Saturday, July 28, 2012

Making Money Off of Crime: It's Criminal!

"Shabby Justice"

First, read/watch: Conrad Black: Privatizing Prisons 'A Catastrophic Idea' (VIDEO, PHOTOS) on the Huffington Post.

I replied to "otherguy58" on HuffPo (click to enlarge)

“He can contribute because he *has* been all of those things. Who better to learn from than somebody who has actually served jail time? It would be stupid to not listen to him, I have before and wrote about it:

If our goal is to "correct" people then we must continually strive to improve our correctional system. We don't call it "Punishment Service of Canada" because the priority is to rehabilitate people while they serve their sentence and before they reintegrate into society. The majority of jailed offenders are not kept in jail forever, don't you believe that we owe it to ourselves to stop recidivism?  I, as a Mother, want people who are released from prison to have been given the tools to never re-offend thus making the country I live in a much safer place for my children.  Don't you?

The worse thing we could EVER do is make our incarceration system private and for profit - this is a public service that our hard earned taxes go to because we like having professionals in Fire and Police Departments, ambulances, jails, hospitals and mental health facilities, public schools etc. These public servants are properly trained to help us live our safest and healthiest lives. The Correctional Service of Canada is a necessary public service with the priority of public safety and therefore should forever be exempt from making profit for privately owned businesses and corporations. Making Money Off of Crime: It's Criminal!”


I know taxes suck but where I don't mind mine going is toward healthcare, public safety, (cops, fireman, court and jail workers, probation officers, mental health workers* etc) education (child and youth programming throughout all communities) public transit and infrastructure (roads, highways bridges) and social services for families and people in need as lower poverty rates translate into less crime.

All of the above aid me, you, and our families every day.  Public servants help to keep us healthy and safe and if something does happen to us they are there.  Their goal is a job well done, not boosting their funds.  All of us benefit when these different service agencies are given support and are at the top of their game.  As professionals in their respective fields they contribute to effective work, policies and positive outcomes. 

Private corporations could care less about the people they contain and spit out, after all, they love it when people come back for another stint.  Their main objective is to make money, every new and returning prisoner raises their stock on Wall St. and taxpayers end up footing the bill.  Canadians deserve to have our safety be a top priority and leaving this task to private companies is just asking for tragedy and economic failure. The Americans have been down this treacherous road, let's be smart and not follow.


Excerpt from: Private prison companies look to Canada as industry faces lawsuits in US
US states are beginning to rely less on privately run prisons, but Canada may be a land of opportunity for the two biggest firms

"US private prison firms are targeting Canada for fresh opportunities as pressure builds at home on the troubled multi-billion dollar industry from human rights groups and legal actions, and as more states look to scale back their reliance on them.

Two of the biggest operators in an industry once regarded as recession-proof, Geo Group and Management and Training Corporation (MTC), have been lobbying various government departments in the Canadian capital, Ottawa.

With a massive prison overhaul plan already underway – as well as the passage in March of Bill C-10, a suite of crime legislation that most observers agree will see more Canadians face prison time and keep those already locked up behind bars for longer – it seems the American industry's interest in its neighbour to the north could not come at a better time.

The private industry's lobbying of Canadian lawmakers has some Canadian prison watchers worried. "There is something unethical with having corporations seeking profits from locking people up," wrote a group of former high-ranking Canadian justice officials to the Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper in March."  ~ Read the whole article here.

90% Full Prisons Guaranteed!

Private Prisons-Commerce in Souls

For-Profit Prisons Promise Investors Growth

Making Investors Rich!

More links:

Lobbyists Behind Omnibus Crime Bill Aimed at Privatizing Prisons ~ 404 System Error Democracy Not Found

Right and proper  With a record of being tough on crime, the political right can afford to start being clever about it

 In Prison Reform, Money Trumps Civil Rights By MICHELLE ALEXANDER

*There is a higher rate of mental illness in the poor than in the rich (source Brill 40)
~ Death in Remand: Stacked Deck
"Forty-nine per cent of all prisoners admitted to a B.C. jail between 1997 and 2004 had a diagnosed mental illness. Fully half of those were also addicted to alcohol or drugs. In total, 56 per cent of provincial prisoners in B.C. during that time, both on remand and sentenced, were either mentally ill, addicted to something, or both. There's obviously a spectrum there. "Mental illness" covers a broad swath. But even still, it's hard to overlook the connection.
Remand rates are going up at least in part because of the judicial response to breaches of bail and probation condition. At the same time, the justice system is dealing more and more often with the sort of people most likely to breach.
It has to be asked: Are we setting them up to fail?"
~ Tory crime bill will make matters worse for mentally ill: expert

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