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MikeAD
May 2nd 2007, 04:25 AM
I have been wanting to start a thread lately on US prisons. America invented the concept of the penetentiary, which developed into the massive warehouses that we have now.

But just to throw out some stats:

This is all according to the Beauru of Justice Stastics, in their report "Prisoners in 2005" and is accurate on the date of December 31st 2005.

There are 1,525, 924 prisoners in state and federal prisons.
1,338, 306 in state and 187,618 in federal prisons.

That gives us a imprisonment rate of 435/100,000 people in state prisons, 56/100,000 people in fed. prisons, 252/100,000 in jail which gives us an overall incarceration rate of 743/100,000.

In 1980, before the war on drugs really kicked in there were only 329,821 prisoners, now there is a number 5 times that.
Prison sentences are extremely long, especially compared to other western democracies, which gives us a growing number of prisoners 40 or older 438,500.

337,872 of prisoners are non-violent drug offenders..I will come back to this.

1 out of 3 black males aged 25-29 are curently in prison, on probation, in jail or on parole.

40% of the prison population is black (they account for 12.5% of US population) 35 is white, 20% hispanic/latino.

As of the day Dec 31, 2005 5,618,000 people were or have been in prison.

When you add in probationers, parolees, immigrant prisoners, and prisoners in our terroritories such as peurto rico, 7,418, 863 people are under custodial supervision by the United States.


OK back to incarceration Rates: country by country

The US has a rate of 743 per 100,000 citizens.
Russia- 623
Cuba-487
England-149
Spain- 146
Netherlands-128
Australia-125
Canada-107
Italy-104

Germany-93
France-85
Ireland-40

Now criminologists have stated that the crime rates for murder, property offenses etc are almost the same between these countries, almost exact in England, Canada, and the US...infact it is higher in London than in New York. So why do we imprison 7 times as many people as england and Canada? Criminologists say two things:
1. We punish with improsinment for property offenses that would be civil cases in most of the rest of the world.
2. the war on drugs.

So back to prison statistics..there are 450,000 people incarcerated in America for NON-violent drug offenses...that means the MAXIMUM that the person was charged with was possession or distribution, if burglery or battery etc were involved then it is not written as a drug source.

This number alone is higher than all of the democracies in Europe combined....so we imprison more people for drugs then Europe imprisons for everything.

When you add the number of parolees and probationers on drug charges, the number is higher than 1 million.

I hope we can discuss reasons for this, or debate it at least.

I can clarify or add tommorow, I am closing in on the end of a semester seminar on corrections, one month left, a month comparing muslim nations to democracies, and eastern democracies to western.

dan
May 2nd 2007, 07:11 AM
...The rates of arrest and rates of cases solved. I believe that the US is among the highest in these very important categories also. I like to think that it is because we have a lot of criminals surrendering to armed citizens.

A homeowner heard a loud noise at the rear of his home and observed three men in hooded jackets, at least one of them carrying a handgun. According to authorities, he shouted for the intruders to leave but they ignored his plea and began forcing their way inside. But the resident wasn’t going to let that happen. He fired two shots at the advancing men, and they fled the home. One suspect died and his former accomplices are in custody. The assistant prosecutor noted the seriousness of the matter: “Three men planned to do something in the house even after learning and hearing the homeowner was inside.” (The Detroit News, Detroit, MI, 02/14/07)

REV 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear:
REV 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

possumliving
May 2nd 2007, 09:05 AM
So are you stating that because we have more incarcerations that our judicial system is wrong???

Steph

Steve M
May 2nd 2007, 01:40 PM
America invented the concept of the penetentiary, which developed into the massive warehouses that we have now.

Hm... that doesn't sound quite right to me. America invented the concept of what-now? Because the idea of having massive jails where you throw wrong-doers or even those in debt has been around a lot longer than America.

Or did you mean something different by using the term penitentiary?

Clavicula_Nox
May 2nd 2007, 02:14 PM
And you know what? The judicial system is broken in my eyes.

My step brother beat a girl sobadly that her leg was amputated. Verdict: Not Guilty.

My girlfriend's ex-husband bashed her over the head with a 30ilb chair. He pleads guilty and get's a stupid NC law called "Prayer for Judgement," which just closes the case without any kind of judgement. In other words, he gets away with it and the Guilty plea doesn't go on his record.

I know a girl who killed 3 intruders in her apartment after they broke in and started beating on her boyfriend and were going for her. She is currently awaiting trial.

I have no faith in the "justice," system. The only real justice seems to apply to criminals.

As far as prison overcrowding, I think they're so concerned with putting pot smokers in jail that they know they don't have enough space for real criminals. It's a shame to me.

punk
May 2nd 2007, 05:44 PM
I'd like to see stats on what the prison population would be if all drug offenders were freed.

I think if it turns out that people are going free for assault because someone got caught with a large bag of pot, then the priorities are all wrong.

But then I think drugs should just be legal.

I don't believe in victimless crimes.

One could also compare the rate of incarceration of whites versus non-whites for the same crimes, and sentence severity...

MikeAD
May 2nd 2007, 06:56 PM
I'd like to see stats on what the prison population would be if all drug offenders were freed.

I think if it turns out that people are going free for assault because someone got caught with a large bag of pot, then the priorities are all wrong.

But then I think drugs should just be legal.

I don't believe in victimless crimes.

One could also compare the rate of incarceration of whites versus non-whites for the same crimes, and sentence severity...

We can figure that out, 1.5 million prisoners, 4,500,000 drug offendors...so somewhere around 1 million prisoners...still more than anywhere in the world.

I do sort of think that they put more emphasis on catching drug offendors, as Justice Kennedy said in Harmelin v. Michigan(1991)..."we must consider all of the harm that might have been done had the cocaine reached the streets" Drugs are the only thing that we punish this way. A man is given life sentence for mere first time posession becasue of what might happen if it had gotten out...but if someone has a gun...what might have happened..heck you don't get life in prison for "intent to commit a felony"

Also a prosecutor came to our seminar and said that "any conviction is a good one" and its just easier to prosecute drug offendors...even if that means giving someone 15 years for marijuana residue in a pipe.

MikeAD
May 2nd 2007, 07:01 PM
And you know what? The judicial system is broken in my eyes.

My step brother beat a girl sobadly that her leg was amputated. Verdict: Not Guilty.

My girlfriend's ex-husband bashed her over the head with a 30ilb chair. He pleads guilty and get's a stupid NC law called "Prayer for Judgement," which just closes the case without any kind of judgement. In other words, he gets away with it and the Guilty plea doesn't go on his record.

I know a girl who killed 3 intruders in her apartment after they broke in and started beating on her boyfriend and were going for her. She is currently awaiting trial.

I have no faith in the "justice," system. The only real justice seems to apply to criminals.

By the way, the official jury ruling was that it was self defense but "they used means of torture to obtain self defense"...doesn't make sense to me when the original police reports said the two men only tried to calm down, hold down the intruder.

As far as prison overcrowding, I think they're so concerned with putting pot smokers in jail that they know they don't have enough space for real criminals. It's a shame to me.


Theres endless examples of this, my friend's neighbors when we were in 8th grade are victims of the system. Heres the story, one night they were watching TV in the living room, and one was having a beer, one was of age, the other not. They had had a long day of work and were relaxing. Sometime around 10:30 PM there was a crash in the foyer so they one to the front door, the other one went to the back bedroom to call police. A guy on PCP, and several other drugs had literally thrown himself through the window next to the front door, I guess he didn't attempt to open the door because they said it was unlocked.

Anyway, the guy destroys the house, he apparently was looking for a drug dealer, but due to his extreme intoxication he had the wrong house, the right house number but the wrong development, he wanted the one across the highway. So the guy eventually dies, and the police had the entire tape becasue the phone was on the whole time and they can hear the guy destroying everything and eventually killing himself, due to blood loss from the shards of glass sticking out of his body from the window and the beatings his body took while he threw himself destroying furniture.

After the trial both men were given life in prison and they are now serving it in Smyrna, DE, we visit them once or twice a year. The one that went to the back room to call the police is up for parole in about 30 years, the other does not have the option of parole.

Stories like this make me sick, but I tend to hope that they are just exceptions.

MikeAD
May 2nd 2007, 07:16 PM
Hm... that doesn't sound quite right to me. America invented the concept of what-now? Because the idea of having massive jails where you throw wrong-doers or even those in debt has been around a lot longer than America.

Or did you mean something different by using the term penitentiary?


The very first penetentiary was in America, in PA, in Philly, the Walnut St. Jail in 1772, which was re-opened in 1789 as a penetentiary, a house of reform, men were kept in solitude, total silence was required, and they learned a trade in their cell, such as leatherwork or wood work and they were given nothing else but a Bible. It was run by Quakers. No violence was used, if someone broke a rule he was given a bread and water diet, once a day for a brief time. The prison was set up so that no prisoner saw another, and he wore a hood when coming in so he never knew where he was. This was the mother of the famous Eastern State Penetentiary.

WHen Charles Dikens came to America he said he wanted to see two things, Niagra Falls and Eastern State Penetentiary...he wrote extensively about it, and the cruelity of forced solitude and silence.

New York would open up a prison before Eastern State, Sing Sing in 1825..but the difference was men and women were not kept in solitude all day, during the day they worked, and at night they were in solitude. The rule of silence was still enforced, but if it was broken, one was punished with force.

Four years later came the Eastern State Penetenetiary and this trend of huge prisons spread through the states. The other states would follow the New York model, instead of the PA non violent model.

The thing that makes it different then jails before this time, and every single historian and criminologist of the time wrote about this, was that Americans invented this new way of punishment for crime, no longer did theives lose a hand or adulterers where a scarlet letter, but people were given set prison setences, before prisons/jails were just where people stayed for awhile, or a place where they were killed, etc...there was never a time where you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

THis is why Baccerea and Dickens were so fascinated as well as two French criminologists Toqqueville and Beaumont were sent to reserch American prisons for a few years and went back to Europe to make changes over there.

AMerica has gone through many great fazes and eras of "reform" that were abandoned and a new wave of reform is about to start again..it never works its never been successful.

Today prisons are warehouses, we simply attempt to keep thema way from society, but we still get criticism from around the world. Its a complex, especially with the rise of private prisons where they are just money making machines, inmates are nothing more than slaves to the prison owner, where he finds the best means for the biggest profit.

The 3rd circuit Judge Richard J. Nygaard puts it very nicely when he uses an anology comparing prisoners to toxic waste. We are doing nothing more than housing toxic waste in bigger and bigger warehouses. INstead of spending money to try to get rid of the toxic waste, we are building bigger storages for it, inevitably the toxic waste gets out and harms the community, or the toxic waste becomes too much to contain.

rchivers
May 2nd 2007, 08:28 PM
Theres endless examples of this, my friend's neighbors when we were in 8th grade are victims of the system. Heres the story, one night they were watching TV in the living room, and one was having a beer, one was of age, the other not. They had had a long day of work and were relaxing. Sometime around 10:30 PM there was a crash in the foyer so they one to the front door, the other one went to the back bedroom to call police. A guy on PCP, and several other drugs had literally thrown himself through the window next to the front door, I guess he didn't attempt to open the door because they said it was unlocked.

Anyway, the guy destroys the house, he apparently was looking for a drug dealer, but due to his extreme intoxication he had the wrong house, the right house number but the wrong development, he wanted the one across the highway. So the guy eventually dies, and the police had the entire tape becasue the phone was on the whole time and they can hear the guy destroying everything and eventually killing himself, due to blood loss from the shards of glass sticking out of his body from the window and the beatings his body took while he threw himself destroying furniture.

After the trial both men were given life in prison and they are now serving it in Smyrna, DE, we visit them once or twice a year. The one that went to the back room to call the police is up for parole in about 30 years, the other does not have the option of parole.

Stories like this make me sick, but I tend to hope that they are just exceptions.


There has got to be more to this story. The cops must have found a lot of stuff in the apartment.

I was once arrested for posession of marijuana. I had enough that they accused me of it not just being personal. Anyhow, arrested, taken to the station, finger printed and about 30 minutes later I was let go.

I went to meet with the majistrate at the scheduled time. Plead guilty. Received whats called a 7411. Its for first time offenders. I got a year of informal prohbation with random drug tests. If at the end of that year I did not test positive and was not arrested again the charge would not go on my record.

The system scared me straight. And let me tell you, I was a major head.

I dunno... just saying that sometimes there are happy endings.

MikeAD
May 2nd 2007, 08:39 PM
There has got to be more to this story. The cops must have found a lot of stuff in the apartment.

I was once arrested for posession of marijuana. I had enough that they accused me of it not just being personal. Anyhow, arrested, taken to the station, finger printed and about 30 minutes later I was let go.

I went to meet with the majistrate at the scheduled time. Plead guilty. Received whats called a 7411. Its for first time offenders. I got a year of informal prohbation with random drug tests. If at the end of that year I did not test positive and was not arrested again the charge would not go on my record.

The system scared me straight. And let me tell you, I was a major head.

I dunno... just saying that sometimes there are happy endings.

There really isn't any more to the story, there has been a local movement to hold a third appeal and to find some reason why the two kids are there but nothing gets done. I was at the trial, we've poured over the transcripts as have the lawyaers and the kids families but nothing gets done.

Wrong place wrong time.

pnewton
May 4th 2007, 11:08 PM
The very first penetentiary was in America, in PA, in Philly, the Walnut St. Jail in 1772,
Would calling it a "prison" solve the problem. Incarceration has been around much longer than you acknowledge.



(http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=40&CHAP=18&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=30)Mt 18:30 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=40&CHAP=18&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=30) And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
(http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=40&CHAP=18&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=30)

The growth of prison population in America is a natural result of barring cruel and unusual punishment. If we would execute criminals more freely or chop off hands as alternatives, our prison population would decrease.

ThinkingFaith
May 4th 2007, 11:17 PM
The growth of prison population in America is a natural result of barring cruel and unusual punishment. If we would execute criminals more freely or chop off hands as alternatives, our prison population would decrease.

In your opinion pnewton, why don't we do this?

pnewton
May 5th 2007, 03:08 AM
In your opinion pnewton, why don't we do this?
Because we have determined such punishment to be uncivilized. As we become more civilized, we keep changing the standard of what is considered to be cruel and unusual. I do not always agree that we really are civilized, but I believe that is why we have chosen incarceration instead of other alternatives.

ThinkingFaith
May 5th 2007, 03:12 AM
Because we have determined such punishment to be uncivilized. As we become more civilized, we keep changing the standard of what is considered to be cruel and unusual. I do not always agree that we really are civilized, but I believe that is why we have chosen incarceration instead of other alternatives.

So you would prefer cutting off hands and other types of physical punishment?

Clavicula_Nox
May 5th 2007, 03:22 AM
So you would prefer cutting off hands and other types of physical punishment?

That isn't what he said. What he said is that he doesn't always agree with the perception that we believe ourselves to be civilized, which renders the "civilization," argument null.

ThinkingFaith
May 5th 2007, 03:30 AM
That isn't what he said. What he said is that he doesn't always agree with the perception that we believe ourselves to be civilized, which renders the "civilization," argument null.

That's why I asked for clarification...

ComeLordJesus
May 5th 2007, 03:45 AM
What do you all think of police??? My husband knew many that were crooked and sold things they stole while working. Then they would sell the drugs and things for extra money.

Also all the ones he knew cheated on their wives with women they picked up while working their shift.

I know NOT all police are bad but with what I know it is hard to trust any policemen.

Clavicula_Nox
May 5th 2007, 04:14 AM
What do you all think of police??? My husband knew many that were crooked and sold things they stole while working. Then they would sell the drugs and things for extra money.

Also all the ones he knew cheated on their wives with women they picked up while working their shift.

I know NOT all police are bad but with what I know it is hard to trust any policemen.

Police are human beings thrust into a difficult position. I suggest you read up on Philip Zimbardo's studies on psychology, specifically his prison scenario.

pnewton
May 5th 2007, 07:41 AM
That's why I asked for clarification...Of course I do not believe in cutting off hands. But since the topic was our large number of inmates, we can not simply stop imprisoning criminals without some other without an alternative punishment. Probation is not a good alternative because almost all who are sent to prison have already had a chance, or two or three, chances at probation and have chosen to continue in crime.

I know some here wish that drugs were legal and selling crack and pot to kids in school were acceptable, but as a parent, I will fight legalization of these poisons and support stricter punishment for these purveyors of death.

pnewton
May 5th 2007, 07:58 AM
What do you all think of police??? My husband knew many that were crooked and sold things they stole while working. Then they would sell the drugs and things for extra money.

Also all the ones he knew cheated on their wives with women they picked up while working their shift.

I know NOT all police are bad but with what I know it is hard to trust any policemen.
I have seen both of the situations you described, but that is out of hundreds of officers. I have also known those who risk their life for the sake citizens they did not know, but were loyal to their job. If we are going to look at the extreme examples, let's remember both sides of the spectrum.

ThinkingFaith
May 5th 2007, 02:30 PM
Of course I do not believe in cutting off hands. But since the topic was our large number of inmates, we can not simply stop imprisoning criminals without some other without an alternative punishment. Probation is not a good alternative because almost all who are sent to prison have already had a chance, or two or three, chances at probation and have chosen to continue in crime.

I know some here wish that drugs were legal and selling crack and pot to kids in school were acceptable, but as a parent, I will fight legalization of these poisons and support stricter punishment for these purveyors of death.

So what are you proposing as an alternative?

OneStep
May 5th 2007, 03:37 PM
I am a firm believer that if drugs were legalized the death rate would increase tremendously.
There would have to be a limit on drugs available, like prescription meds and so would not stop all crimes that are related to drugs....there would still be theft's, death's and street trafficking.
As for our (US) tremendously high equation of prisoners due to drugs, guess you could say it helps that we are so open in our borders that trafficking is easily maintained.
Yes, we would have a lot of manufacturing going on within our borders, but we would be able to control this much easier if our borders were more secure.
We also have a lot of illegal immigrants in our prisons. Send them home, out of our prisons, seal up our borders and 'Voila" our prison numbers would decrease significantly.

Teke
May 5th 2007, 09:26 PM
Prisons are a huge boost for economy to the government. In the case of prisons, it would seem the government believes strongly in it's free enterprise, but when it comes to everyone else outside government, free enterprise is limited.

As for drugs, if you talk to medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who work with drug addicts. You will find they believe to stop drug addictions and crimes that are drug related, drugs should be legal. My sister, who's nursing expertise (40 yrs) is in this area confirms this.

The penal system is big business. It's all about the money.
Personally, I believe they could spread it a bit and address mental disorders which cause much of what happens to land someone in the penal system.

SammeyDW
May 5th 2007, 09:30 PM
The penal system is big business. It's all about the money.

Just like the rest of this world...:(

SIG
May 5th 2007, 09:38 PM
I have so much to say about this, I don't know where to begin. For now:

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." --Dostoevsky

punk
May 5th 2007, 09:42 PM
The original point is that the number of people in prisons in the US is ridiculous.

That either means that too many things are being treated as crimes that shouldn't (such as drugs), or that the sentences are getting to be too long.

Unfortunately being "tough on crime" has become too easy of a position for a politician to take, and politicians are passing laws about crime with an eye to furthering their own political careers rather than trying to do something to improve society.

One thing about the ridiculous web of criminal laws in this country is that it is next to impossible to go through a day in the US without technically committing a crime.

This means that the cops can arrest anyone they want if they are simply willing to follow that person around long enough.

It also means that if the cops want to lean on anyone they pretty much have grounds for bringing charges against anyone.

This is selective enforcement, and this is why black folks can be hastled by the cops whenever the cops want to, even if they are living no differently than the white folks in the neighborhood nextdoor.

OneStep
May 5th 2007, 10:24 PM
Sig...I thought you said YOU have much to say.....or did you mean you have much to quote?
Blessings

OneStep
May 5th 2007, 10:27 PM
Punk...you got that right about "One thing about the ridiculous web of criminal laws in this country is that it is next to impossible to go through a day in the US without technically committing a crime."
Does this remind anyone other than myself about all the ordinances and laws that were given in the OT...where NOBODY could actually keep the whole law.

Teke
May 5th 2007, 10:41 PM
The original point is that the number of people in prisons in the US is ridiculous.

That either means that too many things are being treated as crimes that shouldn't (such as drugs), or that the sentences are getting to be too long.
It's both in my area. A couple decades ago, marijuana in a small amount was a ticketed crime. Now the same carries a two year probation for a first offender. During that two years, the person will pay the local government for drug tests, classes and any other monies they feel are due.
My knowledge of this comes from the local teens that are being subjected to the penal system. My penal days ended some 3 decades ago, when they really started to see the money that could be gained from drug laws.
Shoot, even the police can take your property and sell it if it's drug related.




One thing about the ridiculous web of criminal laws in this country is that it is next to impossible to go through a day in the US without technically committing a crime.

:lol: Very true.
A recent law here is that a mother cannot smoke in the car with an infant. I wasn't even aware of such a law, they just banned public smoking in all businesses here lately, but an acquaintance was just ticketed for that law while smoking in her car with her kids.


This means that the cops can arrest anyone they want if they are simply willing to follow that person around long enough.

It also means that if the cops want to lean on anyone they pretty much have grounds for bringing charges against anyone.

:agree:


This is selective enforcement

I hadn't thought of that.:hmm:

pnewton
May 6th 2007, 02:05 AM
So what are you proposing as an alternative?I don't propose anything. I disagree with the original proposition that the prison system is a bad thing. If I were to advocate one change, though, is that prison life be much more harsh and restrictive, but balanced by shorter initial sentences.

pnewton
May 6th 2007, 02:23 AM
One thing about the ridiculous web of criminal laws in this country is that it is next to impossible to go through a day in the US without technically committing a crime.

This means that the cops can arrest anyone they want if they are simply willing to follow that person around long enough.
Am I the only one here that does not break the law everyday? The only law I even occasionlly break is speeding and that is not an arrestable offense (in Texas). Even at that I try to always obey traffic laws. As to the charge of selective enforcement, of course enforcement is limited only to crimes to which police have knowledge. For minor crimes, most occur only when a victim complains. But then minor crimes do not result in prison time.

I do see a mixed message. The idea that the law is so complex that any one can be arrested and the police always hassle those they want. Then the idea that prisons are full because of drugs. Does anyone in America seriously not know that drugs are illegal? What about drinking and driving? If there are some who may not know drug use, manufacturing and distribution is illegal, I better also warn them they can go to jail for drinking and driving, assault, etc.

Teke
May 6th 2007, 02:36 AM
Pnewton, I do not believe it is anyones intention of making drug abuse sound OK. 99.9% of drug abusers do so because they are self medicating themselves. They are uneducated and have psychological problems which should be addressed. Putting them in prison doesn't help the problem, if anything it makes it worse.

As to the kids, they can find natural products to get high if that is their aim (I recall some flower they can even get high from, but it can also kill you). They don't need anyone to sell it to them, and that likely wouldn't happen unless they were looking for it.
So whether it's the street world or the natural world, kids need to be educated to make educated choices.:)

pnewton
May 6th 2007, 03:07 AM
Pnewton, I do not believe it is anyones intention of making drug abuse sound OK. 99.9% of drug abusers do so because they are self medicating themselves. I do not know what you mean by self-medicating, but I see a lot of drug abusers. Those who do so for a medical reason are few and far between. The ones I know do it to get high.

Teke
May 6th 2007, 02:48 PM
I do not know what you mean by self-medicating, but I see a lot of drug abusers. Those who do so for a medical reason are few and far between. The ones I know do it to get high.

It's psychological.

OneStep
May 6th 2007, 03:19 PM
What I was referring to about agreeing with Punk and the idea of breaking "A" law every day is the fact there are so many laws that are in the books that have no purpose for today and yet they are not taken out of the books of law.
Some laws are so rediculous and yet meant something in the day they were made.
Actually...I would have to say, I really do not break "A" law every day because I do not go out of my house every day.
I was stretching the comment rather far I know, although it is true about too many laws and ordinances....just as it was in the OT

SammeyDW
May 6th 2007, 05:57 PM
A recent law here is that a mother cannot smoke in the car with an infant. I wasn't even aware of such a law, they just banned public smoking in all businesses here lately, but an acquaintance was just ticketed for that law while smoking in her car with her kids.


Although unlike some other laws on the books.
I can actually see the sense in that one.

The 'adult' has a choice whether or not to fill their lungs with cancer causing smoke.
The children / infant(s) not have that choice.
In a sense the 'adult' is making that choice for them and forcing the children / infant(s) to breath air that has been polluted with cancer causing smoke.
So this law is looking out for the safety and welfare of children / infant(s).

punk
May 6th 2007, 06:09 PM
Am I the only one here that does not break the law everyday? The only law I even occasionlly break is speeding and that is not an arrestable offense (in Texas). Even at that I try to always obey traffic laws. As to the charge of selective enforcement, of course enforcement is limited only to crimes to which police have knowledge. For minor crimes, most occur only when a victim complains. But then minor crimes do not result in prison time.

I do see a mixed message. The idea that the law is so complex that any one can be arrested and the police always hassle those they want. Then the idea that prisons are full because of drugs. Does anyone in America seriously not know that drugs are illegal? What about drinking and driving? If there are some who may not know drug use, manufacturing and distribution is illegal, I better also warn them they can go to jail for drinking and driving, assault, etc.

You don't jaywalk? I know someone who got 8 hours of community service for jaywalking.

Now here is the rub: Of course that person was involved in a political protest. So the police were of a mind to enforce *every* law that is ignored the rest of the time.

Another interesting crime: "disorderly conduct". This is the one they usually arrest protestors for. It can be practically anything. Yelling at a cop can be "disorderly conduct".

There always loitering laws, so if you are sitting on a sidewalk you can be arrested. And of course "loitering" can be defined pretty broadly, so standing on a corner waiting for a friend could well be "loitering".

Now the charge may well not stand up in court and the case may be dismissed, or the defendent found not guilty, but they were, nevertheless, arrested.

pnewton
May 6th 2007, 11:16 PM
You don't jaywalk? I know someone who got 8 hours of community service for jaywalking.
No, but then I do not live in a city with many pedestrian ordinances or opportunities to jaywalk. When I am in a large city I drive my wife nuts because I will always walk further to cross legally at an intersection.

In Texas the one cannot be indiscriminately arrested for disorderly conduct. There are specific things which qualify as disorderly conduct and those are the only things that the statute can be used for. Take your example. The police officer is the only one who can not have his "peace disturbed" by being cussed out or yelled at. If, however, one is hurling obscenities in the presence of other citizens, then the arrest can be made, and probably should be made.

Teke
May 7th 2007, 01:21 AM
Although unlike some other laws on the books.
I can actually see the sense in that one.

The 'adult' has a choice whether or not to fill their lungs with cancer causing smoke.
The children / infant(s) not have that choice.
In a sense the 'adult' is making that choice for them and forcing the children / infant(s) to breath air that has been polluted with cancer causing smoke.
So this law is looking out for the safety and welfare of children / infant(s).

As diversified as human beings are, I suppose one could find some sense in most anything if they wanted to. We also have an old law that a man can beat his wife with an antenna from a car (how many cars now have antenna's ;) ), they just made another one to take precedence over that one, it's called domestic violence.

What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? :dunno:
The government cannot make a safe environment for people. They can't even do a good job with a huge natural disaster in our country. I was here for Katrina, so that is first hand info.

SammeyDW
May 7th 2007, 03:46 AM
As diversified as human beings are, I suppose one could find some sense in most anything if they wanted to. We also have an old law that a man can beat his wife with an antenna from a car (how many cars now have antenna's ;) ), they just made another one to take precedence over that one, it's called domestic violence.

What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? :dunno:
The government cannot make a safe environment for people. They can't even do a good job with a huge natural disaster in our country. I was here for Katrina, so that is first hand info.


Well I did say unlike some other laws on the books.
And the one you name happens to be one of the :crazy: ones IMHO.

It sounds like one here that basically says that a man can't beat / attack /abuse his wife / kids with anything that is longer or wider then two fingers .

So poking / gouging their eyes out is legal but anything else is illegal? :dunno:

SIG
May 7th 2007, 04:13 AM
Some believe we can legislate sin away; more laws = less sin. The reality seems to be more laws = more prisons...

OneStep
May 7th 2007, 03:48 PM
Right back into the OT days...too many laws and too many ordinances....

SammeyDW
May 7th 2007, 05:39 PM
Well it was said that things would get worse before they got better.
I think we are seeing that 'play out' right before our eyes. :(
Thankfully there is MUCH BETTER to look forward to!:pp

rchivers
May 7th 2007, 08:57 PM
I do not know what you mean by self-medicating, but I see a lot of drug abusers. Those who do so for a medical reason are few and far between. The ones I know do it to get high.

If you ever got 'high' you would probably understand why people do it.

The self medicating thing is a fact. Take people with manic depression for example. The instances of drug abuse in that population is huge (something like 70%). These people are either so depressed that life does not seem worth living or they are going at mach 2. They know if they take substance A, life will become more pleasurable and seem to be worth living and if they take substance B it will slow them down enough so they can think straight.

What they really need is proper medical care so they are balanced and dont get into the states which cause them to drug seek/self-medicate.

MikeAD
Mar 5th 2008, 06:45 PM
Update: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23392251/

Article: for the first time in US History 1 out of every 100 citizens is in jail/prison.

Of interest from the article:


The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

Edit: This is of course 1 out of every 100 adults, not 1 out of every 100 people.