Tag Archives: rehabilitation

Gov. Deal: the bad, prison slave labor competing with free labor

Gov. Nathan Deal said he was for free-enterprise chickens, but he wants the government to supply prison slave labor to grow them.

Continuing Gov. Deal: the good, the ugly, and the bad on prisons, quoting again from David Rodock’s interview with Gov. Nathan Deal in today’s VDT.

The Bad

Remember Gov. Deal mentioned poultry operators as an illustration of his bogus point that government intervention is always bad? Well, I guess he forgot that when he answered this question:
THE TIMES: Your proposal to have probationers replace illegal immigrants for farm labor. Did that idea work? If it didn’t or it did, what’s going to happen next year during the picking season?

DEAL: “Well, it worked with some success. I think there was a great deal of skepticism about it on whether these people will work and there is a threat associated with their presence. We have to remember that probationers are not under arrest. They are free in our society.

Really? Except for little things like not being able to vote if they are felons, and having to pay their probation officers. But back to the Gov.: Continue reading

Gov. Deal: the good, the ugly, and the bad on prisons

Gov. Nathan Deal proposed a half-measure to reduce the Georgia prison population that nonetheless is a useful measure (the good). He reiterated a bogus talking point (the ugly). Then he proceeded to contradict it in advocating something that would work against reducing the prison population (the bad).

David Rodock’s interview with Gov. Nathan Deal is in the VDT today.

The Good

THE TIMES: How are we going to address the large number of incarcerated citizens and decrease those numbers?

DEAL: “I think one of the better things we can do is have accountability in courts whether they be drug courts, DUI courts, mental-health courts, towards sentence reform. the like. We know that they work. We know the recidivism rate, if they go through those approaches rather than directly into the prison system. We have less recidivism. We break the addictions, and we’ve got to work very closely on that.”

I’ve previously noted that Gov. Deal has taken at least a tentative step towards sentence reform. That’s good, but not enough. Let’s do the rest, Continue reading

If public prisons are bad, what about private prisons?

If the VDT can’t get a public prison already in Lowndes County to comply with Georgia’s quite strong open records law even with years of requests, why would we want a private prison in Lowndes County, which wouldn’t have any open records requirements at all?

Dean Poling and Kay Harris wrote a long article about weapons in prisons for the VDT 28 August 2011, An eye for an eye: Life behind bars, concluding:

Inmates are intelligent. All they have is time. Why? Because there is no rehabilitation anymore. They are merely being housed. The prison programs don’t work, especially for lifers with nothing else to lose. So they have plenty of time to figure out ways to beat the system.
The VDT has been trying to find out more since at least 2009, when Malynda Fulton wrote 9 November 2009, Department of Corrections says records are ‘state secrets’ or destroyed, Continue reading

NAACP on MLK on War on Drugs

I hate to repeat a preacher, but it’s Sunday, and Robert Rooks wrote for NAACP 24 August 2011 U.S. Approach to War on Drugs Ignores Dr. King’s Lessons on Justice, Compassion.
After forty years of the war on drugs, America continues to have laws that stratify society based on race and class and continues to ignore Dr. King’s lessons on justice, compassion and love.

My favorite quote from Dr. King speaks to the heart of the problem with America’s criminal justice system. “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

America’s criminal justice system is reckless and discriminate. America has five percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Blacks are incarcerated at four to five times the rate of whites for drug crimes, even though the majority of those who use and sell drugs are white. The majority of those incarcerated are people who have a history with mental health and substance abuse.

Not only does incarceration impact individuals but it undermines families,

Continue reading

Alabama bishops criticize ALEC’s immigration law

Some churches actually speak in public on what they profess to believe.

Campbell Robertson wrote for the New York Times 13 August 2011, Bishops Criticize Tough Alabama Immigration Law

Josh Anderson for the New York Times
CULLMAN, Ala. —On a sofa in the hallway of his office here, Mitchell Williams, the pastor of First United Methodist Church, announced that he was going to break the law. He is not the only church leader making such a declaration these days.

Since June, when Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, signed an immigration enforcement law called the toughest in the country by critics and supporters alike, the opposition has been vocal and unceasing.

Thousands of protesters have marched. Anxious farmers

Continue reading

NAACP paradigm shift

Why does it matter that the NAACP wants an end to the War on Drugs?

Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote for the Miami Herald 30 July 2011, NAACP’s paradigm shift on ending the Drug War

Here’s why this matters. Or, more to the point, why it matters more than if such a statement came from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. The NAACP is not just the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. It is also its most conservative.
Conservative as in:
…denoting a propensity toward caution and a distrust of the bold, the risky, the new. And that’s the NAACP all over.

…there has always been something determinedly middle class and cautious about the NAACP. This is the group whose then-leader, Roy Wilkins, famously detested Martin Luther King for his street theatrics.

For that group, then, to demand an end to the Drug War represents a monumental sea change.

How monumental? Continue reading

NAACP calls for end to War on Drugs

Nafari Vanaski, wrote for Gateway newspapers 18 August 2011, NAACP calling for truce in nation’s drug war
If you grew up at the same time that I did, you’ll remember the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign that became popular in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

It manifested itself in many ways, from the posters and talks in class to the “very special episodes” of shows such as “Blossom” and “The Facts of Life,” where a character encounters a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is pressuring him or her to try drugs. Inevitably, good prevailed and the druggie turned out to be from a broken family and needed only a good face-to-face with Nancy Reagan, the driving force behind the campaign, to overcome his addiction. (She appeared on “Diff’rent Strokes,” and considering the real-life histories of Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato, she probably should have stuck around for a five-episode story arc.)

“Just Say No” was part of the larger war on drugs the Nixon administration declared in 1971. For grown-ups, that war symbolized a lot more than sappy primetime television. Especially for black adults. For them, it meant stricter laws for those found buying, selling and distributing illegal drugs.

To that end, the NAACP took an interesting step at its national convention last month. It approved a resolution to end the war on drugs because of its devastating effect on the black community.

Interesting how the headline writer watered that down: NAACP called Continue reading

Jack Kingston from Valdosta to Tifton to Atlanta

You may have seen by the front page of the VDT this morning that Jack Kingston was in Valdosta yesterday morning and by the VDT editorial that he will be in Atlanta today. The VDT whines:
Why do you have to take the one politician that actually works for us?
Well, some farmers in Tifton didn’t take kindly to the main idea Kingston was pushing yesterday. Said a farmer:
I have tried working with probationers and I’ll just say that it was a very inconsistent supply of workers.
Hm, the VDT previously was of a similar opinion, an opinion that got quoted in the AJC. Maybe the VDT didn’t know Kingston was pushing HB 87, even though they sat down with him yesterday morning?

We don’t need an ALEC-organized private prison law like HB 87 to profit private prison company CCA, and we don’t need a CC private prison in Lowndes County. Spend those tax dollars on rehabilitation and education instead.


Judge privatizes justice, eventually gets caught

Reported even in the VDT, 12 August 2011, AP, Pa. judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case
A northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered Thursday to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of juvenile convictions and left lasting scars on the children who appeared in his courtroom and their hapless families.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.”

Now that’s privatization of justice! Looks a lot like no justice at all. Makes you wonder how many other people are in prison who shouldn’t be.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. Spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education.


PS: Had to go to the Guardian for the picture, though.

You can’t get rid of the War on Drugs unless you end Prohibition

Video from the NAACP Criminal Justice Summit in Chicago, thanks to LEAP:
We cannot duck this issue. I couldn’t duck it any more. I couldn’t sleep, if I wasn’t out advocating getting rid of the War on Drugs. You can’t get to end the War on Drugs that the whole bureaucratic institution of the United States of America has declared, unless you end prohibtion. They couldn’t do it with alcohol, and you can’t do it with drugs.
—Alice Huffman, President, California NAACP
Here’s the video: Continue reading