What we can do is only limited by our will and our imagination. We must think out-of-the-box. We must work together and resolve our differences. We use a very small portion of our intellectual potential. Anything is possible when there is respect, cooperation, long-term vision, and love for our fellow man – no matter his condition or position in our lives. Nothing is set in concrete. The fundamental beauty of man is our adaptability and creativity. It is a pity that it is usually wasted in petty materialism, bias, totalitarian restrictions, and hatred built by centuries of defamation. Man does not evolve in small steps, but there are significant leaps. I believe strongly, we are about to make one. Join in our national discussion – send me your suggestions for solutions to problems of our times. For a discussion of health care problems see:
Posts Tagged ‘Prisons’
Please consider a jobs program for organizations to design and implement programs to re-integrate, provide mental health care, provide drug abuse treatment, provide family therapy, and supervise ex-cons and to train and employ ex-cons. > 600,000 convicts are released every year and this is growing due to the failed policy of the last 30 years to be “tough on crime.” What good does it do to squash prisoners like a bug, destroy their families, destroy their health, destroy their future career potential, and fail to provide even an iota of rehabilitation?
Part of our economic problem is that we are destroying and wasting so much human potential. If we employed these people and the prisons guards and employees, as well as reduce the number of prisoners in half with alternative sentencing for non-violent criminals, drug abuse treatment, and mental health care – our workforce that pays taxes and contributes to society will grow at an astonishing rate (including ex-cons, ex – prison employees, and the ex-cons’ families who were living on the dole) and our productivity will increase.
Please give your creative suggestions about how to achieve this. Think outside the box! Be innovative!
One in ten jobs in America are related to the prison industrial complex. We incarcerate 40 times more individuals than any civilized country and the same number of citizens as China which has five times our population.
This is a tremendous burden on our economy. We don’t produce saleable goods or increase the gross national product from our prison industry. Our tax base is eroded when all of these people don’t work. Huge health care costs, not paid for by those using it (the prisoners) increase the public expenses. Welfare and Medicaid expenditures are bloated by the needs of the families of the incarcerated who can no longer support them. Potentially productive workers for new high tech and energy industries are frozen in dead end jobs (correctional officers and employees), when they could be producing saleable goods and services while increasing our country’s productivity. Salvageable workers are thrown to the wind by ignoring and vastly underfunding drug and alcohol abuse treatment and mental health treatment.
Our 40 year experiment concerning being “tough on crime” has failed miserably. Ultimately we will be increasing the crime rate as angry, hostile, untrained prisoners, whose mental illness, addiction, and bad habits are ignored, are released into the population – as we reap the fruits of that which we sow. The ranks of those being released each year are growing exponentially as the steadily increasing numbers incarcerated are released – now about 600,000 persons a year.
I believe until:
we take the profit out of the prison-industrial complex;
increase transparency in contracting, juvenile justice, mental health care, training of officers and staff, and policy decisions;
increase training for correctional officers and most importantly for parole officers (who have the toughest and most complex law enforcement job in the country);
take corruption out of the system (particularly in Illinois where all contracts with the State require a 10% kickback or bribe, leading to hiring unqualified patronage workers as officials and officers of the prison system);
legalize marijuana and control it like tobacco or alcohol to free up law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts to deal with more substantial crimes;and
most importantly add rehabilitation into the prison system so that the prisoners who are released become productive citizens; as well as
abolish the costly and useless death penalty,
the system will remain hopeless broken and costly, helping to drive our economy into the ground.
For more information about corruption in the Illinois and Cook County prison/court systems see my blog: