American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
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the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
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In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
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"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
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"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

December 12, 2018

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Pages: 1
Author Topic: Following the U.S. Prison System


schisholm
New Member
Posts: 1
schisholm
Following the U.S. Prison System
on: January 9, 2014, 11:39

As a Canadian, I am concerned that we, as a country, are trying to follow the U.S. down the rabbit hole of "if we build it, they will come" in terms of incarceration rates and the use of prisons for punishment instead of rehabilitation. I recognize that prisons (and jails) serve the societal purpose of maintaining order and the rule of law, but one has to wonder about the true intent of higher rates and longer terms, when inmate populations are so badly skewed in terms of ethnicity, both here and in the U.S.

According to the (U.S.) Bureau of Justice Statistics, there appears to have been a brief epiphany somewhere, such that there was a prison population decrease during 2012, the fourth consecutive year of decline in the U.S. correctional population. However, this was also reported to be the slowest rate of decline observed since 2009, when the population first decreased.

By comparison, (and I hope with some shame), the CBC recently noted that in the report prepared by Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers, overall spending in the Canadian justice system rose 23 per cent in the past decade. “During that same period, Canada’s crime rate fell by exactly the same proportion,” he said.

“The growth in the custody population appears to be policy, not crime driven. After all, crime rates are down while incarceration rates grow,” he said, adding that crime across Canada has been declining for more than a decade, long before the current government’s “tough on crime” agenda.

Sapers said the United States, with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, has changed course, having realized that more people in prison doesn’t mean safer streets. “If there was a relationship between public safety and incarceration, then the downtowns of the big American cities would be the safest environments in the world; they’re not,” he said.

Under Canadian law, prison is supposed to be seen as a last resort and should be used as little as possible for the shortest time necessary. As well, it says prisoners continue to have human rights and are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment.

Sapers says recent changes by the (Canadian) government that see inmates serving longer sentences, cuts in prison pay and imposing austere conditions do little to improve public safety; instead, it makes it more difficult to rehabilitate and reintegrate them back into society upon their release." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada-s-prison-population-at-all-time-high-1.2440039

Sometimes, "Made In America" is not a good thing; the over-use of prisons is one example.



Merrell
New Member
Posts: 1
Merrell
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: January 10, 2014, 03:45

Perhaps we could study the effectiveness of the Russian prisons with their very austere arrangements. Perhaps send our prison population over there. I believe our recidivision rates would improve immensely!



Wally-
Thornton
New Member
Posts: 2
Wally Thornton
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: January 10, 2014, 20:53

The size and racial composition of the American prison system is shameful -- and it clearly compromises any claim we might have to being a global leader in "liberty." Mandatory sentencing laws have contributed to the problem, but one can see, I'm happy to say, positive changes underway now. As the following article notes, the government is attempting to reduce the number of young people who go to jail after committing some offence at school. Canada, perhaps, can learn from our mistakes as well as our efforts to correct them...
http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/01/u-s-moves-end-school-prison-pipeline/

U.S. Moves to End “School-to-Prison Pipeline”
By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 2014 (IPS) - The U.S. government has released landmark new guidelines aimed at tackling overreliance on punitive disciplinary measures within the national school system, with students being expelled or even referred to law enforcement for minor infractions.
Multiple studies suggest a steadily worsening behavioural track record for students initially disciplined for relatively small problems.
Critics of such tough disciplinary approaches have for years warned that they directly impact on students’ future prospects, with multiple studies suggesting a steadily worsening behavioural track record for students initially disciplined for relatively small problems. Such practices have also been found to have a disproportionate impact on minority students and those with disabilities, leading to accusations of systemic bias.
“A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Eric Holder, the attorney-general, said while unveiling the new guidelines. This is the first time the U.S. government has offered such guidance, the result of a joint effort between the Justice and Education Departments as well as longstanding advocacy from civil society.
Civil rights, anti-poverty and many education groups are lauding the guidance, which encourages schools to come up with local-level solutions to discipline, sets clear boundaries for law enforcement, and pushes greater roles for counsellors and mental health workers.
The new approaches also mark a turning point in the heightened securitisation that has taken place in schools following an infamous shooting in 1999 left more than a dozen students dead.
“After that tragic incident we saw the move to push towards a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and the heightened presence of police in schools. But that combination was a recipe for disaster,” Thena Robinson-Mock, project director for the Ending the Schoolhouse-to-Jailhouse Track Campaign at the Advancement Project, an advocacy group, told IPS.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 42
Mike Langston
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: January 14, 2014, 11:45

A major problem of the American prison system, of course, is the growth of its for-profit model (and I hope Canada and the rest of the world can avoid going down a similar path). When prisons are run like corporations, the 'product' will be sold at the expense of vulnerable prisoners, including young people.

A pair of recent lawsuits against a private youth prison operator in Florida amplify claims that the company, Youth Services International, has frequently covered up reports that staff sexually abused young people held inside its facilities.
[...]
The lawsuits reinforce the findings of a recent Huffington Post investigation that revealed more than two decades of abuse and neglect inside private prisons operated by Youth Services International and other companies run by its founder, James Slattery. The series focused particular attention on the state of Florida, which has become emblematic of a nationwide trend in which growing numbers of prisoners of all ages are placed inside institutions operated by for-profit companies. Florida has entirely privatized its youth prisons.
The articles detailed multiple instances of young inmates at YSI facilities in Florida complaining of having been beaten, sexually assaulted or neglected by guards only to have their reports buried or minimized. Former staff at these prisons told HuffPost that the company systematically discouraged employees from reporting mistreatment and other violations in order to avoid imperiling future state contracts.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/youth-services-international-lawsuits_n_4589550.html



rose
Novice Their American
Posts: 9
Anonymous Rose
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: October 25, 2015, 18:09

First of all, I agree that there should be some form of penal system that provides a correctional service for the rehabilitation of offenders. I do not agree that it should be a facility with others of the same dispositions. When one is placed in an institution with like-minded people/offenders, will not they maintain their modus operandi because they have been feeding from and into that ideology? It is a well known fact that the prison is a place of violence and corruption among the inmates, this usually occurs within a few days of an arrival.One must conform to the standards of incarcerated life or there are repercussions.Living that life before they have even gotten there and than maintaining it internally how can one expected to be rehabilitated 'criminals' when they return to their home communities. Somebody mentioned the prison system is a corporation and I agree. Rehabilitating and getting to the root of the problem with the offender over a period of time is a more viable solution.. Creating these mega-institutions where more violence is being perpetrated has never been effective. Over the centuries the barbaric culture has been replaced with more modern methods of inmate reform. That's a laugh for evidently there are still prisons and prisoners with no end in sight.



Rozu
New Member
Posts: 4
Rozu
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: November 23, 2015, 22:50

On the notion of rehabilitation, I would like to bring to light that there are programs across the states such as California, that allow inmates to train dogs. Not only does this allow inmates to gain trust and responsibility but also develop training skills for future employment opportunities. Inmates are given puppies or dogs from shelters to be trained for people with disabilities or to be adopted by a family, respectively. Dogs are known to reduce stress and create a positive atmosphere, which can benefit the prison. Prisons need to provide inmates with proper resources to enable their rehabilitation. If only more of these institutions were to adapt this program, it would increase the well being of the inmates thus making it an easier transition into society for them. Not only would the prison system improve but those incarcerated would be given the opportunity to change their lives.

"California State Prison in LA County is a maximum-security, or Level 4, facility and the only one in the state where inmates serving lifetime sentences train dogs. The prison program, Paws for Life, was developed by LA non-profit Karma Rescue, and it gives the dogs an opportunity to become Canine Good Citizens, an American Kennel Club designation that makes it easier for them to get adopted." (http://time.com/3681321/dogs-in-prison/)

"A QUOTE FROM ONE OF OUR DAWGS INMATES, AFTER HE WAS RELEASED: " I woke up during my first year of the DAWGS program. My attitude changed. My routine changed. My health changed. My priorities changed. Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life in order to be a productive citizen again after a total of 26 years behind bars. " (http://www.dawgsinprison.com)



MPasha
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
MPasha
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: November 24, 2015, 20:42

The rehabilitation program mentioned above and its potential for positive results is a great example of reformative practices that can be used to eventually reintegrate the previously incarcerated back into society and lead them towards a more positive lifestyle. It seems a sad state of affairs that the justice system itself is not responsible for this reform, but relies on the work of a non-profit organization. The system (especially with their increasing for-profit models as mentioned above) thus sends a negative message to inmates that the law does not care for the rehabilitation of their citizens, but only for punishment, further encouraging divergent behaviour.
Hopefully, with the move to remove mandatory sentencing, the U.S. is moving toward the more viable solution that Rose mentions.
In terms of the international reputation of the U.S., I suspect that their ineffective justice and prison system (and other practices that dismiss the well being of their citizens ie. the strong opposition to a universal health care system) juxtaposed with the broadcasted image of "the land of the free and the brave" contributes to an outsider view of the U.S. as hypocritical: putting the economy and capitalism over humanity and their citizens. At the very least, the priorities seem to be disordered.



JeanGiroux
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
JeanGiroux
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: November 30, 2015, 19:23

I, like others have stated on this forum, believe in social justice in its unadulterated form. Hence, when one is TRULY guilty of a crime and presents a danger to society, it is necessary that there be a space to put said individual for a period of time CONGRUENT with the severity of the crime. However, it is undeniable that the model currently in place in America is riddled with corporate corruption, whereby captains of industry profit from incarceration. What results is a dangerous shift in the overarching goal of the justice system, as evidenced by the befuddling and contradictory statistics that show a dramatic decrease in crime and yet a steep increase in prison populations in America. It is altogether dangerous and absurd to privatize sensitive industries such as healthcare and prisons, whereby human lives are subject to the laws of the capitalist profit structure prior to the laws of the constitution. I, like the OP, hope Canada does not go down this path either.



Prudence13
New Member
Posts: 2
Prudence13
Re: Following the U.S. Prison System
on: May 29, 2017, 05:04

The Constitution claims the government exists and functions in a way that maintains the wellbeing of its people. It doubles the safety of its citizens and makes sure both their legal an unalienable rights are respected and taken in consideration. Freedom and Equality is what the Constitution is all about; however, those words exist only on Paper.

The roots of racism are so strong and buried so deep in the US society that even today racism and inequalities are still present. It is unfortunate that the justice system which is considered to be one’s shelter at times betrays their trust only because of their skin color.
Racial disparities are present in the policies and practices of the laws and are influenced either by overly generalized stereotypes or personal bias that later influence the decision making. The sources of the stereotypes are the structural disadvantages in communities of color. African Americans have always been at a lower position on the societal hierarchical ladder of the US resulting with them being disenfranchised. It is the sole environment they live in that develops their social etiquette of a “born to be perpetrator”; the violation of their right to equal treatment in the education process and the poverty they live in given the presence of racism in the employment process.
All those aspects influence their future in the justice system. The percentage of African Americans trapped in the justice system is extremely disproportionate to their portion in the overall US population making the notion of almost half of the African American population being incarcerated debatable. The overrepresentation of African Americans in the nationwide prison and jail population influences the other half of them negatively. It decreases their chances of success in society and increases their marginalization in all spheres of common life.
Even the punishment of juvenile delinquency is not immune to the racial disparities of the justice system. The numbers say 77% of the convicts sentenced to LWOP are of color. Since 2009, in 14 of the 37 states with people serving LWOP for juvenile delinquency, more than 65% have been African-Americans.

It seems like racism will never cease to exist. Consequently, is it a good idea to blindly follow the model of the American Prison System only because the USA is claimed to be “the most powerful country in the world”?

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