Urban Planning for the Depopulation of Prisons
Building more prisons is flawed thinking.
If new prisons are built they will soon be overcrowded after a generation; Because, state laws will conform to populating this federally funded "cash cow" that in many cases employ entire communities. Building more prisons is flawed thinking. It circumvents the real issue of legislative reform which will ultimately empower those who are traditionally muted and underrepresented in society. Local and state governements, NPO's, grassroots organizations, families of the victims and religious institutions must actively be involved to lower the explosive rate of recidivism.
Tension from overcrowding prisons can be relieved by streamlining aide to grassroot organizations that directly affect the lives of ex-offenders. Largely, in the past Department of Correction (D.O.C.) issues have been addressed in a trickle down (Supply- Side Economy) fashion, starving any hope of prison reform.
This is a problem that has to be addressed on two fronts: federal and grassroots levels. The responsibilities of both are equally important. It is essencial to have guidelines for federal funding, that's easily accessible without local or state bureacracy hindering progress and fattening their coffers. Some oversight may be necessary but directing provisions through the government, some foxes in the desert may be encountered that ciphen the lion's share of aid earmarked to assist previously incarcerated persons who are qualified for reintegration (i.e prison construction).
"More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which two-thirds of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color."
There are a few organizations in the community that have programs that teach trade skills, offer certified training for basic employment, offer free computer courses and provide temporary employment. Nevertheless, the real challenge is to connect full-time employers with previously incarcerated individuals in an economy that has a high unemployment rate. One option is a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for employers that hire ex-offenders. WOTC is impractical, just a smoke and mirrors act, created for the sake of just saying that it exists. The incentives to employers are outweighed by the hoops they must jump (The employer has to be informed of the tax credit before they hire and must complete IRS form 8850 the day after the job is offered) usually for a person they never seen, fresh out of prison.
"To teach a son no trade is to teach that son to steal" Arabic Proverb
- Alabama's prison problems: AL.com investigates | AL.com
No state has crammed more people into less prison space than Alabama. That remarkable overcrowding has contributed to host of problems for this state. AL.com spent months exploring the issue.
Exit Strategy for the Department of Corrections
Currently, Alabama has over 35 state prisons not including federal prisons or county jails. Every day ex-convicts are being released into the community from these facilities, county, municipal jails and federal prisons. Politicians remain apprehensive to address this fact because endorsing crime prevention through reform makes them unpopular with their constituents. Yet, ex-convicts are coming in and blending into our neighborhoods and communities everyday! Some who are still on probation or parole and many with end of sentence (E.O.S) status.
Crime & Punishment in a New Millennium,
To be a premier 21st century urban center a strategy that addresses housing and employment for ex-offenders with clarity must exist. The more successful the program the metro contracts, the lower the crime rate. If there is no strategy the crime rate will increase by default, more money will be funnelled into police departments and the judicial system will be in perpetual gridlock. Weak districts coerse planning boards to banish ex-offender facilities outside politcial jurisdictions. This produces short term problems for future generations and the emnity of our children (black and white) will be directed towards failing fathers and community leaders.
Sesame Street Incarceration Visit
You swim - I sink or I sink - you swim; mentally permeates our community and create social tension by dividing the have nots from the have lesser.
Local organizations that assist previously incarcerated individuals like Project FOCUS, Alabama Nonviolence Offenders Organization (ANVOO) and Huntsville Madison County Community Collabrorative (HMCCC) and a few others are be applauded because their mission is geared to help the ex-inmates. Yet even within these organizations, certain pressure and financial woes persist.
The plight of ex-offenders should not be disregarded our community. Organizations like Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) have no incentive to exist in Huntsville (they have branches in Montgomery and Birmingham). Organizations that render useful services should not be stigmatized, as community leaders do now shun. On one hand we all want safe communities on the other hand we need to support those who deserve a shot after paying there debt to society.
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Effectiveness of the U.S. Justice System
Stop the Madness!
In America RACISM acts as a mortar that holds the Department of Corrections together in the States while exploiting African Americans, etc. (i.e Hispanics but not Asians) and acts as cash vacuum in the pockets of the average Joe or/and Jane Doe.
Deception of the Masses
A gross misrepresentation occurs that develops into enigmas that seem impossible to unravel. Ignorance prevails upon the back of the pretexts like, blacks must be inherently criminal due to the high incarceration statistics. Furthermore hopelessness is fueled when it seems like nobody cares and the status-quo is maintained due to fear of reprisal from the establishment.
- TROUBLED LAND, TROUBLED MAN American Justice
The U.S. government not only uses its military, economic, political and propaganda machinery to dominate and exploit black people and other oppressed inside its borders and abroad.
21st Century Institutional Involuntary Servitude
... you spend the majority of your time in a 10 x 10 cell.
... you spend the majority of your time in a 8 x 8 cubicle.
...you get three meals a day.
...you get an unpaid break for one meal that you have to buy yourself.
...you get time offfor good behavior.
...you get more work for good behavior.
... the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
...you must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself.
...you can watch TV and play games.
...you could get fired for watching TV and playing games.
...they allow your family and friends to visit.
...you aren't even supposed to speak to your family.
... all expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work. required.
...you get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.
...you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out.
...you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.
"All I'm offering is the truth nothing more" Morpheus
© 2014 Reginald Boswell
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