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11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 11/8/2018 10:46:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/16/2018 1:19:02 AM EST by amerref]
American prison recidivism: 43% of released inmates get arrested for new crimes within 1 year of release. 75% within 5 years. 83% within 9 years.

So our prison system doesn't work.
Incarceration does not rehabilitate; does not create a disincentive to re-offend.

The only good news I've found is this:
Prison Reform (PR) receives broader bi-partisan political support than nearly any other current societal issue. It's politically viable.

PR can reduce crime. If PR reduces crime, the ability of the left to say that guns cause crime is diminished.

The corrections system is fragmented: federal prisons, state prisons, county lock-ups, jails, youth facilities, etc.

12% of post-release new crime arrests happen in a state other than the perp's residence or incarceration. IOW, prison standards in one state affect crime rates in other states.

This invites a federalist perspective on prison standards:
Set a new federal standard, then withhold a percentage of prison funding from states that refuse to meet the standard. Precedent: South Dakota v Dole 1987.
Couple the federalist approach with PAC pressure on state legislators.
Conclusion : a reasonable national standard is feasible.

Goals:
Change all prisons to the extent that every inmate leaves prison with a solid education, a trade certification, a profound respect for the legitimate authority of the American People, a complete understanding of the taxpayer costs of inmate incarceration and rehabilitation, and a significant fear of future incarceration.

Change the American paradigm of management of mentally incompetent citizens. Start at the level of the prison system. Build new offsite mental institutions. Identify SMI inmates, transfer them to the new institutions. Courts: stop sending new SMI individuals to prisons. Staff the institutions with qualified personnel, regulate them appropriately. Establish institutional release requirements that include the possibility of remanding some individuals to prisons, and never releasing others.

Money:
The American corrections budget is $80 billion per year.
The American social welfare budget is $927 billion per year.
Since the welfare state fosters crime, it makes sense to spend some of that budget on new prisons and mental institutions.
Link Posted: 11/8/2018 10:47:25 PM EST
My initial ideas include:

Eliminate plea deals and reduced sentences.
No inmate is eligible for parole on any sentence of less than 20 years.

New standardized benchmarks for education and trade certification and social programming shall be established as minimum requirements for release.
No inmate shall be released prior to achieving these release requirement benchmarks, regardless of sentence length.

All inmates work 8 hours per day 6 days per week at jobs that produce economic value.
All economic output of the inmate population is used to pay for essential operational costs of the facility.
At each correctional facility, the inmate population eats good food as long as their monthly combined economic output stays above 40% of the monthly facility operational cost. Otherwise the cafeteria serves only bland food.

All inmates shall engage in 3 hours per week of social programming. Progression through the program requires passing exams that demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Release is contingent on completion of a standardized social programming curriculum.

All inmates shall engage in 3 hours per week of trade school programming. Release is contingent on obtaining a standardized trade certification. Trade education can be combined with the daily economic-production work schedule, but the combination shall not reduce incremental 3 hours of trade education work required each week.

All inmates shall engage in 6 hours per week of classroom education. The minimum required mastery of the standardized educational material necessary to be eligible for release is a GED equivalent. Use modern conventions to prevent cheating on exams.

The only beverage that will be provided to any inmate is clean potable water.

No tobacco or marijuana for any inmate.

No vending machines. The only food product available to any inmate shall be the meals served by the cafeteria. No inmate shall carry or possess any food product outside the cafeteria.
No TV or movies or periodicals. Only textbooks, trade journals and manuals, and classic literature will be available.

No inmate shall receive legal assistance or literature of any kind from any individual other than his or her legal counsel or an agent of the court.

Each inmate shall receive 4 sheets of writing paper, 2 first-class envelopes, and 1 hour with a pen or pencil per month during which he or she may write and address a letter.

Rebuild inmate respect for authority.
All inmates infractions, including any refusal to immediately obey any CO or prison staff command are punished by solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement shall always be accompanied by survival rations of bland food that shall in no instance exceed 1600 calories per day for any inmate.
Inmate time spent in solitary does not count towards sentence.

Manage dehydration or hunger strikes with forced hydration, force-feeding, and solitary confinement.

Establish financial awards incentive programs to reward CO's who achieve performance benchmarks for valid solitary confinement penalties. Implement 15% of annual salary bonus programs that reward each instance that a CO or staff reports actionable violations of policy, procedure or law perpetrated by other staff or CO's.

Regularly use electronic means to locate and remove cell phones from the population. All instances of cell phone discovery shall result in significant solitary confinement penalties.

Redundant-coverage audio/video recording camera systems shall be installed at all locations accessible by inmates. Armored systems won't be required.
Penalty for inmate interference with the function or intent of any camera is 30 days in solitary.
Penalty for CO or staff interference with the function or intent of any camera is immediate termination, with evidence of interference delivered to district attorney.
Link Posted: 11/8/2018 10:55:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/8/2018 11:09:02 PM EST by amerref]
IMO, my brain dump in the previous post at least has 2 obvious problems:
1 - it may have some good ideas, but as a whole it doesn't seem like something that would appeal to political moderates.
2 - it is not founded in any practical experience.

Whether you have practical experience or not, feel free to dress it up, dress it down, laugh out loud, suggest better ideas, dismiss bad ideas, clean it up, whatever.

I can build a Sec 527 FEC-registered PAC website in about 14 days.
I'm thinking about starting one for prison reform.
Because we REALLY need some reforms.
The PAC will need to appeal to a broad base.

Asking for input on this forum seems reasonable.

Our country is going down the toilet.

We either watch it happen, or try to do something to fix it I guess.

Thx,

Dave

ETA - after re-reading, yah, some of that stuff seems pretty extreme. Just a brain dump. Appreciate any practical feedback. Thx.
Link Posted: 11/9/2018 9:00:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 10:11:14 AM EST
Below are a few thoughts from a 11 year CO.

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By amerref:
My initial ideas include:

Eliminate plea deals and reduced sentences. Cant and wont work never be time in the day to get this done. If just 10% of the inmates in the jail I work at took the case to trial and did not do a plea deal the courts would grind to a halt.
No inmate is eligible for parole on any sentence of less than 20 years. How many new prisons do you plan to build.

New standardized benchmarks for education and trade certification and social programming shall be established as minimum requirements for release.
No inmate shall be released prior to achieving these release requirement benchmarks, regardless of sentence length.

All inmates work 8 hours per day 6 days per week at jobs that produce economic value.
All economic output of the inmate population is used to pay for essential operational costs of the facility. Forcing unmotivated inmates to work when they don't directly get something back is for the most part a net loss. We give our inmate workers 1 day off the end of there time for every 8 hour shift they work and they still do shit work that staff has to monitor and fix.
At each correctional facility, the inmate population eats good food as long as their monthly combined economic output stays above 40% of the monthly facility operational cost. Otherwise the cafeteria serves only bland food.You want a riot this is how you get a riot. Inmates have very little to look forward to and food is a very important thing to them mess with it at your danger. Ya I know lock them down for causing problems but that only works for a few locked down inmates are way more staff intensive.

All inmates shall engage in 3 hours per week of social programming. Progression through the program requires passing exams that demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Release is contingent on completion of a standardized social programming curriculum.

All inmates shall engage in 3 hours per week of trade school programming. Release is contingent on obtaining a standardized trade certification. Trade education can be combined with the daily economic-production work schedule, but the combination shall not reduce incremental 3 hours of trade education work required each week.

All inmates shall engage in 6 hours per week of classroom education. The minimum required mastery of the standardized educational material necessary to be eligible for release is a GED equivalent. Use modern conventions to prevent cheating on exams.All good ideas but most will do just what they have to to get by/out. I see it all the time with AA and drug treatment. They do treatment to look good at sentencing. You cant force people to learn.

The only beverage that will be provided to any inmate is clean potable water. See what I said about food.

No tobacco or marijuana for any inmate. They dont get them now. Not within the rules anyway

No vending machines. The only food product available to any inmate shall be the meals served by the cafeteria. No inmate shall carry or possess any food product outside the cafeteria.
No TV or movies or periodicals. Only textbooks, trade journals and manuals, and classic literature will be available.TV and books and periodicals and movies are needed to keep them occupied a bored inmate is a problem causing inmate.

No inmate shall receive legal assistance or literature of any kind from any individual other than his or her legal counsel or an agent of the court.

Each inmate shall receive 4 sheets of writing paper, 2 first-class envelopes, and 1 hour with a pen or pencil per month during which he or she may write and address a letter.
The courts would take a very dim view of this to say the least.
Rebuild inmate respect for authority. Cant rebuild what was never built to begin with.
All inmates infractions, including any refusal to immediately obey any CO or prison staff command are punished by solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement shall always be accompanied by survival rations of bland food that shall in no instance exceed 1600 calories per day for any inmate.
Inmate time spent in solitary does not count towards sentence.Yep that would work but it also means anytime to tell someone they are going to lock-down the fit will be on they dont think long term and will just see going to that not the fact that fighting staff will make it longer.

Manage dehydration or hunger strikes with forced hydration, force-feeding, and solitary confinement.

Establish financial awards incentive programs to reward CO's who achieve performance benchmarks for valid solitary confinement penalties. Implement 15% of annual salary bonus programs that reward each instance that a CO or staff reports actionable violations of policy, procedure or law perpetrated by other staff or CO's.

Regularly use electronic means to locate and remove cell phones from the population. All instances of cell phone discovery shall result in significant solitary confinement penalties.

Redundant-coverage audio/video recording camera systems shall be installed at all locations accessible by inmates. Armored systems won't be required.
Penalty for inmate interference with the function or intent of any camera is 30 days in solitary.
Penalty for CO or staff interference with the function or intent of any camera is immediate termination, with evidence of interference delivered to district attorney.
View Quote
Having said all that the idea a the reality of running a jail/prison are very different from what the public thinks. Over the years the courts and the Constitution have given inmates a lot of rights and I know your are talking about a total redo of the system but your ideas are based in the thought that people are rational thinkers. Most not all but most inmates are not. So treating them as rational thinkers will not work. Most of them think it terms of what I can take from you and what I can stop your from taking from me.

If your truly what reform I would suggest that we start by no longer sending victim less crimes to prison. (drugs mostly) The vast majority of the repeat offenders are drugs. People with violent crimes get shorter times because the prisons and jails are full of drug users. Stop sending the druggies so that you have room for people that actually have a victim and can send them for a long period of time.

Before someone comes a long and tell me drug users are not filling up the prisons and courts I take them to court 5 days a week and watch them get state pen time and if its not pen time is probation and them pen time with they offend again. I also watch people with violent crimes and theft crimes get time but get most of it suspended because the jails and prisons are full.
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 10:27:46 AM EST
OP how many years did you do inside the fence? As staff or an inmate? I'm guessing none for both because if you did you'd clearly know why almost all of what you suggest is outlandish and would create a dangerous situation for already underpaid and overworked staff.
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 10:30:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rustybob:
Below are a few thoughts from a 11 year CO.

Having said all that the idea a the reality of running a jail/prison are very different from what the public thinks. Over the years the courts and the Constitution have given inmates a lot of rights and I know your are talking about a total redo of the system but your ideas are based in the thought that people are rational thinkers. Most not all but most inmates are not. So treating them as rational thinkers will not work. Most of them think it terms of what I can take from you and what I can stop your from taking from me.

If your truly what reform I would suggest that we start by no longer sending victim less crimes to prison. (drugs mostly) The vast majority of the repeat offenders are drugs. People with violent crimes get shorter times because the prisons and jails are full of drug users. Stop sending the druggies so that you have room for people that actually have a victim and can send them for a long period of time.

Before someone comes a long and tell me drug users are not filling up the prisons and courts I take them to court 5 days a week and watch them get state pen time and if its not pen time is probation and them pen time with they offend again. I also watch people with violent crimes and theft crimes get time but get most of it suspended because the jails and prisons are full.
View Quote
What you'd said about druggies might be true at a local or state level, but at the federal level they aren't locking up your average "druggie."
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 10:36:25 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By laxman09:

What you'd said about druggies might be true at a local or state level, but at the federal level they aren't locking up your average "druggie."
View Quote
That is fair I have no experience at the federal level. At the state level we are trying not to lock the druggies up so they give them probation and then the second or third time they violate off to prison they go usually now going for 2, 3 or more counts of meth or some other controlled drug.
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 3:15:13 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By amerref:
IMO, my brain dump in the previous post at least has 2 obvious problems:
1 - it may have some good ideas, but as a whole it doesn't seem like something that would appeal to political moderates.
2 - it is not founded in any practical experience.

Whether you have practical experience or not, feel free to dress it up, dress it down, laugh out loud, suggest better ideas, dismiss bad ideas, clean it up, whatever.

I can build a Sec 527 FEC-registered PAC website in about 14 days.
I'm thinking about starting one for prison reform.
Because we REALLY need some reforms.
The PAC will need to appeal to a broad base.

Asking for input on this forum seems reasonable.

Our country is going down the toilet.

We either watch it happen, or try to do something to fix it I guess.

Thx,

Dave

ETA - after re-reading, yah, some of that stuff seems pretty extreme. Just a brain dump. Appreciate any practical feedback. Thx.
View Quote
What is your background/field of employment, OP?
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 3:47:31 PM EST
But all prisons are filled with first time marijuana offenders who got caught with a couple of seeds!

Stop that and it will fix itself.

sarcasm.
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 4:12:16 PM EST
End the war on drugs. Legalize weed.
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 4:20:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Voland:
End the war on drugs. Legalize weed.
View Quote
People go to prison for weed?
Link Posted: 11/10/2018 5:34:57 PM EST
While these are interesting ideas, the flaw is that you can't make people want to change. The horrid success rate of substance abuse treatment programs is an excellent demonstration of this. You can't make people want to; work, learn, succeed, give up the adrenalin rush of crime, stay clean and/or sober, quit beating women or kids, not be a pedophile or rapist, want to submit to the authority of an employer, get up on time for work, have someone tell them what to do, etc etc.

With an unlimited budget to teach, train, provide treatment programs for inmates, the success rate would of course go up. But there are many that will never be a success. Many would require something as draconian as Clockwork orange mental restructuring, or torturous reprogramming that would be challenged in the court as cruel and unusual punishment.

Then too is the very word "rehabilitate" which means to put them back as they were. Why would we want to return a criminal back into the child who came from a background of beatings, substance abuse (born addicted to drugs) , etc if that is where their life started out. I realize that the word rehabilitation is used by many people to refer to "change for the better", rather than "put back as they were". Unfortunately, putting many people back as they were just isn't a good idea as they require a substantial change of their underlying personality, and often even their physical brain and body structure. There are some people with mental health issues, or brain damage that just can't be improved enough to allow them to be SAFELY released back into society.
Link Posted: 11/11/2018 12:48:33 AM EST
I didn't read all of that. Sorry.

I got to the point where it talks about providing education and work, etc.

So

You can struggle on the outside, not take the easy path, and do what you can.

Or

Commit crimes, go inside, get a free paid education, guaranteed work / journeyman time, then probably get some kind of 'head start' on a job when you get out?

I don't like that.

The problem I see with your general assertion is the reason they keep going to jail. For most, it's not because they can't catch a break; it's because criminality is what they are. Your idea would be perfect for decent people caught up in the worst day of their life. The people I've dealt with don't have the same career goals as normies.
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 7:07:45 PM EST
Wrong. People don’t change, that’s why they keep getting arrested.

Build more and keep the inmates in prison instead of out on the street.

Rehabilitation is like trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 12:15:42 AM EST
Speaking in broad generalities...

Drones get locked up, get out and continue being drones. It’s their nature as a person.

Criminals who have enough brain cells to occasionally spark a synapse occasionally learn how to be better criminals and there is no reform, just refinement. Crime is their buisiness and they are in business school.

Regular joes who screw up do their time and move on so long as they don’t get hooked on drugs in jail and find a job.

Being locked away from society surrounded by criminals for years does not have a good probability of making a person “better”.

But like everything in life there are no absolutes and always exceptions and outliers.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 1:17:54 AM EST
Thanks for the replies. Some good info and perspective here.

The stats in the OP refer to new arrests within 9 years after release. I had to edit the OP to correct a typo: the 9-yr figure is 83%, not 93%.

Other recidivism data is published by the DOJ, including the rate at which released inmates are re-incarcerated, by year, after release.

The state prison rate ranges around 50% over 5 years.
The federal rate ranges around 25% over 5 years (much smaller population, also many white-collar criminals).
I haven't found ready access to jail rates yet, but presumably they are not much different.

Reasonable assumption: about 45% of inmates get re-incarcerated within 5 years of release. Recidivism rates are surprisingly stable over time.

If 75% get arrested for new crime within 5 years after release but only 45% go back into jails or prisons for new crime committed within 5 years after release, then 40% of ex-cons who do new crime within 5 yrs of release do not receive a new sentence for the new crime.

The total U.S. fed and state prison + jails population was 328,000 in 1970.
It peaked at 2.3mil in 2010 and now ranges at ~2.1 mil.
Factors in the observed decrease are less sentences handed out for crime, and more early releases.

If you model prison + jail inventory from 1970 to now based on a linear 45% 5-yr re-incarceration rate and linear annual rates of new commitments and releases, you can create a 48-year spreadsheet that reasonably resembles actual trends in annual U.S. inmate inventories.

If you take the same spreadsheet and change only the recidivism rate from 45% to 5% over 48 years, the present inmate population drops from 2.1 million to 1.4 million total inmates. In this hypothetical scenario, USA drops from #1 on the list of countries ranked by incarceration rates, to #15.

The leftist perspective is that "mass incarceration" is bad. Their solution is less sentencing combined with early release. IOW - punish crime less, and release a bunch of them early. IOW - go from a system that barely punishes crime to a system that punishes crime even less.

The leftist perspective fails to consider that the leftist legacy of cushier prisons and generous inmate rights is the primary cause of high recidivism, and that high recidivism is the leading cause of "mass incarceration". IOW - it is a typical leftist perspective.

IMO - the solution to all of these problems is to convert our prison system from cushy to nearly hell on earth.

Our recidivism rates are a joke. We abandoned our intent and ability to rehabilitate inmates such that they leave prison with a new and productive life perspective and a dreadful fear of re-incarceration.

joker581 - thank you for making a 1st reply and for managing to completely disagree with my contentions in a civil manner.

rustybob - thank you for your experienced perspective. I have read it twice, and will read it again. I concur about the "rebuild" comment. I should have used the word "build".

high_order - I wonder if you read one more paragraph down? I hold the inmate population accountable for earning at least 40% of the overall operating cost of each facility.

Genin - if you are an inmate and every time you see me I have a repeating rubber-bullet rifle and three guys with me who all have AR's, and every time you break a rule I shoot you with several rubber bullets and throw you in the hole, and you can't get out of prison until you complete all the programming, education, and trade certification release requirements while also doing manual labor 8 hours per day, do you honestly believe that over the course of 6 years or more I can't make you want to change?

*********************

If the answer is not hell, and the answer is not the system we have now, what is the answer? Is it Rob's route: pay money to lock them up forever?

What is it?

last - How many prisons do I want to build? I dunno, 50 really big ones? Build lots of new prisons with supervised forced labor, lock up all criminals, no release until completely reformed, watch the crime rate and prison population plummet over the next 20 years, then tear down empty old prisons and convert half of the now-empty new prisons into permanent wards for insane people, etc. Pay more money now so we pay less in the future?

Surely we can do better than "stay the present course".

Whew. almost 800 words.

I put some time into my prison project. I think I'm done with it for now. I think things will have to get quite a bit worse before the American people are ready to overhaul their prison system.

Thx.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 1:43:11 AM EST
those they re offend are not interested in being productive members of society. They are just doing there time and they will do it all over again.

those that want to use prison as a way to get clean or learn a trade, can and will do so.

you cannot help those who will not help themselves.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 3:03:23 AM EST
To reform prisons I believe you need to attack the pipeline. Mind altering substances break down the thin veil of socialization in people. When this happens, people do stupid shit.
Revision of drug laws should be the first step. Kill the dealers and treat the addicts.
Then I'd be o.k. with letting you tinker with your social engineering theories.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 5:41:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/16/2018 5:45:53 AM EST by armoredman]
So much to address, so little time. Background, 16+ years in uniform state corrections, currently shift commander at a lock down unit.
I can't go through point by point, but I can say this - read Parsons vs Ryan lawsuit to see what IS being mandated. Quite a bit of what you want in programming is already being done.
The ideas about removing reading material/TV/etc, laughable - we'll lose that lawsuit before the judge quits laughing.
Inmates are NOT 100% employable, isn't going to happen.
Inmates CANNOT have time served not count towards the sentence - 8th Amendment.
And lets throw some REAL numbers out here, shall we? I can only speak for AZ, but here's real, solid actual numbers, and BTW, we are working on a program to reduce recidivism as well, both in the community and inside the wire.

https://corrections.az.gov/sites/default/files/REPORTS/CAG/2018/cagoct18.pdf

This report is monthly, usually two months behind, so far more accurate than fed numbers.
First - recidivism - as of this fiscal year, starting July 1st, 66% of inmate committed were first time offenders. That means for this year so far we have a recidivism rate of 34%. Of those return to custody, dang near every one of them was on parole/probation. Historically it is higher, 51% of the population has a prior prison term, but we're working on it.
You can read the numbers on programming and jobs. Some inmates cannot work in a job - I know some that if you give them a hoe to clean up weeds, they will use it to kill as many other inmates and staff as they can, on the spot. Guaranteed. Some are too violent, many are too unstable, since the leftists forced us to clean out the state mental hospitals in the 70s - so now the SMI, (significantly mentally ill), end up here, with staff with far more limited training on how to deal with people like this.

And, I'm sorry, but I LOVE this little chestnut, about the prisons are full of pot smokers...such BS. Arizona got so tired of hearing that we created a line JUST for that crowd on this report. Look on the list of offenses...see it?

Out of 42,029 inmates in AZ prisons in October of this year, 194 are serving time for marijuana only. That's .5%.
Now the bigger GROUP is drug possession, (3,808), ALL illegal drugs, not your pot smokers but your heroin junkies, your meth heads, the ones who do damage to society in a big way, but if you lump them with the dopers you still have less than 10% of the total prison population. There are more in for drug DEALING, (4,902), the ones who sell this death to your kids. The biggest group is for assault, 5,567. Not dopers.

Want to reform prisons? Stop making everything a felony. Get rid of activist judges who rule on ever increasing recreation and everything else they can have - Playstations are now in some units. Get good staff, and PAY them appropriately - we haven't had a pay raise in over 12 years. Minimum wage is rapidly approaching what we pay new officers - do you want your prisons run by the same people who flip burgers? Won't happen, nobody will work here. Build new prisons set up towards modern correctional theory, shut down the mausoleums. And lastly DON'T BITCH WHEN WE ASK TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR IT. We have to - we don't have a choice, we can't hold a bake sale for a new prison unit.

You guys have no idea how much we'd like to work ourselves out of a job, but when we get shafted like this recently passed AZ Prop 125 that eviscerated our retirement, even for those retired already...it's hard to hire and retain good solid staff who are committed to the big picture.

Edit to address this one -
IMO - the solution to all of these problems is to convert our prison system from cushy to nearly hell on earth.
View Quote
The 9th Circuit is gonna LOVE you! Re-read the 98th Amendment and see how is has been bent to affect the prison systems.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 7:31:23 AM EST
In my semi-educated opinion, I feel the problem lies within the justice system and how inconsistent sentences are handed out. In my A.O., we had a fella shoot another fella 6 times, in the middle of the street, and he got a rider (programs based prison = 6 months or less). We have second time DUI'ers that get 2-5 years in prison, we have dudes that beat the holy shit out of their wife and some get 5-7 years, while others get probation. We get dopers that have be convicted of delivery charges and do probation, while first or second time dope offenders get prison time.

What I'm getting at, is that it seems there is no rhyme or reason to why sentences are handed out. Bad people who need to be in prison aren't, while people who shouldn't be in prison are.

Makes no damn sense to this fella...
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 2:27:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By armoredman:...all...
View Quote
Thanks. Good info. I started this thread hoping for realistic feedback from CO's working in the system. And I got some. I appreciate it.

Many of my suggestions for diminished "inmate rights" are contrary to the current trend of inmate-favorable rulings from the court system.

Part of any future reform is going to have to include a reversal of that trend, which means that the reform movement will have to originate from a large political support base.

Prison should not suck because you can't leave.

Prison should suck because you have to learn respect for authority, pay a steep price for non-compliance, get a high school education and a trade cert while also working your ass off all day every day, etc.

Cleaning up our court system and improving management of mentally incompetent citizens will improve our entire society, not just our prisons.

Thx.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 2:40:50 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By amerref:

Thanks. Good info. I started this thread hoping for realistic feedback from CO's working in the system. And I got some. I appreciate it.

Many of my suggestions for diminished "inmate rights" are contrary to the current trend of inmate-favorable rulings from the court system.

Part of any future reform is going to have to include a reversal of that trend, which means that the reform movement will have to originate from a large political support base.

Prison should not suck because you can't leave.

Prison should suck because you have to learn respect for authority, pay a steep price for non-compliance, get a high school education and a trade cert while also working your ass off all day every day, etc.

Cleaning up our court system and improving management of mentally incompetent citizens will improve our entire society, not just our prisons.

Thx.
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You cant force inmates to respect anyone. Forced respect turns into compliance + resentment. The average CO isnt going to show that much initiative to force respect from a non-compliant inmate all for a meager salary and the chance of being brutally assaulted later.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 3:27:30 PM EST
I wonder how the early half of this century compares in inmates returns?

I honestly think that one of the issues is that relatively speaking, prison has gotten soft compared to old days. You need to make it something that the inmate does not want to repeat. You'll still have your hardcore cases, of course.

Maybe with real training for those who want to reform, they could also be offered relocation services so they could move away from their bad influences when they get out?
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 4:08:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RobNC:
Wrong. People don't change, that's why they keep getting arrested.

Build more and keep the inmates in prison instead of out on the street.

Rehabilitation is like trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
View Quote
I respectfully disagree, after 19-1/2 years clean and sober, I've changed, and I know of others that have too. Admittedly; we're not common. If I knew the magic that prompted me to turn my life around, I'd damn sure share it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2018 2:16:45 PM EST
The 3 replies above this one do a reasonably good job of summing up our current situation.

Some folks say you can't change anyone, other people disagree.

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If you can't change anyone, there's no reason to ever let anyone out. ergo all prison sentences are for life.

I don't agree with that approach, I'm just presenting a counterpoint.

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My early posts mention SMI's . We need a new system for those people.

I think non-SMi's can be divided into two classes: "incorrigibles" and "reformables".

If the incarceration system is made effectively punitive and rehabilitative for reformables, I think many inmates, and our society, will benefit.

As for the incorrigibles, I'm okay with a system that informs them of release requirements and then never releases them because they refuse to meet the requirements.
People change over decades. It's entirely possible that some incorrigible 25yr old inmates will began to reconsider things as they reach their 40's.

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The monetary cost of reform is always an issue. Any reform that approaches even half the scope of my unfiltered brainstorm ideas above, will be very expensive.
Two primary counterpoints to that observation:
What we do now is already very expensive, and that system+societal cost goes higher every year.

If a reform is truly effective, the overall system cost after 40 years will plummet. When you have effective disincentives for crime and effective management of mental incompetents, crime rates drop.

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Since I'm posting, I'll touch on a detail from armoredman's post:

I appreciate your respect for quality of data.
34% committed were not 1st time offenders.
This recidivism rate defines new commitments.
If you look at the rate of new arrests made after release, and then you reconcile that rate to the new commitment rate, what you get is a representation of how many ex-cons get arrested for new crimes after release but not sentenced. This step sheds some light on the degree to which AZ is achieving improved recidivism rates via relaxed sentencing of criminals vs actual rehabilitation of criminals. It becomes an in depth analysis, and not one which I'm pushing. Rather, I'm just saying that a big-picture view often helps when interpreting individual stats.

Thanks again.

Good discussion. Difficult issue.
Link Posted: 11/17/2018 5:49:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2018 5:50:47 PM EST by Citadel-SC]
A new federal standard imposed on the States? Umm the States are already waaaaaaaaaay ahead of the Federal government on prison and sentencing reform. All these programs you mention are already available and have been for years, people do not utilize them. Sentencing reform is already resulting in a creeping rising crime rate. Hardly anyone goes to prison anymore.
Link Posted: Today 12:06:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: Today 12:08:33 AM EST by Hexxus]
If you've never worked inside a prison, or have a remote clue what goes on inside one, probably not the best idea to go throwing out ideas on fixing a system that only those on the inside want fixed so they can have more free access to run their criminal enterprises, pass contraband, have more access to manipulate gullible support staff to bring in contraband, assault or sexually assault staff, file fraudulent or retaliatory lawsuits just to get a few easy dollars, or just get out of their cell for a few hours. 90% of inmates could care less about the positive benefits of what you want to give them. They just want out of their cells to keep the drugs and contraband moving or to hang out with their homeboys. And they'll straight up tell you this if you ask them.
Link Posted: Today 7:37:25 PM EST
You can “reform” the prison system all you want, but it won’t do a damn thing to help the situation.
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