Incarceration: Is That The Answer???

May 1st, 2014 by Michael Tabor

How do we fix an obviously broken system? Frontline, the greatest PBS in-depth documentary television program ever, shared with us jail1the scary truth this week about three facts: 1. It is prodigiously expensive to keep an (alleged) bad guy in jail or prison (wayyyyy more expensive than helping a poor person via welfare for example. It literally costs the state millions of $$’s for each inmate) 2. 90 % of the guys jail2incarcerated are not killers and rapists. In fact, most prisoners have just been dealt a really lousy hand in life. The prisons and jails are full of poor, unskilled, and more often than not – BLACK folks whom society has abandoned and simply tossed away like trash. There are scores of people who would like nothing more than to just blot them out (ummm … whether this is your sentiment or not, the bottom line is that you the taxpayer are paying for their incarceration … an obscene 1 – 2 million dollars per inmate). 3. REHABILITATION is a joke!!! Besides, the majority of our society is more interested in retribution than rehabilitation.
Let me be clear here by stating the obvious: I am an emotional human being who would want nothing less than having anybody who harmed my loved ones, or my cats for that that matter, tarred and feathered & perhaps afterwards burnt at the stake!!! I think most folks are on the same page with me here. This however is not the issue. Most of the people in prison are minorities, incarcerated for drug – related offences, and have had pathetically poor public defenders because they couldn’t afford anyone else. Hence, what you see are two types of justice: one for the rich and one for the poor. Jordan Belfort, the Wall street scoundrel, spent a mere 2 years in a country – club – like prison for stealing 100’s of millions of dollars from hard – working honest businessmen. On the other side of the track, you have poor black or poor white people getting 30 years to life for selling weed or smoking crack. How fair is that??? Incidentally, Jordan Belfort, if you read his memoir, smoked more crack and snorted just as much cocaine as any poor person doing life. The difference is that because Belfort hired the greatest attorneys $$ can buy, he’s now free as a bird, and though he’s been banned from trading securities for life, he basically has most of his money back selling books and giving motivational speeches.
So WhaDaYathink ? What do you think ? I hope you can get this link (Unfortunately, I’m having a problem posting the link. If you have time, just google Frontline and watch the most recent episode called ‘Prison State’)

How can you not weep after seeing this insane injustice??? It’s hard to fathom that these appallingly poor people, with no family structure whatsoever, and years of unimaginable abuse have any sort of chance in this life.

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One Response to “Incarceration: Is That The Answer???”

  1. magdalena Says:

    I know this sounds rather Pollyanna-ish but might people who have had no advantages of a home/family structure and thereby end up as unfortunate members of prison society, benefit from learning love and responsibility from the ever faithful canine? Why not have more inmates teach (and learn from) dogs who can then be used as guide dogs? Or train unwanted dogs who end up in shelters so that they might be better candidates for adoption? Or dogs that can be used in rescue efforts? The list is endless, and the inmates who have never experienced love and companionship can learn firsthand what unconditional love is. Of course there are programs of this type already in place, but why not increase it extensively? It might prove to be the rehabilitation that actually works and the added plus is the self satisfaction gained by becoming a productive rather than destructive member of the human race.

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