By Mary Sanchez

Prison Price Gouging Costs Us All In The End

November 27, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 50 Comments A+ / A-
Prison Price Gouging Costs Us All In The End

For two decades now, politicians and public scolds have sold America on the idea of a sterner penal system. Zero tolerance, three strikes and you’re out, supermax prisons and legions of young men who have done time — these are the hallmarks of our age.

What’s hidden from view is that incarcerating people is big business in America. The corrections industry is powerful, and it often exemplifies the worst aspects of monopoly capitalism.

Just ask Ulandis Forte. He is a construction worker in the Washington, D.C. area, and he is in the forefront of a fight to right an injustice few of us are aware of: the exorbitant rates charged to families who accept phone calls from incarcerated loved ones. A 15-minute call from an inmate can cost nearly $20. That has nothing to do with any special technical or logistical difficulties of providing the service. It’s purely a matter of what prison operators can get away with charging. Families either pay the high fees, which can total hundreds of dollars a month, or forego the chance to stay in touch.

Forte might just win his battle. In mid-November, the Federal Communications Commission initiated the process to consider setting price caps for prison phone service charges; the topic has been opened for public comments.

If you wonder why this issue matters to Forte, it’s because in June he completed an 18-year murder sentence. While he was incarcerated, his lifeline was his maternal grandmother, Martha Wright. It was she who began the battle against the prisons’ price gouging on phone calls.

Wright raised Forte. She was the only family member who never gave up on him. Wright, 86, is blind and uses a wheelchair. When Forte was in prison, she tried to visit him no matter where he was transferred, traveling across the country from her home in Washington, D.C. Yet she couldn’t keep up as her only grandson was moved from state to state, and she could not afford the long distance phone bills. Sometimes, she’d hang up the phone when she heard the words “A collect call from…”

That made her angry.

The woman known to her grandson as “Big Mama” became the lead plaintiff of a 2000 class action lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America, a company that operates many of the nation’s prisons, charging that it conspired with phone companies to create monopolies.

Prison phone rates vary from state to state, but most states take a kickback from phone companies for every phone call inmates make, raking in millions of dollars a year. Their take is typically between 50 and 60 percent. Only a handful of states and the District of Columbia don’t take a cut of the calls.

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Prison Price Gouging Costs Us All In The End Reviewed by on . For two decades now, politicians and public scolds have sold America on the idea of a sterner penal system. Zero tolerance, three strikes and you're out, superm For two decades now, politicians and public scolds have sold America on the idea of a sterner penal system. Zero tolerance, three strikes and you're out, superm Rating:

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Comments

  • nobsartist

    We need an investigation conducted at the Federal level and laws passed to prevent this type of abuse. If criminal activity is discovered, state governors need to go to prison.

    It is not right that Americans lose rights due to the criminal activities of State legislatures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    As sickening as issues like these are, what is in desperate need of attention is the root causes that contribute to the imprisonment of tens of thousands of African Americans and Hispanics. Instead of focusing on ways to provide the children of minorities with the educational and social tools needed to succeed, we take the easy way out and put them in prison in a futile attempt to solve a huge social problem, indeed, an unjust social system, by putting those who do not fit the mold out of sight.
    Why can other industrialized nations with large numbers of ethnic minorities adapt and take advantage of their diversity to succeed, and the best we can do is put tens of thousands of young people in jail, often for minor offenses?

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Ever wonder why this country has the most people in prisons, other than Russia or Iran?

      Simple answer, there is money to be made off of people’s lives, whether it be through the court system, the jail system, prison system, probation/parole system, counselling services. Even the Parking Lot makes money next to a courthouse.

      These are all systems which feed the money monster. And, this keeps money circulating through the economy as well. And, the people who can least afford to defend themselves are the ones to suffer the most.

      • maquih

        We have far more people in prison than Russia, Iran and any other country country. Even on a per-capita basis this is true.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Peoples425

      It is usually not because it is the easy way out that these ideas are employed, but rather because they disenfranchise the minorities before they know much better to fight back and therefore handcuffing the community in terms of political influence.
      If you are to handicap someone in terms of political power, removal of ability is the key process by which one must proceed. By incarcerating and instituting more mandatory minimums in sentencing in minority communities, it becomes inveritably a mass effort to disproportionately negatively affect those minority communities.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZHFTB6X3AZPE4ZKUA5ZP4BGWSM A j CARIAGA jr

        BULLSHIT ONLY LOSERS ARE INCARCERATED, LOSERS! EXCEPT LILO! SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T INCARCERATE? COULD BE WORST!SPEND SOME TIME AND MONEY INTELLIGENTLY KEEPING YOUR FAMILY OUT OF TROUBLE! MOVE TO A BETTER ‘HOOD!

        • Peoples425

          I’m not sure I could feign interest in such a stereotypical ignorant comment in regards to the criminal justice (or rather injustice) system. Entertaining this for a moment, a few questions comes to mind, how does this explain those wrongly incarcerated? Especially those that have been cleared through DNA evidence? Or how about the police intimidation tactics that happened out of Chicago in which a former chief of police was indicted?
          These are just some of the symptoms of a broken system in which innocent people are incarcerated of given sentences that does not fit the crime. I believe that your point has no credibility.

  • http://twitter.com/tlcpro Trina LC Sonnenberg

    It is ridiculous what they charge. I had to spend more than $150 to talk to my spouse when he was arrested for someone elses crime. He was arrested while reading a road map at 2 A.M. on the side of the road. His passenger had pot on him. He couldn’t call me, I had to find out he was arrested through the grapevine and then I called the jail. It cost a small fortune just to get him out of jail and then to add insult to injury, I got the phone bill.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dianne-Lee/100000857981424 Dianne Lee

      One way to cut down on the cost of prision, raise taxes, and help with the national debt?
      Legalize pot, throw everyone in prision because they were dealing with pot out, grow the stuff like any other crop, market and tax it.

      The average high school kid can get hold of pot easily, because it’s unregulated. Getting liquor requires either setting up your own still, since booze is readily available and no one over drinking age is going to bother, or persuading someone who is drinking age to risk jail by buying it for you. Legalizing pot would allow it to be regulated, and more importantly taxed. Talk about a hit to the national debt!

      • nobsartist

        I have a better idea. Make public the names and address’s of the “ceo,s” and management of these prison corporations.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        If you consider this;

        Alcohol is more dangerous than pot any day of the week.
        Smoking is also more dangerous than Pot.

        However, if it does become “regulated’ that may mean the producers will find a way of “cheapening” the product and soon enough it will be just as dangerous as Cigarettes with all the additional chemicals in it. That is the result of regulations.

        I don’t think regulating Pot is the answer. But, de-criminalizing the use and sale of small quantities is.

        • Lisztman

          All “they” have to do is require ingredients on the package like most consumables. If it’s pure, unadulterated, Grade A Hawaiian or Mexican or whatever? That’s what it says. If they put in a dash of sugar, it has to be listed…

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Sounds like they are trying to pin a charge of Guilt By Association on your spouse.

      I thought that was illegal!

  • old_blu

    That is a bunch of crap I didn’t realize this was going on. Good luck to Mr. Forte.

  • howa4x

    Stop the failed war on drugs. england legalized heroin and so does the netherlands, and guess what? The crime rate went way down. 2 states legalized cannibus, and more will follow. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and it’s abuse causes accidents, spousal abuse and in some cases murder, as well as health concerns. Yet we allow it and regulate it. Legalizing drugs would empty the prisons, dimish the gangs power, and stop the war in Mexico. Let’s treat it as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. Since Nixon announced this war, there is no decrease in the number of people who use drugs, and possibly thee actually has been an increase. We need more treatment slots rather than prison cells. We need rehab conmnected with skill building, not creating class -A felons that can never be hired. We need to have the courage to rethink this entire issue. We left Iraq, Viet Nam, and are leaving Afganistan because we realized it is not in our intrest to keep fighting. Now we have to realize that is failed war is no longer in our intrest to keep fighting.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The Prison Industrial Complex in all 50 states are doing quite well and quite profitable.

    In many prison systems there is what is called loosely Prison Industry. These “businesses” make office furniture, hard industry type products which then sell for a huge profit to businesses in the area. However, the inmate working the job makes very little wages, maybe $150 a month in most systems.

    Contrary to popular belief, prisons make money off your tax dollar, which then gets funneled back into the state general fund, not to mention kickbacks to politicians. Most prisons within each state are virtually self-sufficient. Inmates do virtually every job that is needed from secretarial work to the plumber.

    This Phone Scam is just the tip of huge corrupt iceberg. And, we’re feeding it with our tax dollars.

    What is also feeding it is the Justice Industrial Complex. Lady Justice is not blind when it comes to money. The more money a defendant has the better defense they can mount. The less money you have, the better chance you have of going to prison for something you didn’t do.

  • elw

    That is what happen when you turn your prison system into a “for-Profit” corporate business. Profit becomes more important than humans, loved ones, honesty and morality. I would not want to be in any prison, especially one that was a contracted privately owned business.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Prison Systems have always been profitable. But, “privatizing” them has made it even more profitable.

  • oldnick2

    It is my understanding that crime rates have declined significantly; and yet, prison populations have continually increased. This is the result of the massive privatization of the penal system under Republican governance and putting profit ahead of the best interests of our country. We have seen the same phenomena in the military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. $15,000 plus per year soldiers have been replaced by $100,000 plus per year private contractors. Our present administration should reverse this process and do it now. This is certainly one approach to decreasing the deficit.

    • TZToronto

      The USA has more incarcerated people than any other country. There are a number of reasons for this, but the criminalization of possession of small quantities of drugs contributes mightily to the number of people in U.S. jails and prisons. Prosecuting drug “crime” to the fullest extent of the law is, frankly, counter-intuitive. The harsher the punishment, the more drug-related crime there is. As one poster has noted, removing the penalties for possession of small amounts would result in a decrease in the prison population and the drug violence that accompanies the war on drugs. However, the prison industry won’t be very happy because (1) their pool of cheap labor will be decimated and (2) there will be less demand for their “services.” Incarceration is now big business, and softening or eliminating drug laws will put these companies out of business.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JWPCDWWOQJAS5UTZVN5CE3MZLU PamelaT

    There needs a complete reassessment of the penal system. Many of these people of in jail for nothing, minor offenses and have been hit by the GOP minimum mandatory laws that were passed in the 80s. Each case should be looked at individually not as a group. There needs to be fight to get rid of these unconstitutional laws of minimum mandatory. They need to legalize drugs and stop trying to legislate morality this is like the prohibition years with alcohol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Merl-Allen/695715159 Merl Allen

    That’s nothing, try making a call from a hotel room

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    WHY do you think they keep the drugs laws on the books?

    Prisons are a for profit entity & the only way to make those profits is to fill the rooms just like a hotel.

    Now I wouldn’t mind paying to incarcerate the likes of Bush & Company & throw in Rush Limpdick & Haneity & the other right wingnut talk show liars.

  • rustacus21

    This is the ‘privatization’ that conservatives go on incessantly about, that is such a boon to the economy! The fact that the states support & supplement ‘private’ prisons is outrageous enuff, but even more so b/c they’re housing low-level offenders & people w/untreated psychiatric conditions. This is more akin to typical conservative ‘opportunism’, exploiting a nation that has been engulfed in conservative-created fear exercises, from ‘crime around every corner’ (an old Nixon technique) to ‘…we need more private ‘sectorization’ B4 we go off the “fiscal cliff”‘ & this article is proof positive American’s are finally catching on!!! Our demands, however, are quite simple – return OUR government back – OR ELSE!!! We have no need for private prisons, private (charter) schools, private utilities, armies or the like!!! These are commodities that need to be regulated & overseen w/the strictest of due diligence that only a Federal Government can responsibly do. The only time it doesn’t work is when conservatives get their greedy mits on it. We are at a point in this nation where we’ve come to the realization we’ve all been made suckers of for the last 43 years & it’s time to make 2012 the last year in this long nitemare. No conservative should hold ANY local, state or federal office, until we get our nation organized about the Liberal/Progressive imperatives its foundation rests upon. Otherwise, a 3rd Republican Depression, 20% national unemployment, privatized water resources (there’s still a drought in the South & Western states as I write, if any1 need be reminded!!!) & 15 minute, $20 phone calls in privatized prisons, holding teens whose only crime was smoking pot, will be the norm unless we understand once & FOR ALL that conservative policies are all about a desperate HATE OF DEMOCRACY. These are the demands our letters, emails & calls to our Congresspersons, Senators, the W.H. & our local & state elected officials should be about, up to 2014 (when more Liberal/Progressives SHOULD take BACK Congress) & beyond, til America is fixed – by Patriotic American’s who DO understand, appreciate & LOVE the best Democracy in world history…

  • http://www.facebook.com/wvkelly Wendi Victoria Kelly

    I’m sorry, but…. Who cares??? Waa Waa Waa :'( Cry me a handful. If they do something that makes them go to prison such as MURDER, like this Forte dude, then I don’t feel sorry for them at all for having to pay a butt-load of money to talk on the phone. Whether it’s the inmate paying or the family member that they’re calling, it doesn’t matter one bit. If you’re going to choose to still converse with a family member who has committed an awful act that’s landed them in prison (I’m talking about prison, not jail,) then you should pay out the ass to do so. They are in prison for a reason. The prison system in the U.S. is a joke anyway. The prisoners get whatever they want.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Your opinion is exactly the reason why our society has so many problems.

      Your Ignorance of life’s circumstances is appalling.

      Evidently too, your knowledge about actual prison life is severely lacking as well. And, by the way, that show ‘Lockup’ is partly true. But, most of it is trumped up Media Hype.

      And, just wait, you never know when or how you might wind up in there doing time. Don’t say it can’t happen. It does every day to innocent people.

      You are just the type of person that needs to spend some time in prison. You’ll learn a lot more reality than you are now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Heffley/100002250740914 Kenneth Heffley

    First of all we should put the republican party in jail for starting all the problems we are presently having and is a part of the bush at the wheel. They took advantage of the idiot and rove knows it they new he could not run the government the way it needed to be run. Lets look at bush he bankrupt the Texas Rangers enough said ,Rove guilty. He sat on a dunce stool while the aquity was bomming NY he did not leave so the people could tell them this was a emergency. This is not a president this is a person that doesn’t know any better again rove and i should have mentiones chaney the real president at the time. You remember him haliburton and going strong.

  • LIHYOUNG

    PROMOTE FAIRNESS, FREEDOM, JUSTICE, PEACE, HUMANITY, PRODUCTIVITY, WELL-BEING OF GENERAL PUBLIC.
    RESOLVE SOCIO- POLITICAL ISSUES, BALANCING BUDGET. OPPOSE SO CALLED “FAIR ELECTION ACT” PUBLIC FINANCE MATCHING SMALL DONORS FUND- DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, RESOUCES BENEFIT “BAD GUYS” AS USUAL. TASKS: TOP PRIORITIES: Society in vicious cycles as in need of revolution, we MUST act:

  • LIHYOUNG

    ACTION: PROSECUTE/ELIMINATE “MURDER-fraud- crime- injustice networks” (inc. officials, judges, developers, lawyers, employees, etc.); expand further unjust operation; endless unlawful- immoral acts; rob/destruct resources (rights, land, properties, home, buildings, assets, accounts, income, pension, documents, evidences; public, private; business, civic, political); frivolous litigation, levies, foreclosures, garnishment, guardianship, power of attorney; improper processing of complaints, procedures, proceedings, docketing, bookkeeping, accounting; cause vicious cycles: socio- political- election-media- budget- legislative- system problems; civil-human rights backwards; people-slave. Frequent recommendations/petitions to officials, agencies, law enforcement, local – federal; as individuals or with civic organizations. ** EXAMPLES OF PROBLEMS – “MURDER- FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE NETWORKS”- with official misconduct, government gang- endless unlawful immoral acts:

  • LIHYOUNG

    Example of MURDER- FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE NETWORKS: Leslie Gradet, Tamera Jones, William D Roessler; Offices of Treasury, Comptroller, Attorney Gneral: Joel Jacob/Jacobson, Gail Malle-Davis, Sylvia J. Brokos, Mary Hawse, Linda Tanton, Gerald Langbaum, John Barry, Pamela Porter, Leo F. Partridge, Mark Vulcan, Jamis Riley, James Britt, Audrey Thomas, Jeanne Lippy, Jesse Rosenburger, Ralph Lepson; transcribers Margaret Bauer, Senators: Walter Baker, Barbara Hoffman, Thomas Middleton, Trooper: Marty Sealey, Vincent Mass, State Election Board Ross Goldstein; Maryland DOEd Susan Page, Barbara Smith(?), SSA employees and supervisors (especially in Rockville, Md), and Bullivant (?, probably in N. J.; or other states). Lobbysts/ municipal attorneys/lawyers/affiliates, Paul Glasgow, David Venable, Joseph Stoltz, Jr., Barry Gordon, Stephen Perouka, David Steinberg, Wolpoff & Abramson, Richard D. Mirsky, Poppleton, Garrett & Polott, P.C., accountant Hilda K. Matijevic;

  • LIHYOUNG

    More ‘MURDER- FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE NETWORKS: Marc Sliffman (Silver Spring, Wheaton area), Samuel White and his law firm and lawyers Shawn Bartley, Daniel Pesachowitz, Laura Jolly (phony person, named as “substitute trustee”, but can never be found or contacted even through official agencies); many court personnel and judges (District Court – Court of Special Appeals). Court Auditor Robert Romero. State, county health services organizations/ agencies, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Crisis Center, Jean Burgess (white, female), Marsha Aaron; Department of Aging; Adult Protective Services, Sherry Davis, Suzanne Lord (?), Odick Esq., Bonnie Klem, etc.; Suburban Hospital, physicians, emergency staff; social worker Jody Crecensi (?), case manager Patricia Grafferty (?), Robert Rothstein, M. D. (?), Tipp Woodward; Manor- Care in Potomac Maryland: Cheryl Paulson (?, administrator) and nurses, etc.; forensic services, Md Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene:

  • LIHYOUNG

    More of ‘MURDER-FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE-NETWORKS include: Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Jolie Smith; numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc.: Potomac Ridge Steven Israel, Collin, Gabriel (?); social worker Tracy Lewit; Springfield Hospital Center: forensic services, Kevin Knight, Dr. Valadez (refused to give full name, despite repeated requests); Carla Craville, Francoise Reynolds, Roxanne Heyman, Amy True; Judges James Sasfield, Gary Crawford, Cheryl McCally, etc., prosecutors/government attorneys, e.g., John McCarthy, Nunylny (?), Peter Mitchell (Montgomery County Office of Human Rights); District Court Commission (Rockville, Md) M. Dickerson; Court Personnel T.M. (only initials, no full name available); many judges, clerk of the courts (Jeffrey Ward, Loretta Knight, Bettie Skelton, Molly Rhul, etc.), other court personnel, various counties, states; local – federal; law enforcement, FBI; police e.g., in Rockville, Md. Sgt. Cowell

  • LIHYOUNG

    The problems are interrelated horizontally and vertically, among all issues, local- global. Clerks of the Circuit Court (Montgomery County, Md.) Loretta Knight, Bettie Skelton, Molly Rhul; District Court Clerk Jeffrey Ward, Administrative Judge Cornelius Vaughey, Sheriff Elliot Tolbert, etc. government attorney John McCarthy, Kristen Bender, court personnel, attorneys (public, private), law enforcement (FBI, sheriff, police, fire/rescue, etc., contractors) are part of the “:fraud- crime- networks: with spying, surveillance, harassment, unlawful search, stealing, robbery, injuries; false arrest, imprisonment, citation, trespass, testimony; withholding witnesses; destroy information, documents, evidence, etc. Further include: sheriff: R. Lewis (Female, White, Montgomery Countym Md.), K. Naff (white, male, Montgomery County, Md); fire and rescues (abuse, even no fire; conspiracy).

  • LIHYOUNG

    False/ unjust/ frivolous levies, liens, garnishment, guardianship, power of attorneys, foreclosure, tenant-hold-over- eviction, etc. Thousands of cases are pending in the court systems for years or even decades; believed to be filed by “fraud- crime- networks” to victimize people; without due process, proper services, proceedings; cause homelessness, poverty; not because of the problems of homeowners/citizens, but because of unjust judicial/court/legal personnel, court auditor Robert Romero as part of “official misconduct- government gang- fraud- crime- injustice networks”. Judges (unjust, irresponsible, judicially disabled) include Warren Donohue, John Debelius, Durk Thumpson, Ann Harrington, Louise Scrivener, Lawrence De Beard, Eric Johnson, James McKenna; District Judge Gary Everngam, Judge Gary Crawford; court personnel/ sheriff, attorneys, affiliated law firms; Sheriffs Earnest Turner, R. Lewis, K. Naff, etc.

  • LIHYOUNG

    ). Problems of privatization, irresponsibility, disabilities of government attorneys and judicial/legal/court personnel are very serious, expanding, local- nationwide- global; exporting injustice overseas; Rockville city, Montgomery County, Maryland state; New Jersey Monmouth County, Judge Robert McLeod (private attorney), Judge Patricia Bueno Cleary, Prosecutor (private attorney) Patrick Healy, police David D’Arcy.

  • LIHYOUNG

    Other people committed, conspired with police and fraud- crime- networks: Private attorneys: Robert McCarthy (Bethesda, Md.), Olivia Cammack (Silver Spring, Md.), David Slacker (Bethesda Md.); Ria Rochvarg (assigned as legal assistance provider to certain counties by Md. Department of Health and Mental Highgiene, but she went around the state for various abuses with Sherry Davis, Police Davis, etc. attorneys (public and private), Timonthy Adelman, Esq., (?) and law firms Adelman, Sheff and Smith(?, in Annapolis, Md), Robert McCarthy, Suburban Hospital, etc. Landlord/ landladies e.g., Jiewen Tan (Rockville, Md.) and Chia Yao (Gaithersburg, Md.) had been unjustly influenced/ conspired.

  • LIHYOUNG

    MURDER-FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE NETWORKS inc. Montgomery County Council, Md, Nancy Floreen, Roger Berliner, Valerie Ervin; Sonya E. Healy, Esq. Legal counsel/Chief of staff (any relation to Patrick Healy, esq. in New Jersey??), Jackie Steward, council hearing coordinators/substitute; Md General Assembly, Jamie Raskin; U. S. Congress, Senate, legal staff; American U, administrative staff, security guard, students (4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW, DC); Catholic U; US Institute of Peace, conference organizers/ speakers.

  • onedonewong

    What tripe…anything that allows the states to recover some of the costs of incarceration is welcome news. I could care less about the impact on the families since they obviously didn’t care enough to raise their kids properly and dumped them onto society.
    What do you bet old Granny collected tens of thousands in benefits to raise that scum bag

    • rgrein

      You, sir, are a fool. The costs come down on anyone picked up, guilty or innocent. But the worst part is the poison of corruption, which is opposed to justice and freedom. Perhaps you enjoy it, but the rest of us prefer our freedom.

      • onedonewong

        Costs come down???? That’s true in business and manufacturing but its NEVER the case with govt. Justice?? Those in jail have already seen justice and now their families are just paying society a little bit back

        • rgrein

          Can’t read? ‘Come down’, as in ‘bringing the hammer down’. As for justice, there’s damned little of it in the legal system, or in life. We MAKE what little justice there is, and it’s paid for with sweat, effort and intelligence. Your ‘lock ‘em up’ solution is the reason costs are so high, but then why would facts or history get in in the way of a good opinion?

          The US penal system was once the envy of the world. It WORKED. We had the lowest return rate of any civilized country, the rest came here to study why. Funny thing was, it was a combination of progressive christians, secularists, social scientists and other ‘do-gooders’ who believed in reform and forgiveness after punishment. By providing rudimentary training and the idea of a fresh start when they got out poor criminals (the only rich criminals sit on corporate boards or have law degrees) felt they had a chance.

          It was destroyed by Nixon’s southern strategy. By demonizing crime (and blacks) they gained white southern votes at the price of increasing radicalization of susceptible whites. Fear became paranoia, hope of redemption gave way to a continuance of the smug certainty that ‘dirty, dark skinned’ people were inherently inferior and could never join civilized society. The result is the continuation of failed ‘wars on drugs’ (I’ll bet you didn’t know there have been 7 in the past 130 years, all failures), increasing penalties for ‘brown’ crimes have given us the #1 prison population in the world, a skyrocketing return rate and taxes you so obviously hate. That’s right, in your haste and foolishness YOU CAUSED THE PROBLEM!

          I only hope you’re not a christian. The radical who ate with prostitutes and tax collecors, who cleared the temple of moneychangers understood the power of forgiveness, and had no patience at all with the kind of hate you show. Oh, wait a second – you didn’t know he was middle eastern – a brown man?

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Yea, this guy is supposed to be a Devout Catholic – no less.

          • rgrein

            Clearly no talking to him. No christian charity, ignorant, full of hate. He doesn’t even know what the southern strategy was. And then he calls blacks ‘uneducated’.

          • onedonewong

            What the hell are you talking about the ONLY reason why we had a low level of recidivism was that 20 years meant 20 years. A death penalty meant a death penalty.
            It was when Libs started to have a hand in the Judicial system that criminals were set free or their case over ruled based on frivolous technicalities.
            It was the same group of “enlightened” libs that worked their magic with our schools so that fewer kids now graduate discipline is non existent.
            Blacks were demonized under Nixon?? sorry the colored have EARNED their status of thugs and criminals aided by LBJ’s great society where work was removed from the equation and sloth was new ethic. Bet you didn’t know since this countries founding Blacks have committed the majority of the crimes since their arrival here. That blacks are the least productive race in this country for the past 400 years, the least educated and made fewer contributions to society than any other race

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FYFGBKXCJMVZUFZEALQVFNOQJI Legal Citizen

    Aside from the obvious serial killer, murder for hire, child killers and child molester convictions, what is the purpose of long prison sentences? Most other violent crimes resulting in death are really under the discription of voluntary or involuntary homicide or reckless homicide. The convicted assailent most often made some stupid decisions (often times because of youthful ignorance) and acted in the heat of the moment or out of fear. It’s foolish to hand out more than 10 year sentences in most cases. Too many years behind bars only hardens most people and creates all kinds of antisocial behavior when released. On top of that, they have trouble finding decent paying jobs because of the “scarlet letter” that follows them for the rest of their lives. Longer sentences result in more tax payer expense and does little to reduce violent crime. I have a close relative who was verbally threatened and physically attacked by a stranger while minding his own business in a neighborhood bar. The stranger was told to leave after paying up but shoved my relative’s chair into his back and threatened him once more while leaving. Enough was enough! My relative followed the stranger into the parking lot and displayed his hand gun to warn the stranger he was armed and would defend himself. The stranger spun around and taunted my relative and stepped toward him with arms spread wide saying “What are you going to do, shoot me? Refusing to get into a wrestling match over the gun, my relative fired once aiming low without apparently stopping the advance, so he fired low a second time. Long story short, one bullet nicked an artery leading to the stranger’s leg and he bled out before reaching the hospital. The judge in a second trial refused to allow the lessor charge of involuntary manslaughter to be considered by the jury even though a different judge in the first trial set the precedent and allowed it. The jury in the first trial voted 1 – accrital and 11 for involuntary resulting in a hung jury. The jury in the second trial voted 12 for voluntary which carried a much longer sentence because the judge made sure he got the conviction he wanted. Note that non of the 24 jurers voted for murder. My 27 old relative, who held down a fulltime and part time job and routinly worked 60 – 70 weeks, was sentenced to 30 years! Even with good behavior credits, he’ll be in his early 40’s before being released. His opportunties will be greatly dimished by then. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t regret taking the law in his own hands and surely he’s learned his lesson after three years in jail. Why does society destroy two lives at such great expense?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTGEIZKCXZKGUOGFIPRFB7NU6A Kennith

    every thing about this country cohes down to greed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    We owe a debt of gratitude to Ulandis Forte and his Grandmother.

    No matter what crime he committed, no one else should be punished for the crimes of someone else.

    The real crime here is the corporate SCUM that profit at the expense of innocent family members.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jdlogspook Jd Logsdon

    The black disparity comes directly from the Welfare State. When families have been on welfare for multiple generations and the biggest ambition is to join a gang, what else would you expect ?

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      You’re an ignorant fool.

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