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1 Out 100 Americans In Jail...


darren19

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Guest LarryRobinson
You see the US puts criminals in jail, not back on the street after a couple of years like Canada.

I dont enough about Canadian sentencing guidelines, but here in the States the rather strict sentencing is causing the prison population to boom, while the cost of housing each prisoner also rises. Our government sacrifices the health care and child education of its citizens so that crack dealers stay behind bars forever. You be the judge on whether its a smart policy.

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I dont enough about Canadian sentencing guidelines, but here in the States the rather strict sentencing is causing the prison population to boom, while the cost of housing each prisoner also rises. Our government sacrifices the health care and child education of its citizens so that crack dealers stay behind bars forever. You be the judge on whether its a smart policy.

Ah well I'll get political to explain myself then. What I'd do to fix prison problems:

- legalize drugs, prostitution, and other crimes that simply restrict someone from potentially hurting themselves. Legalizing these would take the crime element out of it. If we could stop the illegal drug trade by legalization, this would also have a huge effect on gangs, since they would lose their financial backbone.

- lower the costs of running a prison. Make cells a little bigger with individual showers and a stationary bike, but don't let prisoners leave their cells. They are in jail, not the Hilton. Stay in their cell and you drastically reduce your costs. Cook up only Mr Noodles, knockoff Kraft Dinner, oatmeal, puffed wheat, etc. to cut down on food costs. Get rid of any costs that are not fundamentally necessary to the operation of the jail.

- look at creative sentences for white collar criminals, maybe make them serve as a butler for the people who suffered from their crimes (slight Seinfeld reference)

I think if you focussed on lowering what we consider crime, lower the standard of living in jails, and look for better ways to prosecute white collar crime, you could really cut down on these problems.

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As a side note, the problem in Canada is that jail terms are very short. For example, murder, even if the defense attorneys can't argue manslaughter (which happens way too easily - how randomly stabbing someone is manslaughter, I have no idea). The maximum sentences are life with eligibility for parole in 10, 15, or 25 years for 2nd degree murder, and life with eligibility for parole in 25 years for 1st degree. There is no such thing as a guaranteed life sentence in Canada (although the parole board could continously reject life applicants) - all convictions have parole elibiglity. Additionally, somewhat lesser crimes like ***** are a slap on the wrist compared to the USA. A 20 year old who has consensual sex with a 15 year old in the USA recieves a stricter sentence than a man who sneaks into peoples houses and rapes random women at knifepoint in Canada.

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Guest Bobineau

In some cases, the prison terms in Canada are ridiculous but unfortunately, the lenght of sentences doesn't work as a deterrent. The US is a blatant example, they have long jail terms and even the death sentence in some states yet crime is off the charts.

I've seen along the years documentaries on the prison systems in Canada, the US and France. The fundamental difference with the Canadian system is the focus on rehabilitation. In most cases, Canadians that spent time in jail are able to function in society again when they're out. A completly different story in the US, they come out and go right back in, thus the enormous population behind bars.

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Guest Bobineau
Crime comes from poverty. Reduce poverty, and you'll have less crime.

I've been to places that were very poor and yet crimes were quite rare. I think it's the gap between classes that creates crime more than poverty itself.

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In some cases, the prison terms in Canada are ridiculous but unfortunately, the lenght of sentences doesn't work as a deterrent. The US is a blatant example, they have long jail terms and even the death sentence in some states yet crime is off the charts.

I've seen along the years documentaries on the prison systems in Canada, the US and France. The fundamental difference with the Canadian system is the focus on rehabilitation. In most cases, Canadians that spent time in jail are able to function in society again when they're out. A completly different story in the US, they come out and go right back in, thus the enormous population behind bars.

I agree it probably doesn't act as much of a deterrent. However, for me there are two main reasons I support long prison sentences for violent crimes, one is punishment (they should get what they deserve - sometime revenge is necessary - how would you feel if a loved one was killed and the killer gets a 2 year jail sentence?) and the other is placing dangerous offenders back on the street (I remember last year a big news story about a guy who was so obviously a dangerous offender and had been in and out of jail multiple times, and he ends up kidnapping and ***** two young boys - do we really need to risk the country's children so criminals can get a second chance they don't deserve in the first place?)\

With the rehab thing, I have heard Canada is somewhat better than other countries, but I don't think "most" is accurate. I think it also depends on the type of crime, certain crime does deserve a second chance and can be rehabilitated. But in my mind, once you kill someone in cold blood, kidnap and ***** children, or similar haneous crimes, you've given up your right to function in society.

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Crime comes from poverty. Reduce poverty, and you'll have less crime.

To a point. But I think the larger factor, which is often closely related to poverty is home life. A lot of children get involved in gangs or lifes of crime because they have no support at home - most come from broken families and are looking to belong. Even a poor child who has parents who love him can avoid becoming a criminal.

But I also think the thing we need to really look at in society is the fact that when you make something illegal, you make it dangerous. Prostitution is a good example of this, in most places it is highly dangerous, illegal, and overall a very dangerous industry to be a part of. However, the one county in Nevada where it is legal, it is safe, women are well cared for, pimps are eliminated, and the industry is well regulated. Whether this is ethical is up to you, but there is little doubt it is far safer. I feel it would be similar with drugs, right now drugs are what fund most organized crime, if we could provide a legal way for citizens to get their hands on drugs (since prohibition has never worked), you would eliminate that aspect of criminal activity.

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Guest ChuckNorris

Why even put rapists, pedophiles, and murderers in prison? That's wasted tax money. We should just kill them all. Fear is one of the best ways of controlling a population, we should take advantage of it.

Just bring back death sentence already...

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Why even put rapists, pedophiles, and murderers in prison? That's wasted tax money. We should just kill them all. Fear is one of the best ways of controlling a population, we should take advantage of it.

Just bring back death sentence already...

THere is enough fear of life in prison, capital punishment has never acted as a deterrent.

But the reason I don't like the death peantly is that innocent people die all the time - death is a part of life, not a punishment. I'd prefer we make these extreme criminals suffer, throw them in a cramped cell, don't let them out, don't give them cable TV, etc.

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THere is enough fear of life in prison, capital punishment has never acted as a deterrent.

But the reason I don't like the death peantly is that innocent people die all the time - death is a part of life, not a punishment. I'd prefer we make these extreme criminals suffer, throw them in a cramped cell, don't let them out, don't give them cable TV, etc.

There in lies the problem. If someone is willing to take the lives of five innocent girls to satisfy their twisted desire, there is little amount of torture available that will actually inflect suffering upon them. These individuals have no remorse nor do they hold a conscious, thus life in prison is hardly considered punishment because they simply do not care. Unfortunately despite what can take place with the death penalty, it is the most effective means in which to eliminated the problem. Fear is a motivator and will factor in severely upon the mind of the criminal. I am aware of the possibility innocences may die, however innocence die in the current system implicated today; a far greater amount in actuality; not to mention those whom have been wrongly convicted have a high percentage to return to prison for an actual crime in the future, due to the environment in which they dwelled in. If you want to lower the crime rate, then the punishment must reach severe degrees; take for example drinking and driving; a crime that has reached frightening percentages in teenage death. What would be an effective way to distance this crime? If you are pulled over while under the influence, you are jailed without question for a month. There is no trial, there is no lawyers, there is no bail. If you are caught driving drunk, you will spend one month of your life in prison and this is doubled should you be caught a second time. Within a year drinking and driving would be a fading memory because when teenagers are faced with the reality that mommy and daddy cannot bail them out, coupled with an entire month of their life lost and realization comes to play. It would be nice to see people like Paris Hilton and Lindy Lohan not be able to be saved by their income for once.

How is that possible? Well unfortunately the only way my suggestion could take place is if the death penalty was implicated for serious crimes, such as ***** and murder.

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Guest overlords
THere is enough fear of life in prison, capital punishment has never acted as a deterrent.

But the reason I don't like the death peantly is that innocent people die all the time - death is a part of life, not a punishment. I'd prefer we make these extreme criminals suffer, throw them in a cramped cell, don't let them out, don't give them cable TV, etc.

before when you mentioned a stationary bike in a cell, i thought you were going to mention something i had been wanting to talk about for a long time. Why not make criminals REALLY work off their debt to society. With energy prices sky rocketing (fossil fuels etc etc), it would be costly in the shortrun, but in the long run a way of getting in mates to produce electricity by manual labor would be beneficial for everyone.

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There in lies the problem. If someone is willing to take the lives of five innocent girls to satisfy their twisted desire, there is little amount of torture available that will actually inflect suffering upon them. These individuals have no remorse nor do they hold a conscious, thus life in prison is hardly considered punishment because they simply do not care. Unfortunately despite what can take place with the death penalty, it is the most effective means in which to eliminated the problem. Fear is a motivator and will factor in severely upon the mind of the criminal. I am aware of the possibility innocences may die, however innocence die in the current system implicated today; a far greater amount in actuality; not to mention those whom have been wrongly convicted have a high percentage to return to prison for an actual crime in the future, due to the environment in which they dwelled in.

The thing is though these people doing haneous crimes simply aren't thinking about the consequences, using the death penalty doesn't change that. It has historically never had any effect one way or the other in deterring crime from what I've heard. I'm not completely anti-death penalty, I'm just not sure it is worth it, I'd rather we lowered the standards of living in prisons and make the criminal suffer in there.

If you want to lower the crime rate, then the punishment must reach severe degrees; take for example drinking and driving; a crime that has reached frightening percentages in teenage death. What would be an effective way to distance this crime? If you are pulled over while under the influence, you are jailed without question for a month. There is no trial, there is no lawyers, there is no bail. If you are caught driving drunk, you will spend one month of your life in prison and this is doubled should you be caught a second time. Within a year drinking and driving would be a fading memory because when teenagers are faced with the reality that mommy and daddy cannot bail them out, coupled with an entire month of their life lost and realization comes to play. It would be nice to see people like Paris Hilton and Lindy Lohan not be able to be saved by their income for once.

Unfortunately the problem here is simply people not thinking, and I don't think jail sentences change this. They are willing to risk their lives drinking and driving, they are willing to risk losing their license, going to jail, and having a criminal record. I know a few people who have been caught, and it isn't until they get punished the first time it kicks in that this is serious. I'm not sure that harsher penalties would even do much - people don't seem to think about the consequences anyways.

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before when you mentioned a stationary bike in a cell, i thought you were going to mention something i had been wanting to talk about for a long time. Why not make criminals REALLY work off their debt to society. With energy prices sky rocketing (fossil fuels etc etc), it would be costly in the shortrun, but in the long run a way of getting in mates to produce electricity by manual labor would be beneficial for everyone.

haha no i was just replacing the weight rooms and outdoor exercise they get now. This way we don't need to pay for all the supervision and facilities for them.

And while stationary bikes can't provide much power at all in the bigger picture, I think you're on to something. How about if they want lights in their cells, they need to provide the electricity themselves? HOok the bike up to a battery and use this to run the lights. Some more justice.

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Guest Poptone
The fundamental difference with the Canadian system is the focus on rehabilitation. In most cases, Canadians that spent time in jail are able to function in society again when they're out. A completly different story in the US, they come out and go right back in, thus the enormous population behind bars.

Reason #265 why I can't wait to become a Canadian citizen.

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To a point. But I think the larger factor, which is often closely related to poverty is home life. A lot of children get involved in gangs or lifes of crime because they have no support at home - most come from broken families and are looking to belong. Even a poor child who has parents who love him can avoid becoming a criminal.

But that just speaks to my point that poverty is the real root of social problems. Broken homes are almost always the result of poverty. The parent or parents have no time to look after the child because they are too busy struggling to make ends meet. So much of the educational system presumes that a child has a support network at home which poor kids don't usually have. And that just creates its own self-fulfilling prophecy, as they aren't able to do as well as more privileged children and may even wind up dropping out of school and drifting into crime.

But I also think the thing we need to really look at in society is the fact that when you make something illegal, you make it dangerous. Prostitution is a good example of this, in most places it is highly dangerous, illegal, and overall a very dangerous industry to be a part of. However, the one county in Nevada where it is legal, it is safe, women are well cared for, pimps are eliminated, and the industry is well regulated. Whether this is ethical is up to you, but there is little doubt it is far safer. I feel it would be similar with drugs, right now drugs are what fund most organized crime, if we could provide a legal way for citizens to get their hands on drugs (since prohibition has never worked), you would eliminate that aspect of criminal activity.

I agree whole-heartedly about sex work, it should definitely be legalized to make everything safer and cleaner for everyone concerned. Drugs are more difficult since the drug cartels make their money from hard drugs (heroin, crack, etc.) and I would have a big problem making those substances legal. Marijuana I have zero problem with legalizing, though.

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But that just speaks to my point that poverty is the real root of social problems. Broken homes are almost always the result of poverty. The parent or parents have no time to look after the child because they are too busy struggling to make ends meet. So much of the educational system presumes that a child has a support network at home which poor kids don't usually have. And that just creates its own self-fulfilling prophecy, as they aren't able to do as well as more privileged children and may even wind up dropping out of school and drifting into crime.

As I said, they are usuaully closely related. But I don't think it's simply a matter of the parent not having enough time for the child. Wen I was younger, my elementary school was right by a government assisted housing area. There were a few kids I knew who's parents maybe had to work long hours, and didn't make much money, but the family was good adn the kids were okay. By far the bigger problem I saw went beyond just poverty (although that sure isn't hleping the situation) and it was this nasty cycle of parents being involved in alcohol (and to a lesser extent, drugs), having kids when they were 15, simply not caring (and not always because they were working or anything), and ultimately the cycle repeats itself. Many of the children may end up basically looking after themselves, in foster care, with a grandparent, etc. It takes a truly strong child to break this cycle. This is a huge problem in native communities, and although the government has tried things like free post secondary education for them, it has had little effect on the larger problem. And that's directly related to why cities like Winnipeg and Thunder Bay are seeing a huge increase in native gangs on the streets.

I agree whole-heartedly about sex work, it should definitely be legalized to make everything safer and cleaner for everyone concerned. Drugs are more difficult since the drug cartels make their money from hard drugs (heroin, crack, etc.) and I would have a big problem making those substances legal. Marijuana I have zero problem with legalizing, though.

True, with marijuana, to me it's a no brainer. But other drugs is definately more difficult. I still say at the least you shouldn't be able to be charged criminally for merely possession or use, since I truly believe what you put in your body is your business. But I'm not sure if taking this to the next level (legalization) would be a good idea. There are pros and cons to this method and I'm not sure it's been tried anywhere in the world.

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Guest Canine64

My previous post must be somewhere in cyberspace. Anyway, a huge contributing factor to the mess here in the States is the ridiculous number of lawyers we have, and their propensity to defend the scumbag criminals. The ACLU will call it their "duty" but most Americans know what a sham this liberal organization (run by lawyers) really is. Tort reform is the answer, but will never happen because most, if not all of our elected politicians are trained as lawyers.

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My previous post must be somewhere in cyberspace. Anyway, a huge contributing factor to the mess here in the States is the ridiculous number of lawyers we have, and their propensity to defend the scumbag criminals. The ACLU will call it their "duty" but most Americans know what a sham this liberal organization (run by lawyers) really is. Tort reform is the answer, but will never happen because most, if not all of our elected politicians are trained as lawyers.
Your post was removed for wishing death on the people of an organization
My previous post must be somewhere in cyberspace. Anyway, a huge contributing factor to the mess here in the States is the ridiculous number of lawyers we have, and their propensity to defend the scumbag criminals. The ACLU will call it their "duty" but most Americans know what a sham this liberal organization (run by lawyers) really is. Tort reform is the answer, but will never happen because most, if not all of our elected politicians are trained as lawyers.
Anyways, what on earth does tort reform have to do with people in jail, tort refers to civil claims, jail is only for criminal claims.
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Guest Canine64
Your post was removed for wishing death on the people of an organizationAnyways, what on earth does tort reform have to do with people in jail, tort refers to civil claims, jail is only for criminal claims.

The entire legal system in the US needs to be revised---from civil claims to criminal matters. The problem is that there are too many corrupt lawyers taking advantage of loopholes in the system. The hardened criminals have it way too easy because of the actions of some slick attornies. Bring back "An eye for an eye...."

I think "Dexter" on Showtime has the right idea.

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Guest FlHabsFan

From an Americans point of view, our criminals dont stay in long enough. But it seems like no rehabilitation occurs. When they get out in a few weeks/months/years it seems like most just delv right back into their old habits. With most wearing their time in prison as a badge of honor. If convicted, they get their 3 hots and a cot, while working out or doing menial labor around the prison.

And what makes it worse is that so many of these criminals start off as kids. 10-11 years old and getting arrested for dealing drugs, robbery, shooting, assault and *****. They go to juvy detention till their 18, and come out meaner then before. Very few seem to break the cycle that put them in there to begin with.

But, I can understand how its come to this. Between music and a lifestyle that glamorizes being a "gangsta" and when it can be difficult to survive on money earned legitimatly, but the guy down the street peddles some dope and drives a caddy. The overall system down here is screwed up. Hard work is ignored and quick gratification is rewarded.

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