California is home to the most murderous police force by raw numbers (LAPD) and per-capita (Bakersfield PD), has one of the largest jail populations in the world (incl. private immigration detention centers), started the modern anti-immigration movement, started the antitrans bathroom bill nonsense, is largely responsible for the nationwide wave of three strikes laws and mandatory minimum sentences, on and on and on
California is just America sped up and with better marketing
I think the higher incarceration rate may be because now we have more ways to track down criminals (cameras fingerprints) not because police are just throwing people into jail.
Noooope. But lets do some math to be sure. All the statistics I will be using are from here, here, and here.
We’ll look at race first. The united states has 693 people in prison per 100,000. However if we quickly glance at the Incarceration in the United States page, we can see the incarceration rate broken down by race. While white people are incarcerated at a rate of
450 per 100,000, Hispanic people are incarcerated at almost double the rate (
831 per 100,000) and black people at an astoundingly high rate of
2,306 per 100,000. So lets consider a hypothetical prison system that doesn’t discriminate by race, we assume that the default incarceration rate for everyone is an equal 450 per 100,000. By doing that alone the United States falls from first place to 11th.
We can also look at the breakdown by crime committed. Around 22% of prisoners are in state and federal prison for non-violent drug related crimes. 22% of 450 is 99. So if drug usage was legalized, this further reduces the rate of incarceration to 351. The united states would then be in 24th place.
Even with these reductions, the incarceration rate is more than triple that of other equally developed countries, like France, the Uk, and Germany. Its more than 5 times that of Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. All of these countries have comparable law enforcement technology to the united states.
These are just some quick estimates that take into account some readily available and easy to work with information. We haven’t even considered things like private prison profit incentives, private prison quotas, and public policy. Quoting from wikipedia, “
Violent crime was not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States from 1980 to 2003. Violent crime rates had been relatively constant or declining over those decades. The prison population was increased primarily by public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, e.g. through mandatory minimum sentencing, “three strikes” laws, and reductions in the availability of parole or early release. 49 percent of sentenced state inmates were held for violent offenses. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national “War on Drugs.”
So no, more technology being available hasn’t resulted in the United State’s insane incarceration rates. Institutional racism, a bullshit “war on drugs”, and vindictive laws that line the pockets of private prisons are. Don’t let ideology fool you, the United States is objectively one of the least free countries.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce plans to double down on harsh prosecutions for low-level drug offenders, U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter told the New York Times.
The directive would be a reversal of policy changes enacted during the Obama administration that instructed prosecutors to avoid handing down harsh mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug crimes.
According to the Washington Post, Sessions — who became the nation’s top law enforcement officer amid promises to take a “tough on crime” approach — has long foreshadowed a crackdown in federal charging policies. Read more (5/10/17)
I saw this piece of art on Pinterest, if anyone knows the artist, please tag them because this drawing inspired the story.
A/N: You always hear about the lives the team (Avengers) saves, but what haunts them are the faces of the ones they couldn’t save. Enjoy!
I awoke in the middle of the night to see Bucky’s vacant side of the bed, his pillow was soaked with perspiration and that meant one thing. He had another nightmare. It was the third one this week and they seem to be getting progressively worse.
He’s been having a difficult time adjusting, since the mission in South America when a young boy he befriended died in a mudslide that he thinks, he could have prevented. The little boy’s body was never found and it has taken its toll on Bucky, who was given a mandatory and at a minimum two weeks of rest and recuperation, following his hallucinations and short temper with the rest of the team.
There was nothing I could do, except to be the light for him when he resurfaced from this darkness. I crept from the bed and followed the streak of light that shone beneath the closed bathroom door and listened to the running water and indecipherable chatter. I opened the door quietly and saw him hunched over the sink, the muscles on his naked back moving up and down as he inhaled and exhaled deeply. His navy blue pajama pants hanging loosely from his hip and his dark hair was a matted mess, clinging to his sweat soaked neck.
We made eye contact through the mirror and he turned slightly, “I’m sorry I woke you,” He croaked before he turned to stare at his gaunt reflection in the mirror, which had a crack in it.
“It’s the third time this week, babe.” I say as I padded across the room slowly, noticing that the crack in the mirror was from his fist, which had blood trickling down the knuckles of his right hand that he didn’t seem fazed by.
“I could have saved him.” He says, his left arm gripping the sink with such force it began to crack.
I hugged him from behind, pressing my frame into his hardened mass of muscle, reassuring him, and letting him know that I am here and will always be here. “You did everything you could.” I say, lightly tracing my fingers across the fresh bruises that ran along his torso, noting his muscle twitches in certain tender spots.
He shakes his head. “He was screaming out for help, I heard him clear as day, but then it stopped. As soon as I got to the area where I thought he might be, I screamed for him.” He choked. “Yenny, I’m here just scream out! I’m here, buddy! B-but, he didn’t.” He turned to me. “Why didn’t he scream out?”
I shook my head as I thought about Yenny, how scared and alone he must have felt in that moment and then choking on the mud and dying. I shake the unthinkable from my mind and held Bucky tighter as I felt his body vibrate from the force of his emtions, “I don’t know, baby.”
He turned to look at the mirror and his fist connected with the remainder of the glass that shattered, pieces falling into the sink and on the floor. “I was there, I dug through all that mess, but I couldn’t find him.”
The blood was now oozing from his knuckles. “Babe, I’m sorry.” I grabbed his right hand and ran it under the faucet until the water turned from crimson to pink and then clear.
I walked across the bathroom and retrieved the first aid kit. I motioned for him to sit on the edge of the tub. “Your foot.” He gestured.
I looked down at my bloody footprint as I sat in front of him. “It’s your blood.” I lied. We exchanged a glance and we both knew he didn’t have the strength to question my lie.
It was going to be another one of those late nights that will turn into an early morning and the splinter in my foot didn’t compare to splinters that have pierced his heart. He held out his hand and I began the slow process of extracting the glass shards, disinfecting and bandaging his wounded hand.
This is the side that doesn’t get glorified; my big, strong, and indestructible Soldier, whose massive frame has shrunken down to that of a fragile child, a breath away from shattering.
Happy June 1st, my lovelies. I am on a mission. For the entire month of June I am going to consistently post two stories a week, forcing myself to get back into writing regularly. That will be ten stories for the month.
Black Lives Matter movement activists and national civil rights organizations have major criticisms of Jeff Sessions’ new memo reinstating federal drug sentencing policies that have played a heavy role in mass incarceration.
On Tuesday, representatives of several criminal justice reform groups plan to rally outside of the U.S. Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C., to call for Sessions to abandon what they call a “return to the War on Drugs.”
In searing statements, the NAACP, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights and voices from within the Movement for Black Lives, among others, cried foul after Sessions announced Friday his instruction to U.S. attorneys that they throw the book at drug offenders.
The directive ignores state-level sentencing reform trends, and will mean harsher punishments for nonviolent defendants, as well as mandatory minimum sentences that have been disproportionately leveled at African-American and Latino communities, civil rights leaders said. Read more (5/16/17)
Australia to hold first nationwide gun amnesty in 21 years
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will allow gun owners to hand in illegal firearms without penalty from next month as concerns grow over gun crimes involving such weapons, a federal minister said Friday.
The three-month nationwide amnesty on surrendered firearms will be Australia’s first since 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people in Tasmania state and galvanized support for tough national gun controls.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the new amnesty was needed to reduce the number of guns in the community because of new security threats including Islamic extremism.
There have been five violent incidents in Australia that the government describes as terrorist attacks since the national terror threat level was raised in September 2014. Three involved illegal guns and two involved knives.
“We’re living in a time when our national security environment has deteriorated,” Keenan said.
Keenan said handing in unwanted guns in the community would reduce the chances of these guns falling into the hands of violent criminals.
“My expectation is it’s probably not going to be the case that we would have hardened criminals, for example, who have made a big effort to get hold of illegal guns necessarily handing them in,” Keenan said.
“But the purpose of this amnesty is to actually reduce the number of unregistered and illicit firearms in the community,” he added.
The 1996 amnesty also included a gun buyback program. The Port Arthur massacre led state governments to legislate tough restrictions on rapid-fire weapons and to buy back almost 700,000 newly outlawed guns.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the nation has since imported almost 1.2 million legal guns. Military-style, semi-automatic assault rifles continue to be banned from public ownership.
There are 2.89 million registered guns among 24 million Australians, an increase of 9.3 per cent in the past five years, the report said. An Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission report released last year estimated there could be as many as 600,000 unregistered guns in Australia.
Most illegal guns in Australia were legally owned before 1996, when guns did not have to be registered. They were not handed in during the buyback and there are no records that they even exist, the report said.
The report said the market for illegal guns is partly driven by Middle Eastern crime gangs, outlaw motorcycle clubs and other groups that traffic illegal commodities such as drugs.
It said guns can be bought easily in the United States and sent to “countries such as Australia with relative anonymity, especially where transactions are made using emerging technologies and business practices, such as the darknet and freight-forwarding services.”
Sydney University gun policy analyst Philip Alpers said overseas experience suggested that the new amnesty would collect only “rubbish guns” that were not valued by either legitimate gun owners or criminals.
The government plans to crack down on illegal guns by introducing a mandatory five-year minimum prison term for gun traffickers, and by boosting screening of international mail, air and sea cargo.
The Holder memo, issued in August 2013, instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with drug offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. Defendants who met a set of criteria such as not belonging to a large-scale drug trafficking organization, gang or cartel, qualified for lesser charges — and in turn less prison time — under Holder’s policy.
But Sessions’s new charging policy, outlined in a two-page memo and sent to more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys across the country and all assistant attorneys general in Washington, orders prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” and rescinds Holder’s policy immediately.
The Sessions memo marks the first significant criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to bring back the toughest practices of the drug war, which had fallen out of favor in recent years with a bipartisan movement to undo the damaging effects of mass incarceration.
Thanks ladies for the supportive comments. It really means a lot to me. I don’t often delve into that phase of my life here, I think I feel like because my family court experience ended with me getting my kid back and our life getting better, I feel awkward trying to verbalize what bio moms you might be in a foster care relationship with could be feeling.
@bujnik thank you for the very thoughtful question. These are some things I wished the person taking care of my child had/n’t done:
-I wish she had deferred to my opinion on things that seemed little to her but were important to me. Clothing, for example. She felt like when I complained about clothes, I was being ungrateful for the effort she’d put into scrambling to get baby clothes. But to me how she dressed M represented something larger. I felt like she was dressing M the way she’d dressed me and my siblings, which made me feel like M was to her the other child she’d long tried to have. New moms buy tiny clothes with their first baby. Seasoned parents know how fast babies grow and buy big. But I was a new mom and I really wanted the teeny tiny onesies. That was the fourth baby she was taking care of, but my first baby, and maybe the only baby I’ll ever have.
-I wish she hadn’t done things that to me felt like she was making M grow up faster. Stroller selection, for example. I thought a newborn should be in a snap & go. She doesn’t like clunky strollers and didn’t know how to fold it so she got an umbrella stroller. It reclined all the way, it wasn’t unsafe. But I felt like that was a stroller for a 1-year-old, not a 1-month-old. I already felt like I was losing so much time with M, and anything that made M seem older made me feel like time was moving too fast for me to ever catch up.
-I wish she hadn’t shown me pictures of/ told me about all the random people spending time with M. She was trying to be nice and wanted me to know M was adored by an entire community. But to me it felt like how come your third cousin can take her for a walk, and I can’t; how come my brother’s roommate got to rock her to sleep, and I can’t.
-I was happy that my mom always answered when I called. On the rare time that she didn’t, my mind started swirling thinking something horrible had happened to M and I couldn’t focus on anything until I knew she was okay. I hated it when my mom would complain to me about being tired. I know taking care of a newborn is exhausting. But I would’ve traded anything to get to be exhausted from taking care of M.
-After rehab, there were 2 (3?) months when I could be at their house all day but had to sleep somewhere else at night. Then for another bit of time I could live with them but couldn’t be alone with M. She’d throw around her “supervising” power whenever she was irritated at me about anything. Right or wrong, I felt like she’s the one who needed to be supervised, not me. I wish she’d never taken advantage of the power she held over me.
-I wish she had listened to me about things like feeding schedules and sleep training. Or even put one percent of effort into trying. Maybe the way I wanted her to do things was not the way she’d done things in the past. But this wasn’t the same as how things had been for her in the past, i.e. this was not her child. When me and M moved out and I could finally start doing things my way, it was challenging to change some of the habits my mom had instilled.
-She said I was a great mom, but I felt like she took on an air of righteousness, like she thought she was the pinnacle of parenting because she was handed my baby. I wish she’d understood that the line between good and bad parenting can be very blurry. It’s easy to deem addicts unfit because drugs are simple to test for. Other things, like emotional abuse, are more subjective and not simple to test for. I wish she hadn’t interpreted her role in the situation as validation of parenting style, caregiving choices, and of herself as a superior human being.
In terms of maintaining the relationship with an incarcerated parent, these are some things I do for M’s dad:
-every year for her birthday I order her one of those personalized books and in the inscription say it’s from both of us. I color xerox the pages and send them to him so when we visit he can talk to her about the adventures she’s having in the book
-sometimes on a random weekend day I’ll take a photo of everything she’s doing like a pic of her eating breakfast, a pic of her in her car seat, a pic of her on the swings, a pic of her having a tantrum, a pic of her sleeping, etc then send them to him in order, so he can vicariously experience the little details of a day in her daily life which allows him to know her better and see what her life is like other than the usual generic smiling pictures I often send
-when she was younger I’d print out articles on child development and send them to him. I used to babysit so I have experience with kids but he doesn’t, and this would teach him what to expect at visits, let him know how she was progressing, etc. Now I send copies of the written portion from her parent teacher conferences.
-M is safe, happy, and healthy because of what happened. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a huge hole in her life from his absence. I think of some of the positive things he would be doing with her if he were here, things I wouldn’t be inclined to do on my own, and make an effort to do them with her. Gardening is one of them. That was his hobby and something I wasn’t interested in but I’ve started doing with M until he’s here to do it with her himself.
-as she’s gotten older there are personality traits I’ve noticed that she inherited from him. It’s hard for me to really understand her perfectionism for example, because I’m not like that, but he is. I asked him how he wished someone had helped him with that when we was a kid, and at a visit he talked to M about it, better than I could have, in ways she related to.
-I try to nurture their shared interests. He’s a great artist, so is she. She sends him unicorn drawings and he sends her drawings of her at a princess castle, etc.
-sometimes when I’m annoyed with him I have a tendency to write off his parenting ideas, like oh he has no clue about anything, I’m the real parent, I’m the one who’s here every day, etc. But it’s only luck that I’m here and he’s not. We were both arrested. He had a prior record so he got a seven year mandatory minimum sentence; I did not have a prior record so I got probation. I try to remember that I’m not better than he is; I’m just luckier. He wishes he could be here with her. One day he will be here with her. She’s just as much his child as she is mine.
“Hm?” she asked, staring down at the unfinished draft of legislation. “Yeah.”
She didn’t look up as he strode into the room, sitting carelessly opposite her at the desk. “I heard they’re burning copies of Hogwarts, A History outside,” he commented.
“Mm,” she said. “Right.”
“I’ve been thinking,” he added, facetiously tapping his mouth. “Should we have fourteen babies, or will ten be sufficient?”
“Yeah,” she said, crossing out a line about mandatory minimum sentences. “I agree.”
“I was also thinking,” Draco continued loftily, “that we should quit our jobs and start a zoo. Oh, and I’ve illegally acquired two dozen house elves to paint the inside of our flat in Slytherin colors, and will hereby be changing my name to Fernando McBollocks. I expect you to take my name when we get married,” he added. “You can hyphenate if you want. Granger-McBollocks.”
“Sounds nice,” Hermione murmured, and he grinned, leaning over to kiss her.
“See you later,” he told her, pulling away, but she stopped him, hesitating.
“Did you say babies?” she asked, and he smiled.
“All in good time,” he assured her, striding briskly out of the room.
I’m not fully informed on the “Wonder Woman discourse” but are some people seriously angry that Gal Gadot (the new WW actress) served in the Israeli army for 2 years?
Ya’ll know that if you’re a non-arab citizen of Israel then your military service is mandatory for a minimum of 2 years for women and just below 3 years for men………………..ya’ll need to educate yourselves…………….also she supports Israel because she’s Israeli….whether that’s good or bad isn’t for us to dictate, everyones narrative is different
Laurel Highlands is a penitentiary for men, located 70 miles SE of Pittsburgh. It is the only prison in the state of Pennsylvania that is specifically for inmates who are elderly or infirm. Inmates within the Pennsylvania corrections system are sent to Laurel Highlands when they have been diagnosed with a condition that requires daily medical support, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, kidney or liver disease, or pulmonary diseases. The facility operates mostly as a medical hospital, and the staff consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants. Security staffing is minimal. The hospice unit is also staffed by a prisoner helper system, where other prison inmates assist the nursing staff by providing personal care such as cleaning, helping a sick inmate move from place to place, and providing company to the dying inmate. There are no bars on the windows, and security fencing is similar to those at a minimum security prison. Showers are outfitted with grab bars and shower seats. Due to the four decade long “war on drugs”, mandatory minimum sentencing and three strikes laws, the percentage of elderly inmates in prison has exploded, leaving the country’s correctional systems in the position of having to provide geriatric care, which costs approximately 30% more than the cost of housing a relatively healthy inmate. There are roughly 300 inmates at Laurel Highlands, with a very long waiting list.
Weird unpleasant dream btwn my 6am alarm and the 6:30 alarm that I was at work and trying to explain to a cop that the system isn’t fair. I was supposed to be talking about drug court but instead I was talking about family court, and instead of talking about what I was supposed to be talking about I was talking about myself. “How do you not see it? How could we have been negligent parents, when we weren’t even parents yet? How could I be deemed not guilty for testing positive, but A deemed guilty for me testing positive? I convinced them I was good because I went through treatment. But how could someone who’s in jail go through treatment? I was out on bail because it was my first felony charge, but he was in jail because it was not. We pled guilty to the same thing but I got probation and he got a mandatory minimum. So you think it’s okay that a completely unrelated and relatively small potatoes crime he committed seven years before his child was even born is the thing that made him have to plead guilty to being a negligent parent and also the thing that caused him to spend her childhood in prison? How is that a fair system?”