The news you're not supposed to know...

An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Mar 14 2012, 11:56 PM Category: Economy Source: Douglas French Print

Prison Nation Going Broke

by Douglas French

The New York Times reports of more financial woes for municipalities. Suffolk County will run $530 million into the red over the next three years and has declared a financial emergency. The New York state oversight board already seized financial control of Suffolk’s Long Island neighbor, Nassau County.

Danny Hakim writes,

Even as there are glimmers of a national economic recovery, cities and counties increasingly find themselves in the middle of a financial crisis. The problems are spreading as municipalities face a toxic mix of stresses that has been brewing for years, including soaring pension, Medicaid and retiree health care costs. And many have exhausted creative accounting maneuvers and one-time spending cuts or revenue-raisers to bail themselves out.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg told a radio audience, “Towns and counties across the state are starting to have to make the real choices — fewer cops, fewer firefighters, slower ambulance response, less teachers in front of the classroom.”

But this is not just a New York problem. State government has taken over finances for a number of cities in Michigan. Jefferson County, Alabama filed Chapter 9 and Stockton California is close to filing BK.

Municipalities shoulder much of the judicial system that polices, administers, and adjudicates the war on drugs and prison nation. The prison population in America equals that of the cities of Los Angeles and Miami combined. Putting this many people behind bars to be forgotten about by society is expensive, costing $6 billion a year.

The fact is most people shouldn’t be there in the first place. Loyola professor and prison economics expert Daniel J. D’Amico explains that the huge ramp-up in prison population began in the 1970s. Before then, the rate of incarceration remained stable at around 110 people in prison per 100,000. President Richard Nixon first used the term “war on drugs” on June 17, 1971 and then came the “tough on crime” movement lter that decade.

In 1980, fewer than half a million Americans were incarcerated. By 2008, the number was approaching 2.5 million. Another 4 million people are on probation. It is not violent criminals who are filling the nation’s jails and prisons. About half the prisoners in state penitentiaries are considered violent; less than 8 percent in federal prisons are violent, and fewer than 22 percent in the nation’s jails are there for a violent offense.

How can cash-strapped governments keep the monolithic judicial system operating?

Clarence Darrow starts Resist Not Evil by calling the state what it is: a violent aggressor. And a violent institution must have armies, functionaries, and civil governments to punish those who offend. But doesn’t everyone in America have a Sixth Amendment right to a trial?

Civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander says the only way the system works now is by the accused giving up their constitutional rights. Ms. Alexander explains,

But in this era of mass incarceration — when our nation’s prison population has quintupled in a few decades partly as a result of the war on drugs and the “get tough” movement — these rights are, for the overwhelming majority of people hauled into courtrooms across America, theoretical. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional rights and plead guilty.

Alexander writes that the system is rigged, quoting Cato’s Timothy Lynch. “The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used.”

The court ruled in Harmelin v. Michigan there was nothing cruel and unusual about life in prison for a first time drug offense. So people waive their rights and make the best deal they can, even it means years behind bars for a non-violent offense.

“The system of mass incarceration depends almost entirely on the cooperation of those it seeks to control,” Alexander writes. “If everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation.”

Criminal justice is yet another area where the government is going broke providing substandard service.

Latest Economy
- Professor Gruber Strikes Again
- Income Inequality Is a Statistical Artifact
- American Ranking Plummets in Global Index of 'Personal Freedoms'
- Your "Children Will Be Fined" If You Fail To Sign Up For Obamacare: People Are Going To Be In for A Shock
- The End of QE Is Not the End of Bad Policy
- "They Just Want The Money!" - The IRS Can Now Seize Accounts On Suspicion Alone
- Hillary: 'Don't Let Anybody Tell You' That 'Businesses Create Jobs'
- Does Ebola Justify the State?

Comments 1 - 4 of 4 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Mar 15 2012, 5:11 PM

668 Let me tell u something sport, 6 billion in the big picture is less than peanuts! The majority of the people in prison are violent felons, not
innocent recreational drug users. U my friend are a typical progressive
a-hole, whom by the way would be one of the first to run to the police
for protection in terror of one of these innocent victims of society! U make me sick!

Posted: Mar 15 2012, 7:06 PM

To Jeff, all your assumptions are wrong. An estimate 86% of prisoners are in jail for non-crimes. ( Source: )

We're libertarians, meaning we're more conservative than you, and more liberal.

We're against thugsrcum with guns ruling over people through violent oppression, any random criminal with a gun is a random criminal with a gun, it doesn't matter if they have a state issued costume or tee-shirt and jeans.

If we were to "run to police" to save us, they'd be just as likely to kill as as they would to help us. I'd take my chances with petty street criminals vs the unaccountable "biggest gang in the world."

Posted: Mar 17 2012, 10:17 AM

99250 Well Said Chris

Posted: Mar 19 2012, 8:06 PM

64134 we dont call the polit bureo we dont play. cops write reports, thats what they do.i will protect my family and myself. btw we dont run from terror!!! WE FACE IT HEAD ON!!!! Long live the Republic!!!

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

A Peace Officer Defies the "Blue Tribe": The Exile of Officer Cariol Horne - 12/19For Punitive Populists, "Comply or Die" IS The "Law" - 12/19Reno 911 - Cop Psychology [Comedy] - 12/19Sony Hack Reinvigorates Support for Privacy-Busting CISPA-Style Legislation - 12/19Cop Stops Fellow Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Man, She Was Then Beaten and Fired - 12/18Ignorance Is No Excuse for Wrongdoing, Unless You're a Cop - 12/17Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17Cops Called For Wellness Check Beat Innocent Man, Pile On False Charges; Jury Exonerates, Twice - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat