Guest Post: The Modern Prison-Industrial Complex- Part 1

Editor’s Introductory Note: This article on prisons was originally published on Ammo.com. It is reposted with permission.

The size of the U.S. prison population is of considerable concern to survivalists.- JWR

There’s no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.

The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.)  Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.

On top of those currently serving time, 4.7 million Americans were on parole in 2016, or about one in 56. These numbers do not include people on probation, which raises the number to one in 35. Nor does it include all of the Americans who have been arrested at one time or another, which is over 70 million – more than the population of France.

For firearm owners in particular, the growth in this “prison-industrial complex” is troubling because felons are forbidden from owning firearms and ammunition under the 1968 Gun Control Act. As the number of laws has grown and the cultural shift for police has gone from a focus on keeping the peace to enforcing the law, more and more Americans are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights (not to mention other civil rights like voting – as of 2017, 6.1 million Americans cannot vote because of their criminal records). All told, eight percent of all Americans cannot own firearms because of a felony conviction.

For American society as a whole, the prison-industrial complex has created a perverse incentive structure. Bad laws drive out respect for good laws because there are just so many laws (not to mention rules, regulations, and other prohibitions used by federal prosecutors to pin crimes on just about anyone). How did we get here?

History of Incarceration in the U.S.

United States law is, of course, based on English common law. Thus, no history of incarceration in the United States can start without first discussing the history of incarceration in the Kingdom of England and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

The prevailing notion of where crime came from in the old country and the colonies was idleness. Punishments often involved sending criminals to workhouses, which were quite distinct from the prisons we know today. Rehabilitation and reform weren’t strong currents in the English and later British penal system until the 1700s. Reformers sought to improve the criminal and to make him not want to offend.

Another historical fact worth noting is that incarceration is a relatively recent innovation in punishment. Historically, criminals were punished by shaming, corporal punishment, mutilation, exile and death. The purpose was generally not to make the criminal better, but to deter him from offending again while simultaneously providing the community with some awareness of his crimes for the purpose of allowing them to take measures to protect themselves (for example, branding a “B” on the forehead of a burglar). Where criminals were incarcerated, it was generally a temporary measure prior to trial or post-trial punishment, not a punishment in and of itself.

Remember, a significant portion of early American settlers were convict laborers. This convict labor was not incarcerated, but rather freely mingled with the general population. For the safety of the non-criminal elements, they had to be quickly and easily identified. However, the early American colonies were in no position to expend resources to house, feed and clothe criminals who were not providing productive labor – which is why incarceration made about as much sense as cutting off a criminal’s hand. Only four types of criminals were prohibited from being shipped across the ocean from England: murderers, rapists, burglars, and witches.

Prison became the primary means of punishment for felonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Two systems emerged: One where prisoners were incarcerated alone and another where they were incarcerated in groups. For what it’s worth, most prisons were in the North. Throughout the South, crime was largely viewed as a northern problem. Rather than prison, the Antebellum South relied heavily on extra-judicial violence and honor culture to keep their crime rates low.

Prison labor has been a feature of prisons going back to days of English and British colonial rule. However, the convict lease system changed this qualitatively in the late 1880s. This is when prisons began to be paid for the labor of their convicts. Many times, convicts were put to work on plantations. Building railroads and coal mining were other common uses of convict labor during this period. Death rates were high. In Alabama, a full 40 percent of convicts used for leased labor died in 1870.

The convict lease system gradually died out. However, it was replaced with systems not terribly distinct from convict labor. The chain gangs and prison farms closely identified with southern punishment throughout the 20th Century are examples of what began to replace the convict lease system. While there were rumblings about bringing back the chain gang system in the 1990s, it never amounted to much.

Overcriminalization = Less Civil Liberties

One of the fundamental principles underpinning our Constitutional republic is that the citizenry should not accept “trust me” as an answer from the federal government. Yet in one of our most Orwellian of federal departments – the Department of Homeland Security – a surveillance state is growing as our private information “trusted” to the government is used against us.

This surveillance state is made possible by Fusion Centers, police intelligence agencies that allow different police agencies to share intelligence with one another. It is, in effect, the intelligence-gathering method of the burgeoning police state. And the information gathered, received, analyzed and disseminated by local and state police agencies is then shared with the federal government.

Fusion Centers aren’t the only way police surveil citizens. Cell-site simulator devices – known as Stingrays – mimic wireless carrier cell towers to connect to nearby mobile phones and cell data devices. These controversial devices can extract data, intercept communications, conduct denial-of-serice attacks, find encryption keys, and more. It’s a serious threat to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, first conceived during the War on Terror and now trickled down to local police departments and their militarized approach to enforcing the law.

Of course, while we’re assured that protections are being made for privacy and civil liberties, there is very little reason to trust the federal government – including the growing number of vague laws.

It’s easy to blame the War on Some Drugs as the reason for the explosion in the prison population, however this is simply not an adequate explanation. The real reason is a broad expansion in the total number of laws on the book and the vague manner in which they are written. What’s more, the concept of intent has largely disappeared from our national legal lexicon, meaning that simple mistakes are often enough to land a person in prison.

66-year-old George Norris provides a case study. He was greeted by three pickup trucks filled with six officers outfitted in flak jackets. He was held for four hours while the police searched his house, eventually seizing 37 boxes of his things with neither warrant nor explanation. He was indicted for orchid smuggling under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and for (what else) making false statements to an officer for a simple paperwork error. While being held for trial, he shared a cell with an accused murderer. He was facing five years for the original charge and five years for conspiracy. Because he couldn’t afford his legal bills, he plead guilty and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Another broad example is civil-contempt imprisonment. This is where people are put in jail or prison for failure to, for example, respond to a bench warrant for an unpaid parking ticket. This is what Anthony W. Florence was arrested for while riding as a passenger in his family’s car with proof that he had paid the tickets. He spent seven days in jail where he was strip searched twice. Guards also watched him shower and subjected him to a delousing. People have also been imprisoned for failing to pay debts in accordance with court-ordered settlements, which carries the specter of the return of debtors’ prisons with it.

The Principle of Minimum Necessary Force

Minimum necessary force is a concept dating back to Plato, but has recently found expression in Dr. Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life. Basically, the idea is that when someone wrongs another person, the correct course of action is always the one requiring the least force. This is why, for example, we can say that the Islamic practice of removing a thief’s hand is somehow objectively unethical – it is a punishment grossly out of proportion to the crime committed.

The secondary aspect to the principle of minimum necessary force is the notion that the best way to go about laws is to have as few as are necessary. While not strictly speaking “libertarian,” it’s sort of “libertarian adjacent.” Laws are, ultimately, a type of force. The more of them we have, the more force we have in society.

The present state of criminal justice in the United States violates both principles. Not only do we have far more laws than we need (criminal asset forfeiture, for example), but the punishments are frequently far out of sync with the crime committed. Is prison time really an appropriate response to someone smuggling orchids into the United States?

The Rise of Private Prisons

You cannot have a discussion on the prison-industrial complex without discussing private prisons. As of 2018, private prisons housed 8.41 percent of incarcerated persons in the United States. While private prisons date back to the colonial days, the modern privatized prisons as we think of them only date back to the 1980s. This was initially due to the explosion of prison population and resulting prison overcrowding that some have tied to the War on Some Drugs.

This spike in incarceration, however, is far more closely tied with the rise of private prisons. Between the years 1925 and 1980, the prison population in the United States remained constant as a proportion of the overall population. In 1983, however, two things happened: First, the first private prisons came into operation. Second, the prison population as a proportion of the overall population began to explode.

The first modern private incarceration company was Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), founded in 1983, and is currently known as CoreCivic. Their first contract was for a facility in Shelby County, Tennessee. This was the first time in American history when a government-run jail was contracted out to a private third party. The company made quick headlines when it offered to take over the entire prison system for the state for the sum of $200 million. The state, for its part, was quite ready to make a deal, but the backlash among the public, the prison guards union, and the state legislature ultimately squashed the deal.

This was hardly the end of the for-profit prison system. Fully 19 percent of all federal inmates are housed in privately owned and operated prisons. A comparatively lower 6.8 percent of all state inmates are housed in private prisons.

Since its founding, CoreCivic has seen a 200-percent increase in its profits. So it’s no surprise that the marketplace for private prison companies has become a bit crowded. Companies like the GEO Group, Inc. (formerly known as Wackenhut Securities), Management and Training Corporation (MTC), and Community Education Centers compete in a marketplace that took in $500 billion in 2011 alone according to Matt Taibbi’s book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.

The book further points out that major Wall Street money has flowed into this industry. Wells Fargo alone has $100 million invested in GEO Group and another $6 million in CCA. Fidelity Investments, The Vanguard Group, General Electric and Bank of America are likewise heavily invested in private prisons.

Some other numbers give a bit of shape to the scale of private prisons: CoreCivic has 80,000 beds in 65 different facilities. The GEO Group has 49,000 beds spread out over 57 correctional facilities. Most private facilities are in the West and the Southwest, where state and federal prisons freely mingle with one another.

Private Prisons Are Not Safe

Private prisons are, by virtually every metric, a worse place to hang your hat than government prisons. A United States Department of Justice report in 2016 found that private prisons were less secure, less safe, and more punitive than government-run prisons. The DOJ stated that it would cease the use of private prisons. However, soon thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would renew its contract with CCA operation of the South Texas Family Residential Center, an immigration detention facility. Stock prices for private incarceration firms spiked upon the election of Donald Trump. President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the previous ban on private prisons.

The lax culture of safety and security in private prisons is not just a problem for the inmates. It’s also a problem for the people in the communities where the prisons are located. For example, three murderers escaped from a minimum/medium security prison – Kingman Arizona State Prison – in Mojave, Arizona. This resulted in a murder, robbery and carjacking before the men were captured. The state Attorney General, Terry Goddard, laid the blame at the feet of the private prison system, which he said was not adequate for the task of incarcerating these kinds of hardened criminals.

The state did an extensive report on this prison after the jailbreak, which found a number of problems with the privately-run prison:

  • The prison’s alarm system set off so many false alarms that prison guards simply began ignoring them.
  • Eight of the floodlights used on the prison yard were burnt out.
  • Prison guards weren’t properly armed, nor were they properly trained with firearms.
  • 75 percent of all inmates in the facility did not have the appropriate identification.

While it’s certainly true that government-run prisons are far from perfect, and often have budgetary issues, it’s hard to ignore the potential corner-cutting that may have led to this escape and the subsequent deaths.

Then, of course, there was the “kids for cash” scandal. The short version of the story is that two judges in Pennsylvania were receiving kickbacks for sending children to private prison facilities. Millions of dollars were processed to the two judges for giving out prison time for such offenses as mocking an assistant principal on MySpace and trespassing in an abandoned building. The two judges were sentenced to a combined 45.5 years in prison. Every juvenile offender who appeared before the judges had their convictions overturned, and a class action lawsuit is currently pending.

Unsurprisingly, cost-benefit analysis of private prisons tend to have a “both sides” feel about them. Studies funded by the industry frequently tout the cost benefits of private operation. Studies funded by state-funded institutions, such as universities, tend to paint private prisons as bloated and inefficient.

Editor’s Closing Note: This article was originally published on Ammo.com and is reposted with permission. The concluding Part 2 will be posted tomorrow (Wednesday, January  23, 2019.)

 




38 Comments

  1. Much I could say here, over whelming amount of gobblety gook in that article. Here are my solutions, all of which were practiced in the past.
    Let’s bring back the old work farms. No reduced sentences. Actual hard labor for your sentence would make repeat offense much less likely. Prisoners should be growing their own food so the rest of us don’t have to pay for it. Living in tents would be fine too. Lets make little rocks out of big rocks again. These thugs need something else to do besides play basketball, lift weights and misbehave while I pay for it through my taxes.
    Habitual criminals should be executed . Murderers should be executed pronto, not after 30 years of appeals.. Following my suggestions would reduce prison population rapidly.

    1. What was that with a fair Trial, human Rights, no cruel punishment and that the punishment is adäquate to the crime, have you thought on or tried Rehabilitation?

      Actual hard Labor… why has the EI much less Problems with that, than the US

    2. Just a few comments from someone who actually worked in a men’s prison.1) some of you forget, not ALL are violent offenders. Some have committed non violent offenses like selling pot, or burglary. Do we want THESE people to become hardened, hateful people when they are released? I don’t, because they are going to be someone’s neighbor. Most need:education, as they don’t have GED’s. Job, so they have a skill when released. Your suggestions were practiced in the past. Do we really want to go backwards in the way we treat our fellow human beings? I, for one, do not. Weight rooms? Yes, if it lets them take out tension there, instead of on ME, the guard.

  2. an interesting topic to introduce at the next party, are some people so inherently evil and unredeemable that for the good of society they should be humanely euthanized after, say 2 attempts to reform them. They go through life damaging every other person they come in contact with.

  3. There is an enormous amount of information about criminal behavior on the Internet. Prisons, jails, and parole officers are ~ how our society tries to protect its citizens. … Here’s part of one article in WebMD. =
    *******************************************************************

    ~Sociopath vs. Psychopath: What’s the Difference? By Kara Mayer Robinson ~ =

    You may have heard people call someone else a “psychopath” or a “sociopath.” But what do those words really mean?

    You won’t find the definitions in mental health’s official handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Doctors don’t officially diagnose people as psychopaths or sociopaths. They use a different term instead: antisocial personality disorder.

    Most experts believe psychopaths and sociopaths share a similar set of traits. People like this have a poor inner sense of right and wrong. They also can’t seem to understand or share another person’s feelings. But there are some differences, too.

    Do They Have a Conscience?

    A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

    A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

    A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

    A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

    They’re Not Always Violent
    In movies and TV shows, psychopaths and sociopaths are usually the villains who kill or torture innocent people. In real life, some people with antisocial personality disorder can be violent, but most are not. Instead they use manipulation and reckless behavior to get what they want.

    “At worst, they’re cold, calculating killers,” Kipnis says. Others, he says, are skilled at climbing their way up the corporate ladder, even if they have to hurt someone to get there. … (The rest at WebMD and the information on the Internet.)
    *********************************
    ***************

    Me: = Many articles by advocates for releasing prisoners, often do NOT discuss underlying factors (moral compass), that causes the behavior leading to Jail-Time.
    And yes, a brain and a conscience can be psychologically ‘beat up’; ~ just like it’s possible to physically beat up your car with a sledge hammer. At some point, only God can fix things with some people (at least with present day knowledge).

    Stay with SurvivalBlog for common sense information.
    Many other information outlets can make even Mogadishu, Somalia seem like a place of perfect sanity, and the perfect vacation spot for wearing a skimpy bathing suit 24/7.

    1. I didn’t copy and paste correct. I repeated a paragraph about a psychopath, when I should have included this part (from WebMD):

      “A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. He may know that taking your money is wrong, and he might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop his behavior.

      Both lack empathy, the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. But a psychopath has less regard for others, says Aaron Kipnis, PhD, author of The Midas Complex. Someone with this personality type sees others as objects he can use for his own benefit.

  4. Forgive me. My eyes glazed over while reading this clap-trap and I stopped mid-article. Is this Survivalblog Contributor moonlighting from his job as a Progressive sociology professor, or perhaps hoping to improve his chances for gaining tenure?

    While he may say that cutting off a thief’s hand is out of proportion to the offense (and I expect that most would agree), I remember seeing in Time Magazine in the early ’70s that a wallet could lie on the sidewalk in Riyadh for days and no one would pick it up for fear of being accused of theft. I expect that there is a middle ground here.

    I’m not sure how the concern about prisons relates to survival issues. Shouldn’t this more appropriately be the subject of an article in The Atlantic? My only survival concern about prisons is that there are prisoners in them who probably escape in a Post-Apocalyptic World. I will worry more about protecting myself from them than about how to reduce the time they spend in prison.

    So now, we have sentencing reform. I predict that the crime rate will go up, just as it went down after the mandatory sentencing guidelines were adopted decades ago. Just as a baseball player’s home run record becomes limited when he is frequently on the disabled list, criminals will commit fewer crimes over their lifetime when they are in prison for extended periods.

    By coincidence, I began to watch “Cool Hand Luke” on Netflix last night. In one scene, the “floorwalker” explains to new arrivals the rules of the prison work camp. (This movie was released in 1967. For the first third of the film that I watched, I saw 40 or 50 extras portraying prisoners. Every prisoner was a white man–and in the South, for crying out loud! My how times have changed.) The floorwalker goes through perhaps 15 rule violations, including things so trivial as failure to put a dirty sheet in the proper place. For each violation he describes, the penalty for the violator is always “spends the night in the box.”

    In a Post-Apocalyptic World, there most likely won’t even be the alternative of “spending the night in the box.” The Department of Corrections will likely be a distant memory, and the local jail, if it still exists, will likely see little use. Violations of (former) laws and serious breaches of common decency in human behavior will likely be treated with the equivalent of drumhead court-martials and vigilante justice. The return of corporal punishment is almost a sure thing, and the death penalty will be rendered for increasingly petty offenses. Few people will want to see corporal punishment rendered, only to have the convict return to take revenge.

    I won’t spend my time worrying about criminal justice reform now. Like meth addicts who knew that meth was addicting before they tried it, few criminals didn’t know that what they did was illegal before they did it. I like the fact that my neighborhood is safer because bad people are given plenty of time to think about their behavior. At least they aren’t free to roam my neighborhood in the interim.

    Your mileage may vary.

  5. Most serious crimes in the U.S. are a result of addiction to either drugs or alcohol with mental health issues being the second largest cause. Most people who are addicts have a genetic predisposition to addiction and are very difficult to “cure” so even after serving time for their crimes when released they re-addict and again turn to crimes.

    If you were to take any of those countries who brag about having a lower incarceration rate then us and gave them our same “diversity” and then flooded their country with drugs they would lose that bragging right overnight.

    1. “Most people who are addicts have a genetic predisposition to addiction and are very difficult to ‘cure’ so even after serving time for their crimes when released they re-addict and again turn to crimes.”

      Maybe. Then let the Darwin Test apply.

  6. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    – Ayn Rand

    1. Well, it is certainly easy enough to declare murderers, rapists, heroin dealers, and even welfare cheaters in prison.

      Jail them all.

      In order to save prison space in order to comply with orders from federal judges, California made many felonies mere misdemeanors. Now we are seeing the result with the rise in crime.

      Build more prisons, not bullet trains to please Democratic politicians like Gerry Brown.

      1. If we send welfare cheaters to prison, you will see many empty corporate boardrooms. Google “corporate welfare” for starters. Many cheaters are smiling, suit-wearing company men.

        Carry on

          1. No, Survivorman. I am saying that welfare cheats wearing three piece suits should face the same consequences, and jailtime, as someone from the ghetto. Alas, our system of corporate cronyism often protects those in the boardrooms. And, they cost us a lot more than the cheat on the street in Chicago.

            Carry on

      2. And a great thanks to your brothers in law enforcement who put people in jail for months that are innocent. Women like Dasha Fincher from Georgia who was jailed for 3 months because these brave police thought her bag of cotton candy was meth amphetamine. Maybe the 1983 title 42 settlement should paid out of the cops personal paychecks instead of taxpayer money to teach them some brains

  7. Another enterprise abusing people is for profit mental health facilities. Last year my 5 yr old grandson ran out the door of multiple day cares. The short story is under threat of taking it to CPS his parents were cornered into taking him to an ER and his doctor ordered him to an MHF. Fortunately it was near us but over 100 miles from his parents so he had visitors during his evaluation/incarceration. His parents tried to get him released early like they were led to believe but couldn’t. This year the MHF group lost their license due to criminal charges including holding people longer than the law allowed among other things. There was absolutely no good reason to send a 5 year old there but laws make it easy and less hassle for doctors to do this and the MHF got their full billing for his stay. If there is a hint of a next time Grammy is taking her non gps vehicle and trailer on a bug out exercise.

  8. A couple points:

    a)
    The mohammedans ‘remove’ a hand from an ACCUSED thief.
    Weight of the allegation is based on the community standing of the accuser.
    Weight of the defense is based on community standing of the accused.

    If a mohammedan big-shot does a crime, the judges balance his community impact against the potential harm from a conviction.

    If a poor mohammedan without political connections is accused, irregardless of conviction or guilt, he will probably lose a well-publicized hand to keep the rest of the little people in line.

    If a mohammedan female is accused, the mohammedan males drag her to the nearest pile of stones.

    Innocence or guilt is not a part of justice. It would reduce the power base.

    No thanks.
    .
    .
    b)
    In fUSA, every government agent judge receives a ‘kickback’ in the form of re-election based on “putting hardened criminals away!” and “keeping our community safe!”.

    Every government agent prosecutor receives ‘kickbacks’ in the form of re-hiring based on convictions… their ‘convictions’ include plea bargains after the accused is faced with a “stack” of ancillary charges plus threats of forever in a penitentiary if the accused doesn’t accept the plea bargain.

    The government agents known as ‘public defenders’ get re-appointed by the judges only if they convince the accused to accept the plea bargain.

    Innocence or guilt cannot be a part of justice. It would reduce the profits.

    1. I´d once a discussion with a man who served in the justice System, he told me going to court or pleading guilty has more to do if someone could afford the Price of the Trial than guilt or innocence

      1. Okay. I will out myself. I was a prosecutor many years ago.

        I once asked several public defenders what percentage of their clients were innocent.

        Every last one of them said that 0% were innocent of all charges. The cops may have overcharged some of them, but they were all guilty of some of the charges.

        1. Yep and judges like Mark Ciavarella who sold children for profit and just happen to get caught. And Massachusetts crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan who tampers with up to 40000 samples putting many innocent men in prison..gets a whopping 2 years for stealing thousands of years of life from these men. These are just the cases we hear about in the “just us” system. But there is great hope for America. In New Jersey for example, it appears that millions of gun owners disagree with a corrupt court system on their right to bear arms, by refusing to turn in mags over 10 rounds.

    1. My wife is Chinese. That’s because they are a culture of strong family values. They have a billion more people with under a 10% divorce rate. They have no hospice care but the family members take care of the parents and grandparents. Children newly married live with parents until they can pay cash for a place. Women have no American women’s rights—or should I say women privilege card.

      That’s why I’ve imported my wife in from China. I believe in no divorce and above all else a strong family value system. When American women demand so much , divorce so much (60-70% divorce rate), talk trash about her family on girls night out, sue corporations dry for gender equality and phone the police to incarcerate men it’s time to pull the ejection handle on American women as a prospect for a thriving and nurturing family.

      Where’s there’s no family structure there’s high crime and ungodlyness. That’s why China and even Russia are in much better shape on the world stage.

      1. Well said sir. That is why so many men are going MGTOW. When a man can be imprisoned for failing to pay alimony to a woman that cheated on him, why risk it?? And to think of what it must feel like being in the “system” whether it is judge, prosecutor or cop, and be willing to imprison good men “because I was just doing my job”.

  9. I’d suggest two obvious but not mentioned to any great degree concerns. One, what if all these criminals end up on this side of those walls when things go hot and what if it was to make room for those who could not be reeducated? Something to give serious thought to…..

    1. Most inmates, over 97%, end up on “this side of the wall”. There is a nationwide program, that started in northern New York state, called the Alternatives to Violence Project. Their purpose is to work with the incarcerated to help them in the words of one man, “Become human again”.

      As the article states, many people are incarcerated for reasons having nothing to do with threat to you or me. To call them criminals is to play into the hands of those who want to keep us separate from each other. I know many formerly incarcerated men who are making significant contributions to my community.

      To call them “criminals” is to ignore the words of our dear Jesus Christ, Matthew 23, verse 23: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

      Matthew 25:40-45 New International Version (NIV)

      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      Carry on

      1. My apologies for the delay in posting your comment. SurvivalBlog is just a two man operation. We don’t have anyone on duty to approve and post comments in the middle of the night. Thanks for your patience.

  10. It is very unsettling to see how many pro-incarceration posts appear here. No one is immune from running afoul of the law. Even those of us in the LEO community.

    Our first step should be to work with our congress critters to remove 75% of the laws on the books so we can focus on the real issues.

    1. You can start by going and asking to read your township laws/ordinances on the books. See what applies to you and your area, and what doesn’t, or what ordinances infringe on your personal liberties. For starters, why should you be limited to 5 domestic animals on your residential property? Why should you have to get a permit from the township to build a fence on your own property?

      1. Because you have neighbors!! I really don’t like your cats using my mulch for a bathroom. I don’t like your barking dog at night. I don’t like it when my neighbor walks their dog and it craps on my lawn. Geez, isn’t 5 cats and dogs enough already?

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