Posts Tagged ‘Sentencing’

The “War on Drugs” has been an economic and social disaster on steroids

June 19, 2011

Forty years ago Nixon announced the now infamous “war on drugs” when he declared drug addiction “public enemy number one.” What an economic and social disaster! With costs exceeding $1 trillion, huge increase in prison populations due to tens of millions of arrests, millions imprisoned without rehabilitation, an evolution into a “prison nation” with a massive expansion of the prison-industrial complex, there has been no decrease in the use or abuse of illicit drugs. All we’ve done is make more addicts, better trained criminals, and a hugely increased number of family members on public assistance! How dumb is that? A recent study revealed that 83% of prisoners at Cook County jail, the largest jail in the country have positive drug tests upon arrest. States budgets are busted! Rural communities are now prison towns – not industrial, high-tech, or artistic centers running the engine of the economy with new industries.

What did Albert Einstein say? “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  I guess its time to stop doing the same thing!  Maybe we should think about:

  1. rehabilitation in prison with intense mental health treatment if they commit violent crimes,
  2.  treating drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime,
  3. putting addicts who committed non-violent crimes to work in community service projects so they can stay employed, save the tax payers dollars, and support their families while being supervised and treated for addiction at 1/4 the cost, in other words – creative and alternative sentencing
  4. increasing carefully supervised parole and probation programs with  highly qualified parole agents, not the underqualified non-college graduate police officers and former correctional officers now used,
  5. making specialized drug courts where judges are required to have specialized training before coming on the bench,
  6. increasing qualifications needed to become a parole officer (one of the most difficult jobs on the planet if done right) so that there is training in psychology, drug addiction, mental illness, social services, and policing techniques including safe entry into a home with safety for the officers a high priority, as well as better gang intelligence on the streets,
  7. saving taxpayer dollars by changing sentencing laws and down-sizing the prison industrial complex so we stop warehousing people while training them to be better criminals and instead treat their mental health and addictions without imprisonment, and
  8. decriminalization and experiments in legal regulation of drugs (tax marijuana like we tax alcohol) as has worked well in Portugal and is being tried now in Mexico.

Read about the details of the global community embracing this new  philosophy here: http://www.thenation.com/article/161505/forty-year-quagmire-exit-strategy-war-drugs

Now is the time to write your Senators and Congressmen as well as local legislators, speak up from the pulpit, recruit your local police chief to support these reforms, speak up at public meetings at all levels of government, and organize in your communities.

Not only is this the right time and place for a new civil rights movement that treats addictions as mental health issues, our economy can no longer afford to be a prison nation incarceration 7-40 times more members of our population than any civilized country. We have the same number of  prisoners as China but a fifth the population.

Flood the Department of Justice phone lines with demands to decriminalize marijuana and for alternative sentencing and banning private prisons. Write Attorney General Eric Holder and demand he lead the charge for reform:

United States Attorney General Sessions
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

By Phone

Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line  – 202-353-1555

e-mail me a message that you participated and tell me how you are organizing in your community for change at picepil@aol.com

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Cook County Sheriff Staff are Puppets of Corruption

August 9, 2009

THE STORY OF HOW THE DEMOCRATIC MACHINE IN CHICAGO THRIVES AND PERPETUATES GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION, WASTE, INEFFICIENCY, AND FRAUD 

A person asked on line about the fights at the jail this past week where inmates stabbed each other. “With todays riot I think all tax payers should call Sheriff Dart and ask why he refuses to hire more staff as federally mandated, why the E.R.T. (emergency response team) doesn’t search or respond to trouble, why doesnt he fire Director Godinez.”

The answer is not wasting tax-payer dollars on more guards. We need to reduce the jail population to less than 6,000 from its previous high of nearly 11,000. Non-violent offenders should be sentenced to alternatives other than jail that actually benefit society. There are lots of things a sentenced criminal can do as community service other than just picking up garbage, including providing free or reduced services as an employee for the state in almost any job category. Mentally ill convicts, including addicts, should be treated not just jailed so jail does not become a revolving door. There is not even 1/4 the mental health services available to probationers or parolees that are needed. Guards should be required to have a higher level of training, not only in terms of judo, but also in recognizing and de-escalating violence due to mental illness, as well as not treating every refusal to do as told as voluntary and requiring force. Mentally ill are often confused and react better and more compliantly with “herding them gently” or backing-off and giving them space, instead of with brute force, which generally will be irrationally resisted. Women who have been raped or assaulted may go into flashbacks and not even realize where they are, as they are reliving in their mind the brutal attack. Guards need to be taught to control without brutality and foul language. This is not a good example. They should be teaching inmates how to resolve conflicts peacefully and civily not escalate them to violence as the officers often do, because that is what they are trained to do.

Another internet writer stated: “Amen to that, Linda. Why are so many non-violents that could be on house arrest still in jail. And why does the judge get to say “this drug addict is not fit for rehabilitation” without even giving it a try? It baffles me.”

You have to understand Cook Co runs on patronage. You have to have large armies of uneducated workers who vote for you as a candidate, and bring out the vote by acting as poll watchers and bringing people to the polls, especially dead people. Sheriff deputies, Court Clerk staff, DCFS workers, IDOC staff, etc., fullful this role nicely.

To hire such a large army you need to make sure they take long lunches, do only half the job they could so you can hire two for every one employee needed, or campaign on public time. You make your payroll bloated with excess staff. You fire employees who are efficient. You remind employees that if they work to fast they are depriving another person of a job. You promote only those who enforce campaigning and fundraising efforts. You promote incompetents who don’t think for themselves, never questions “authority”, and are loyal to the patronage system. You don’t document anything and you engage in deals behind closed doors.

https://drlindashelton.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/be-a-team-player-corruption-and-patronage-in-illinois/

In order to have lots of guards you need to deny personal recognizance bonds for non-violent (I-Bonds). You need to put people in jail instead of on probation. You need excessive sentences, particularly for drug and non-violent crimes. You need a revolving door of a corrupt parole system and no mental health or drug addiction treatment.

So you need lots of prisoners or you can’t hire lots of guards and keep complaining that you need more guards! That’s the way the machine works to keep the corrupt in office. Guards are used! They are coerced and manipulated and made to think that if they squeal by going to 2111 S. Roosevel FBI office and ask for a duty agent and then provide evidence of corruption, patronage, brutality, medical neglect, excessive force, and fraud, that they will lose their jobs! Guards are fools to cooperate with this corruption. They would have a better job, better working environment, better benefits, if they were trained properly, if they followed the law, and if 10 % of our tax dollars weren’t going into political campaigns, like (”Friends of Madigan) through illegal kickbacks (bribery).

Remember the guards are abused as much as the inmates because they work in crowded unsafe conditions, are improperly trained and encouraged to be sadist, foul-mouthed and vulgar, intolerent, and violent hotheads, and without proper mental health and drug addiction treatment the inmates are dangerous. Guards are simply crazy to keep voting for the same idiots who are USING THEM and demanding 10 % kickbacks (bribes) to their political funds like “Friends of Madigan”. We need a massive grass roots movement, including the guards to vote out of office these criminals including Stroger, Madigan (Lisa & Michael), Dart, the Daleys, Beavers, Burkes, Jones, Steeles, Lipinskys etc., and their puppets. Political office in Illinois needs to stop being an inherited oligarchy. We simply have to help the FBI and U.S. Attorney take down King Richard Thompson, his Lords Madigans, Daleys, Burkes, Beavers, etc., the Sheriff of Nottingham Dart (previously Sheahan), and his high executioner Alvarez (previously Divine).

Anyone who wishes to help me do this – citizens and officers alike – you can even help in anonymous ways – e-mail me at picepil@aol.com.


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