What kind of society....

[ul]
[li]Imprisons currently more people than any other country in history?[/li]
[li]Accounts for 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the worlds prisoners?[/li]
[li]Currently imprisons 1% of its entire population?[/li]
[li]Has more 17-year old black males in prison than college?[/li]
[li]Has one in nine black males aged between 20-34 in prison?[/li]
[li]Has incarcerated, under the three strikkes rule, Leandro Andrade serving two terms of 25 years to life for stealing five and then four more video tapes?[/li]
[li]Has incarcerated, under the three strikkes rule, Santos Reyes for 26 years to life cheating on a driver’s test?[/li]
[li]Forces prisoners - under threat of solitary confinement - to produce 100% of military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, for 25 cents an hour?[/li][/ul]

etc, etc. Even if the phrase ‘social justice’ doesn’t mean a whole lot, surely the false economy in not investing in the education of the poor and young is obvious?

But beyond that, does this make any sense at all on a simple wasted lives, humanitarian level?

It all balances out and makes more sense in the big picture when you realize just how much money and increased quality of life goes to drug cartels, corrupt politicians and law enforcement, the tobacco and alcohol industries, private prisons, and many more as a result of the “war on drugs”. You are only focusing on the downsides.

Treating small drug offenses as criminal matters instead of a medical ones makes a lot of people all over the world wealthy. So, as long as they spend some of their ill-gotten gains on legitimate goods and services like sports cars and vacation houses it could help the economy in the big picture despite the lengthy prison sentences for addicts who got caught up in the machinery of the system.

p.s. I’m guessing that 17-year old stat isn’t too helpful givenmost go to college at 18?

Good catch. Especially since guys are more likely than girls to be “held back” to wait for a year before starting school, if their birthdays are in the fall.

I am an educator and am totally unfamiliar with this practice. It would probably be against federal law. Do you have a cite?

I do agree with the premise of the PrettyVacant’s OP. But there are good schools for the poor and young in terms of teachers, buildings, and equipment provided by the government. One thing that makes the difference in schools is that parents in wealthier neighborhoods can afford to give more and do more for the schools. That makes them unequal.

I also have seen a tendency toward more lax policies in poor neighborhoods. I never have been able to figure out why since it creates more problems.

At any rate, I think the three strikes rule sucks – especially when kids have been brought up in these very lenient schools. A student rigs explosives over the piano when a concert is going to be given that night. Fortunately, they are found ahead of time. He gets three days of in-school suspension. Another kid steals a video and goes to prison for 26 years. Go figure. The justice system and the educational system just don’t make sense.

I’d guess quite a lot of Western countries do. At least over here, we usually don’t graduate from senior high - and thus qualify for college - before the year we reach 19. Male or female, black, brown, yellow or white.

If this is typical of the validity of your list, I am unimpressed.

Reyes is a lifelong criminal with at least two convictions for armed robbery. Far from “cheating on a driver’s test”, what Reyes actually did was attempt to obtain a second driver’s license in another name.

According to Reyes he did this because his cousin is illiterate, and so could not take the test. So Reyes was trying to put his illiterate cousin, who is thus incapable of driving safely, onto the roads along with millions of other road users.

The prosecution speculated that since Reyes has multiple conviction for DUI and driving while on illicit drugs, he was trying to get himself another license before his was cancelled. So he was trying to keep himself on the road with millions of other innocent road users.

Either way Reyes was not incarcerated for “cheating on a driving test”. He was incarcerated for two violent robberies and one attempt to commit a crime which had a very high potential of seriously injuring or killing innocent people.

As a minor point, Reyes was also initially charged with cheating on the exam! When arrested he had a crib sheet in his pocket with the exam answers on it. However those charges were dropped. So far from being “incarcerated for cheating on a driving test”, he was never even tried for that crime, which he also admitted to committing.

Should Reyes be serving 26 years for committing two violent robberies and attempting to put dangerous drivers behind the wheel of a car? Maybe not, but I sure as hell am not going to get weepy about it. The man is clearly a violent arsehole with no respect for the law or public safety.

And if this one example is representative of the worst you can find in the US justice system, I would say it’s the world’s best. A three time loser and violent thug gets locked up after deliberately endangering public safety.

And we’re supposed to think this is a bad thing?

Reyes had two previous convictions, the first for burglary as a juvenile (no jury) and the second for robbery. He’d served both sentences.

His third conviction was for “perjury committed through knowingly filing a false document under oath” - the driving license issue i.e. perjury. So, yes, my error: He is serving 26 years to life for ‘perjury’… in relation to a driving license application.

That makes a whole lot of sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santos_Reyes_(prisoner)

At 9.2% unemployment, they should just be thankful they have jobs.

No, according to your own like he had “been convicted of committing six crimes in a 16 year period”. That from the third sentence in your own link. I am getting the impression that you don’t know anything at all about the Reyes case beyond what you read on same Left wing blog.

Promoting ignorance in this manner in the Pit? You are braver than I.

Both with violence. Burglary with violence and *armed *robbery. You seem to be skipping over a lot of “unimportant” details of this case.

So he had served two sentences for violent robbery, and had a string of convictions for (from your link) “battery, armed robbery, being under the influence of a controlled substance and driving while under the influence”.

And he then went out to commit another felony. And this is supposed to make us think he should be walking around free?

Yes, like a drink driver is serving 6 years to life in relation to attending a party.

What these offences are “in relation to” is irrelevant. The actual offence is that he was trying to put an unqualified, illiterate and hence extremely dangerous driver behind the wheel of a car.

I have exactly as much sympathy for this act as I do for a drink driver. And while I don’t necessarily believe that someone should get 25 years for two violent robberies and a drink driving conviction, I wouldn’t shed too many tears over it either.

Simple question PrettyVacant: If Reyes’s cousin had obtained his fake licence and then gone on to kill a family in car accident, would you still thjnk that Reyes’ sentence was excessive? Because, let’s face it, that is a pretty foreseeable outcome of putting an illiterate, unqualified driver behind the wheel of a car, right?

Three time loser with a string of convictions. Multiple violent offender who commits a felony after already serving two jail terms for felonies. Recidivist then tries to defraud the state, obtain fake ID *and *put a dangerous driver behind the wheel of a car.

Gets sentenced to a long stretch behind bars for all these crimes.

What part of this doesn’t make sense to you?

If this example, where you have to make multiple omissions and neglect “unimportant details” to try to make it look bad, is the worst you can find with the US justice system, I can only come to one conclusion. The US justice system is about as close to perfect as humans can create.

The worst example of injustice you can find in the USA is a repeat violent offender jailed for that violence and for trying to put a dangerous driver in control of two tonnes of steel moving at 80 miles an hour.

God Bless America.

My life is my cite. My parents decided to hold me back a year, as I would have started kindergarten at the tail end of four, which they thought was too young. As a result, I was 18 when I graduated from high school.

Are you talking about the Andrade case, from the OP? Because that guy was 37 at the time of the offenses, having on prior occasions been convicted of everything from burglary to escape from prison. Hardly a “kid”.

Jesus, you can’t be that thick.

Zoe said “a kid steals a video”. If Zoe was referring to Andrade – the only person in the thread thus far mentioned with reference to stealing videos – then there’s every reason to point out that he was in his late 30s. Would it have magically become relevant for you if the guy had been in his 40s, his 50s? Surely you’d object to me calling a twelve-year-old “a grown man” to argue he deserved a harsh sentence; why not the reverse?

Does anyone GIVE A FUCK: To repeat, you live in a society that holds 25% of the worlds prisoners. The country you live in imprisons 1% of its population - not its adult or its working life population, take the kids and the infirm and retired out of that, and fuck knows what the deal is. And every single one of them makes a profit for someone - usually private corporations.

No society in history has done this. THATS KINDA SIGNIFICANT, donchathink?
‘God Bless America’

The kind of society where most black children grow up without their fathers.

Regards,
Shodan

Let’s see a cite that every single prisoner in the US makes a profit.

Regards,
Shodan

In Ohio, where I am a volunteer in a maximum security prison, no one is forced to work under threat of anything. Jobs in the prison are in fact very low paid by outside standards, with many jobs paying below 20 cents an hour. But these jobs are prized by the inmates, at least they are by the 50 or so that I talk to several times a month. They provide an opportunity to get out of their cell, to occupy their time doing something useful, and to make a little bit of money for the minor “luxuries” that are available for purchase in the prison store.

As others have suggested, if this one item, which I have some local knowledge of, is an example of the validity of your claims, I’m willing to reject your whole list. Grow up and do some research before you paste nonsense into an OP. How about pasting some cites for the list?

The false claim that we are “not investing in the education of the poor and young” is quite obvious.

Care to revise that to “not investing as much in education as some people think we should be”?

And then, seeing as how massive increases in education spending in recent years have not translated into superior student performance, you can work on a credible argument that 1) spending lots more on education will wreak a transformation in knowledge and employment skills, and 2) will thus result in a great deal less crime and incarceration of criminals.

I’d worry a bit less about the marvels of education, and more about cutting down on the number of people busted for minor drug offenses, in addition to encouraging responsible parenting so that kids don’t wind up in the criminal justice system, however one might go about that.

“What kind of society?” Devil’s Advocate says, “The kind of society that is intolerant of rule-breakers, no matter how unfortunate their background.” Notice I didn’t say “law” breakers, there’s a difference. Those with the gold make the rules, and the rules rarely apply to those with the gold. So “what kind of society?” “A society of prey controlled by predators.” Nothing new under the sun, that’s how it’s always been with humans…