Should prisoners be forced to carry their own weight?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by peilthetraveler, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. They say it cost about $70k per year to house prisoners. Shouldnt we put them all to work making reeboks or putting together iphones for free so they pay for their own meals & housing and medical?

    Prison is supposed to be a punishment, but really the only punishment they get in prison is the violence they deal out to each other. I say make them work 16-17 hour days, no talking to each other and just keeping their head down. After a few years of that, they will have forgotten the whole gang mentality because they wont be dealing with the "who dissed who" that week, or "what mexican was sitting on the black side of the gym" ect.
     
  2. 377OHMS

    377OHMS

    I don't know about putting them to work. I do know that there are too many prisoners.

    I don't use drugs but it seems to me that a large percentage of the prisoners are in prison for low-level drug use/possession. If they decriminalized marijuana that alone would dramatically reduce the number of prisoners. John Stossel had a show on the other night showing where Spain decriminalized *all* drug use/possession which had two large effects:

    1) Use of drugs decreased, not increased.

    2) The number of violent crimes decreased (rape, robbery, murder, assault).

    The spanish result should be studied. There is something to decriminalization. Ron Paul, I believe, asserts this as well.
     
  3. pspr

    pspr

    I think you have been reading the figures the drug dealers put out. Don't give Stossel too many points for being bright. He's not.

    ...from the broader perspective of the entire prison population, BJS noted that in 1997 marijuana was involved in the conviction of only 2.7 percent of all state inmates. About 1.6 percent of the state prison population were held for offenses involving just marijuana, while just 0.7 percent were incarcerated with marijuana possession as the only charge.

    Further narrowing the field by excluding those prisoners with criminal histories, BJS found that only 0.3 percent of all state inmates were firsttime marijuanapossession offenders (see Figure 1). And this statistic, it’s worth noting, refers to possession of any amount—even as much as a hundred pounds or more—not just “personal use” quantities.

    Recent BJS estimates based on prisoner surveys show that at midyear 2002, approximately 8,400 state prison inmates were serving time for marijuana possession (any amount), and fewer than half of them were firsttime offenders.

    The point here is inescapable: Of the more than 1.2 million people serving time in state prisons across America, only 3,600 individuals were sentenced on a first offense for possession of marijuana. Again, this figure includes possession of any amount.


    http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/whos_in_prison_for_marij.pdf
     
  4. 377OHMS

    377OHMS

    Thats the whole country? 3600? Wow.

    What about the spanish thing Stossel was yammering about?
     
  5. pspr

    pspr

    I don't know anything about what happened in Spain but I don't think anyone or very few find themselfs in U.S. prisons for an ounce of marijuana. They are probably there for have a pounds of the stuff and selling it.

    I've looked but can't find a more recent legitamate study on MJ users in jail today. All the data seems to come from poponents of MJ and is not documented. The figure they are throwing out is a $1.2 billon cost. Who knows if that number is even close.
     
  6. By the numbers thrown out here:

    3600 inmates * $70,000k/year = $252 million in costs (if I'm reading my calculator correctly).

    That's not exactly small change... granted; given our federal budget 252mil is a blip, but, its still a whole lot of money wasted.
     
  7. in 2011, there were 6,336 prisoners in federal prison for marijuana related drug convictions.(out of 101,929 inmates) so thats roughly 6% of the federal inmate population. Now there could be more to the story for this because marijuana related offenses doesnt just mean simple possession, it could also mean sale, transportation, cultivation, or DUI. I'm not 100% sure, but if you get a marijuana DUI and you killed someone, they still might put that under the "marijuana related offenses"

    I'm against the legalization of Marijuana, but you are right...I dont think someone should go to jail for simple possession. People should just get a fine for possession. Maybe have it work on a sliding scale like the less you have, the smaller the fine. Like if you have a pipe with residue, you get a $25 fine. You have a gram, you get a $75 fine. An eighth a $150 fine. An ounce, a $500 fine, and just keep going up. Repeat offenders get a bigger fine. Try not to think this is excessive, because if they legalized it and it was taxed, they would probably pay the same in taxes on it eventually.
     
  8. BSAM

    BSAM

    Why is whiskey legal and marijuana is not?
    I don't use either.
    It'd be fine with me if both were banished from the country.
    However, what flagrant hypocrisy to say it's okay to purchase and consume one and not the other.

    If people want to burn themselves up on dope, let 'em.
    It's just fewer idiots we would have among the good folks.
    Think how much more pleasant shopping at Walmart would be.

    BTW---Prisons in the USA are a joke.
     
  9. pspr

    pspr

    Back to the original question.

    I think prisoners should be subjected to hard labor. At least for a period of time when they are new. Then they should receive less demanding jobs unless they violate prison rules, then they should go back to hard labor for a while. Prison cell location and free time with others should be varied so it is harder for prison gangs to form and communicate with each other.
     
  10. #10     Mar 29, 2012