When we talk about the war on drugs, which is increasingly turning into a real war, we often overlook the fact that the “criminals” involved in the drug trade aren’t actually violating anyone’s rights. When a drug dealer is hauled before a judge, there is no victim standing behind the prosecutor claiming damages. Everyone participating in the drug trade does so voluntarily. However, there are a lot more crimes for which this is also true. Millions upon millions of Americans have been thrown into cages without a victim ever claiming damages. It is important to look at the burden this mass level of incarceration places upon our society.
In light of that, let us review some statistics which demonstrate just how destructive the mass incarceration of victimless criminals has become to our society.
Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children – Police state madness – more and more children being arrested for trivial things….fueling the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration…Zero Tolerance in full effect.
#1 At one public school down in Texas, a 12-year-old girl named Sarah Bustamantes was recently arrested for spraying herself with perfume
#2 A 13-year-old student at a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico was recently arrested by police for burping in class.
#3 Another student down in Albuquerque was forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched because he had $200 in his pocket. The student was never formally charged with doing anything wrong.
#4 A security guard at one school in California broke the arm of a 16-year-old girl because she left some crumbs on the floor after cleaning up some cake that she had spilled.
#5 One teenage couple down in Houston poured milk on each other during a squabble while they were breaking up. Instead of being sent to see the principal, they were arrested and sent to court.
#6 In early 2010, a 12-year-old girl at a school in Forest Hills, New York was arrested by police and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk. “I love my friends Abby and Faith” was what she reportedly scribbled on her desk.
#7 A 6-year-old girl down in Florida was handcuffed and sent to a mental facility after throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.
#8 One student down in Texas was reportedly arrested by police for throwing paper airplanes in class.
#9 A 17-year-old honor student in North Carolina named Ashley Smithwick accidentally took her father’s lunch with her to school. It contained a small paring knife which he would use to slice up apples. So what happened to this standout student when the school discovered this? The school suspended her for the rest of the year and the police charged her with a misdemeanor.
#10 In Allentown, Pennsylvania a 14-year-old girl was tasered in the groin area by a school security officer even though she had put up her hands in the air to surrender.
#11 Down in Florida, an 11-year-old student was arrested, thrown in jail and charged with a third-degree felony for bringing a plastic butter knife to school.
#12 Back in 2009, an 8-year-old boy in Massachusetts was sent home from school and was forced to undergo a psychological evaluation because he drew a picture of Jesus on the cross.
#13 A police officer in San Mateo, California blasted a 7-year-old special education student in the face with pepper spray because he would not quit climbing on the furniture.
#14 In America today, even 5-year-old children are treated brutally by police. The following is from a recent article that described what happened to one very young student in Stockton, California a while back….
“Earlier this year, a Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. That student was 5 years old”.
#15 At one school in Connecticut, a 17-year-old boy was thrown to the floor and tasered five times because he was yelling at a cafeteria worker.
#16 A teenager in suburban Dallas was forced to take on a part-time job after being ticketed for using foul language in one high school classroom. The original ticket was for $340, but additional fees have raised the total bill to $637.
#17 A few months ago, police were called out when a little girl kissed a little boy during a physical education class at an elementary school down in Florida.
#18 A 6-year-old boy was recently charged with sexual battery for some “inappropriate touching” during a game of tag at one elementary school in the San Francisco area.
#19 In Massachusetts, police were recently sent out to collect an overdue library book from a 5-year-old girl.
HERE ARE THE LINKS:
http://django.medianewsgroup.com/mobile/interstitial/?r=http%3A%2F%2F www.middletownpress.com%2Farti cles%2F2011%2F06%2F14%2Fnews%2 Fdoc4df7b12331ec9768149316.txt %3Fmobredir%3Dfalse&d=iphone
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/01/02/charlton-library-sends-police-to-collect-overd ue-books-from-5-year-old/ — with Your Son or Daughter next
- In Texas, Police in Schools Criminalize 300,000 Students Each Year (alternet.org)
- More and More Children Being Arrested For Trivial Things… (revivalandreformation.wordpress.com)
- Texas Student Sarah Bustamantes, 12, Arrested for Spraying Perfume (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, as Executives Assure Investors of ‘Growing Offender Population’
by Nicole Flatow for ThinkProgress.org
A major U.S. private prison operator known for inmate abuse, violations, and disregard for the truth reported a 56-percent spike in profit in the first quarter of 2013, due in part to its new strategy for drastically reducing its taxes, the Associated Press reports. During a conference call touting its success, representatives at GEO Group boasted that the company continues to have “solid occupancy rates in mid to high 90s” and that they are optimistic “regarding the outlook for the industry,” in part due to a “growing offender population.” GEO Senior Vice President John Hurley assured investors during the call:
We have a longstanding partnership with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshal Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE. … We continue to see meaningful opportunities for us to partner with all three of these federal agencies, notwithstanding the various issues with the federal budget, which we believe will have no material negative impact on our business. The federal bureau of prisons continues to face capacity constraints coupled with a growing offender population.
The federal prison population has swelled 790 percent since 1980, in large part due to draconian drug and immigration laws. And the United States maintains the title of the world’s number one jailer. Private prison operators nonetheless remain enthusiastic about the prospects of high incarceration rates for business. Representatives on this call shied away from the strong language fellow prison firm Corrections Corporation of America used during its investor call in February, when CEO Damon Hininger assured a strong “continued demand for beds” even after immigration reform. GEO executives explained that they are now taking the position that “discussing our approach and strategies about any particular procurement is really not in the best interest of our company or our shareholders.”
Following a trend of corporations achieving dramatic tax reductions by becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) – a mechanism historically reserved for firms holding real estate as an investment — both GEO and fellow prison operator Corrections Corporation of America successfully persuaded the Internal Revenue Service recently that they are essentially holding real estate, analogizing prisoners to renters paid for by the government. In reality, the job of running a prison is only nominally about the facility where it’s housed, and primarily about ensuring humane prisoner treatment, inmate rehabilitation, and public safety. But private prison corporations charging “rent” to house prisoners make no more or less money depending on whether they achieve these goals, particularly not when immense political spending to lobby for incarceration and privatization outweighs the public pressure from widely reported abuses at private facilities.