Amelioration of today’s drug problem requires Americans to
understand the significance of the 80-20 ratio. Twenty percent of
American drinkers consume 80 percent of the alcohol sold here. The
same 80-20 split obtains among users of illicit drugs.
About 3 million people — less than 1 percent of America’s
population — consume 80 percent of illegal hard drugs.
Drug-trafficking organizations can be most efficiently injured by
changing the behavior of the 20 percent of heavy users, and we are
learning how to do so. Reducing consumption by the 80 percent of
casual users will not substantially reduce the northward flow of
drugs or the southward flow of money.
Will-like, he ignores the real reasons we’re locking up so many people
(corporate greed), but he does get at the consequences:
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Industrial Authority Executive Director Andrea Schruijer told me to expect
their board to say something at their 2PM Thursday board meeting about the
private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) wants to build
on US 84 at Perimeter Road. If they don’t give CCA another extension,
the contract expires March 13th.
There’s still time to contact them, (229) 259-9972.
Or go to their board meeting at 101 North Ashley Street,
2PM Thursday February 23rd.
A private prison would not increase employment in Lowndes County. It
would not even save the state money. And it would have high risk
of closing after or even before it opened, because of escapes and
inmate disturbances, and most importantly because the state and federal
governments can no longer afford to incarcerate so many people. That would
leave us and the state holding the bag for any investment in building it.
Outsourcing public justice for private profit at taxpayer expense is
not only bad business, we the taxpayers can’t afford to pay for it while
public education is under increasing budgetary pressure.
As members of the local community, we do not wish to live in a private
prison colony, with the attendant risks of inmate violence and escape,
and the accompanying public opprobrium that would drive away the
knowledge-based workers we claim to be trying to attract.
Finally, public justice should not be a matter of private profit.
John S. Quarterman
lives in Lowndes County
You may recognize the wording from the
You can always write your own letter with your own reasons.
Even the Bainbridge and Decatur County Post-Searchlight publishes news about their very own
state legislator explaining one of the biggest reasont why prisons are
a bad bet for a local economy:
because we can’t afford to lock up so many people anymore.
“We’re still struggling to find revenue to pay for operation
of the state government and its services,” Bulloch said.
“We’re going to have to fill holes that we filled during
economic times using federal stimulus money and other temporary
Bulloch said he also understands Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has
instructed Georgia’s department heads to include 2-percent cuts in
their budget requests for this year.
One way in which legislators might opt to save money is by
streamlining its criminal penal code. According to Bulloch, Georgia
has a very high number of people serving supervised probation or
“A lot of those people who are in prison or under close
supervision by state officers are serving sentences for non-violent
offenses or minor felonies,” Bulloch said. “We may look
at alternative means for dealing with them, such as creating drug
courts or setting up drug-testing centers that would monitor drug
offenders without imprisoning them.”
Which would mean fewer people in prison.
Which would mean no need for new prisons.
And some existing prisons might close.
CCA inadvertently rehabilitated former prisoner Alex Friedmann
and gave him a new career, lobbying against prison privatization.
In my view, the worst thing
is that they have normalized the notion of incarcerating people for profit.
Basically commodifying people, seeing them
as nothing more than a revenue stream….
If you incarcerate more people and you put more people in
your private prisons you make more money.
Which provides perverse incentives against reforming our justice system.
And increasing the number of people we’re putting in prison,
whether they need to be there or not, just to generate corporate profit.
I think that’s incredibly immoral and unethical,
I think that’s the worst aspect of our private prison industry.
I really support this idea. Initially, I was concerned about it, because
I know that things like the SCRAM bracelet and the ignition interlock
devices are very expensive to install and maintain, especially if you
consider the costs involved with probation fees. $213.00/month may not
sound like a lot of money to some people, but it is a king’s ransom
to others (saying $7.00/day makes it seem more manageable). Still,
allowing non-violent offenders the opportunity to work and rehabilitate
themselves outside of a prison is a big step forward in the philosophy
of crime and punishment in this county, in my opinion.
Just like alcohol prohibition produced gansters such as Al Capone,
drug prohibition doesn’t prevent crime: it causes it.
Legalize, tax, and regulate, end that crime,
reduce drug use,
and fund government services.
While massively reducing the prison population and removing any excuse for private prisons.
Sweden is pioneering the way.
Copenhagen’s city municipality voted in recent weeks, 39 votes to 9,
to empower its social affairs committee to draw up a detailed plan to
If that plan is approved by Denmark’s new left-of-centre parliament
next year, the city could become the first to legalize marijuana,
rather than simply tolerate it, as police do in the Netherlands.
“We are thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses, where the
people aren’t interested in selling you more, they’re interested
in you,” Mikkel Warming, the mayor in charge of social affairs
at Copenhagen City Council told GlobalPost. “Who is it better for
youngsters to buy marijuana from? A drug pusher, who wants them to use
more, who wants them to buy hard drugs, or a civil servant?”
Last year the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s
largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money
to run immigration detention centers.
Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds,
and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.
Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones
to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’
need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet
the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day. At that
rate, it would take five days to pay for just one minute.
Recent anti-immigration laws in Alabama (HB56) and Georgia (HB87)
guarantee that neighbor facilities will have an influx of “product.”
In the past few years, CCA has spent $14.8 million lobbying for
anti-immigration laws to ensure they have continuous access to fresh
inmates and keep their money racket going. In 2010 CCA CEO Damon
T. Hininger received $3,266,387 in total compensation.
Private CEO profit for public injustice.
Does that seem right to you?
It was Dostoevsky who said: “The degree of civilisation in a society
is revealed by entering its prisons.” But in contemporary Britain you
don’t even need to do this, you can simply stand on a street corner and
wait for the ghosts to come flitting past in order to appreciate its
We now have the highest prison population in Europe by a considerable
measure, and following the recent riots there is no likelihood of it
Of course, we aren’t quite at the levels enjoyed by our closest allies,
those prime exponents of the civilising mission the United States, whose
extensive gulag now houses, it is estimated, more African American men
than were enslaved immediately prior to their Civil War – but we’re
that the prison privatization plan the Florida legislature added to the
state budget is unconstitutional on a key point of all prison privatization schemes.
Her ruling agreed with the
Florida Police Benevolent Association,
which is a union of correctional workers.
The privatization of 29 prisons in the southern portion of the state
from Manatee County to Indian River County to the Florida Keys should
have been mandated in a separate bill and not in proviso language in
the budget, as lawmakers did in the must-pass budget approved in May
and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, Fulford ruled.
“This Court concludes that if it is the will of the Legislature to
itself initiate privatization of Florida prisons, as opposed to DOC,
the Legislature must do so by general law, rather than ‘using the
hidden recesses of the General Appropriations Act,’” Fulford wrote
her order issued Friday morning.
The order doesn’t say Florida can’t privatize prisons,
rather that it can’t do it by hiding it in the budget process.
But alleged budget savings are the only reason privatization backers
are willing to admit to, so that’s no small matter.
And if prison privatization is such a money-saver, why did the prison companies’ cronies in the statehouse try to do it like this:
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Georgia operates the fifth-largest prison system in the nation, at a
cost of $1 billion a year. The job of overseeing 60,000 inmates and
150,000 felons on probation consumes 1 of every 17 state dollars.