Prison Planet

No, Im not referring to the website or the song by Clutch. I am referring to a study that says 1 in every 100 Americans is in prison.

The report’s methodology differed from that used by the Justice Department, which calculates the incarceration rate by using the total population rather than the adult population as the denominator. Using the department’s methodology, about one in 130 Americans is behind bars.

Either way, said Susan Urahn, the center’s managing director, “we aren’t really getting the return in public safety from this level of incarceration.”

“We tend to be a country in which incarceration is an easy response to crime,” Ms. Urahn continued. “Being tough on crime is an easy position to take, particularly if you have the money. And we did have the money in the ’80s and ’90s.”

Now, with fewer resources available to the states, the report said, “prison costs are blowing a hole in state budgets.” On average, states spend almost 7 percent on their budgets on corrections, trailing only healthcare, education and transportation.

You can take whatever position you want on this. Mine lies in the realm of ‘WTF’ followed by ‘How did we get HERE?’ We are supposed to be this great country, and yet 1 in 100 adults are in fucking JAIL ?!!?! Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick.

—bp

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About bikepunk

“Cuts, scrapes, bruises… all in a day’s riding. Then it’s off for some good german beer in a local biergarten.” Munich, Germany

25 thoughts on “Prison Planet

  1. Pingback: Prison Planet

  2. This is an issue that always sets my cage to rattling, partly because I’m a Public Defender, but mostly because I hate authoritarian bullshit. My opinion as to how we got here, in 25 words or less (Iggy Pop’s self-professed songwriting formula, by the way)? (1)The War on Drugs; (2)a decades long campaign to convince Americans that constitutional rights are nothing more than “criminals’ rights” and are somehow different from and opposed to “victims’ rights”; (3) the fact that building prisons is very profitable to a variety of industries, and that prisons bring jobs with benefits to rural areas with depressed economies. If anyone’s counting, that’s more than 25 words, but what can I say? I’m a lawyer.

  3. two quotes:

    my dad; “people are always in a hurry and do not have respect for the conditions around them.”

    Crazy Johnny (not Big); “people just can’t take an ass whippin’, even when they diserve it.”

    So, mix the fact that people are oblivious to everything beyond what they want, and don’t care about who they hurt to get it. Add to that, if you call them out – they sue you. If you kick thier ass, even if it is diserving, you go to jail.

    Sue happy, self-intitled, fat, lazy, mindless idiots are the vast majority…do the math.

  4. People suck! Lawyers suck! There is no solution! Cool! Now all I have to worry about is me, and where I’m getting my next beer! Thanks, dudes.

  5. Bah. That’s nothing… If we were serious we would put all the idiots in jail as well… Then 999 out of 1000 people would be in jail.

  6. Sorry, Sorry, but I can’t help but write…..Escape from the prison planet,, yo.. so.. see some wrong,, Escape from the prison planet,, Escape from the planet of the apes… Listen to Clutch, ride your bike, all else does not matter.

  7. “Either way, said Susan Urahn, the center’s managing director, “we aren’t really getting the return in public safety from this level of incarceration.””

    What is the level of public safety that we should be getting from this level of incarceration?

    And please remind me again, are we for or against the war on drugs? Every other entry in this blog seems to say that drugs are bad and people that do them should be shunned and mocked.

  8. Don’t forget that 1 in 15 black males are in the can. Not sure how to couple that with the fact that 40% of all black women never marry.

  9. Yer all missing the point. Listen to CLUTCH very lound, ride your damn bike, all else doth matter none. HUSK.

  10. Bodies are bagged, skidmarks are measured, the stories in the paper you may read it at your leisure!!!!
    get up, eat shit, escape from the prison planet!!!!
    Just passed alaska, you know nothing of this if they ask ya!!!!
    Stoner rockers on two wheel stand ups unite!!!!
    Escape from the palnet of the apes, go forth, AD infinium return the relics to the elephant.
    tasty little nuggets of alien technology!!!!
    rebuild the rednecks of the armament!!!!Oh Yeah!!!!

  11. …”get your hands off me you damn dirty ape !”…

    …it’s talk like that, that assures you, that you don’t get a reach around, when the time comes !!!…

    …share the love, you slacker piece of meat…

  12. But I escaped there though a secret passage way, once I lived there for a thousand days.

  13. don’t look at me i been out 3 months.lotsa the usual dumbasses but the real common denom is poor.add black for the double whammy

  14. Husky, You are a man. Not THE man, but a man, and I salute you.

    And I think many of us would be against the ‘war on drugs’. Or at least for the relaxation of Marijuana laws. All the other shit can stay illegal as fuck, but mandatory FEDERAL minimums for possession? Like 15 years for having some?

    Fucking stupid. Let the states decide how severe those guys should be punished. One sober weekend picking up trash on Hwy 5 out by Buttonwillow in the summer heat will make them sorry they were so damn stupid. But prison time for being a Spicoli? That’s just mean, man.

  15. Damn Joe. I was gonna use that reference! Props to the Clutch song too…gonna have to play that one today during my LAW ABIDING EXISTENCE.

  16. Of course you know that the California Athletic Commission deems marijuana as an banned substance for athletic events and if it’s found in your system you will be stripped of titles and suffer penalties.

  17. U.S. citizens get hammered for simple possesion. Mexican dope mules(backpackers) just get booted back south if they’re carrying less than 450 pounds! They do run the risk of getting whacked if they loose too many loads though.

  18. I’m not even going to try for ’25 words or less’ this time. This here’s a full blown rant: for what it’s worth, I’m drug free, don’t drink, and am opposed to the War on Drugs, which refers to a specific set of government policies that have been a huge contributing factor to the outrageously high imprisonment rate in the US, and particularly within communities of color. In my opinion, there’s absolutely no contradiction between being opposed to doping, and being opposed to unreasonable government drug policies.

    Just because “drugs are bad” doesn’t always mean “there oughta be a law”. Pot may arguably not be good for you, and may be a real motivation killer, but by far the biggest dangers from smoking pot are the risks associated with being arrested for it and locked up. I’m perfectly comfortable choosing not to smoke pot without the Nanny State telling me I can’t and threatening to put me somewhere where I’m going to be raped and generally mistreated. Hope most other adults are similarly comfortable making their own choices.

    Even if drugs like methamphetamine are in another catogory in terms of dangers and social costs, prison isn’t necessarily a good way to deal with them. Prison may be a good way to deal with the relatively small group of people who are so predatory or screwed-up that they will almost certainly harm or kill others if not locked in a cage. But for most people, I think the harm done to them by State imprisonment far exceeds whatever harm they may have done to society. Ultimately, I believe that has the opposite effect of making society stronger, better, happier, safer, and freer.

  19. …good points, mike…

    …when society is geared towards distrust & paranoia, it’s quite understandable to be surrounded by distrusting & paranoid people…& it certainly detracts from creating a society that might be, as you suggest, stronger, better, happier, safer & freer…

    …unfortunately we’re really geared up for the base aspects of that thought process in this country…whether you’re talking about prisons or border security…we’ve lost a lot of ‘middle ground’ perspective as a society…