J-man

This post will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....
Staff member
#10
I'll be the first to admit I couldn't be in LE, I just don't know how you, GD, and many others do it. That being said I'd rather a guilty go free rather than a truly innocent get locked up. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem locking 'em up if found guilty by a jury of their peers (yes, I know it's not perfect but it's the system we have). But it does bother me that sometimes truly innocent people get incarcerated when they either have bad legal counsel or cannot prove their innocence. It could happen to anyone of us at any time no matter how hard we try to be a good person. It's probably rare but I'm certain it happens. I know it isn't what this thread was about and I don't mean to hijack it (so don't arrest me).
 

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
#11
I'm going to address this question

Why are Republicans constantly accused of being racists, when it's is consistently the Democrats that choose to define people by labels? I really don't get that.
Because it's a very effective strategy for the Democrats and their allies. Many of what we sometimes refer to as "low information voters" buy this, hook line and sinker. It's part of the reason the Democrats consistently get 90% or more of the black vote.

This probably began with LBJ as one of the underlying strategies of his "Great Society" program. Yep, one of the turning points in our countries move toward Socialism. I don't think LBJ was so much a Socialist as one who saw the movement as a means of locking certain voting segments in for the Democratic party. He is reported to have made the statement while aboard Air Force One "We'll have those ni**ers voting Democrat for the next 200 years.

Well, it worked. And the strategy is still being used heavily by the Democrats. Even on a certain other local site who's owner is clearly affiliated with the DNC; the strategy is used constantly and deliberately by the site owner and his minions.

Of course, it's not at all true. If anyone cares to study up on the facts, it was Republicans who pushed most of the landmark civil rights legislation through, while many of the powerful Democrats of the time opposed it. Of interest, Al Gore's father was one of the most vocal opponents of civil rights legislation.

While black Americans are certainly "freer" that they were a few decades ago, not everything is better for them. Entitlement programs, which were mainly conceived and supported by Democrats, have done major damage to the family structure in our country, and black families have suffered the heaviest because of them. Some of these programs have locked people into multi-generation lifestyles of complete dependency, which has rendered large segments of our population totally incapable of ever bettering themselves or experiencing the "American Dream" that was once such a common accomplishment.

The reality of it is; the party that is throwing the racism charge around so much is the one who has done the most damage to black America. I find that very sad and tragic.
 

LisaC

I'm here to spin the moral compass.
#12
In some cases, the sentencing guidelines have changed in the past few years that mean that those who were incarcerated prior to a certain date were given significantly higher sentences than they would have received today for the same offense.
 

Boss 302

Pursuit Driver
#14
I think that was where I was headed the other day when the wifey brought home dinner. I usually loose my train of thought when food appears. lol

I also saw his advertisements and was wondering the same thing. The only thing I can think he's talking about is the population of prisons being predominately black or Latino. And because of this, their liberal thinking concludes it must be wholesale mass incarcerations in order to have such a imbalanced racial diversity. That is simply total BS. Cops go where the crime happens. Crimes happen more often in black neighborhoods so naturally more blacks are arrested. If more blacks are arrested, more go to prison. It's simple math.

To be honest with you, you'll have to ask him directly what he means by that comment.
As you and I know, most crime occurs in urban areas. Where there are more people, there is more opportunities for crime to occur. Black people are often the majority of the population in many urban areas, therefor most of the crime occurring in those areas are committed by black people. It is also important to note that the majority of victims to crime in these areas are also black people. More black on black crime is committed than black on white crime and white on white crime. The left knows this all to be true as well, but they would rather have people, especially minorities believe this to be a matter of racism to make it a political issue to keep minorities voting for them.
 

Winchester

When you need FIREPOWER!
#15
Even in rural areas, like where I lasted worked, most calls were in areas mostly non-white. But the arrest ratio was about even from my experience.
 

Randall Coleman

Driver In Training
#16
What really makes this all crazy is that I took my family to Breckenridge Colorado for Christmas. You can walk in a store the size of racetrack and buy up to an ounce of weed and walk out like you just made any purchase. I read in an article the other day where a father was taking up for his kid. The police busted in and the father said it was his because he did not want him to have a record. The father got 7 years. A kid in California raped and brutalized a girl last month and got 2 years probation. I really don't understand.
 
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