Prison Nation

I worked with a woman from Ukraine a few years ago.  She was talking to me one day about somebody she knew from her home.  I will point out that this conversation happened before all the violence in her home country started.

She told me that he was a bad guy.  She told me he had been to prison.

This prompted a pause and an explanation.

In America, she told me, if you meet somebody who has gone to jail, it’s no big deal.  Seems everybody in America has been to jail.  If you go to jail in Ukraine, you did something really bad.

It’s not that she told me anything I didn’t know or hadn’t heard or anything else like that.  The statement in a matter of fact fashion really forced me to think.  This statement can’t make us proud regardless of whatever advantages we may have.

Fast forward to just the other day as I explained to my oldest what the war on drugs was really about.  What the Crime Bill signed in 1994 did for so many people in this country.  I explained how the profit prison system worked.

I’ll let Ana Kasparian explain it because I found this clip just the yesterday and she does an excellent job of it

I’ve already expressed my frustration with the fact that we all only have one life and so many in this world like to use a position of control to make our one shot at existence more miserable than it has to be.

Time in prison for crimes that are not a threat to others in this world is hardly a fair and right thing to do.  Not even close, but to imprison people for profit?  Just to make extra money that increases another’s standard of living?

Some things are simply wrong.

Especially when so many who do get in prison for drugs should be rehabilitated.  That should be helped.  They shouldn’t be subjected to a world that they will likely never truly recover from.

I’m leaving it at that right now because I believe that anytime somebody says privatizing services is a good idea we really need to question their motives and whether or not profit is really better.


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