Grievance 20: Curtail the Prison Industrial Complex

BE IT RESOLVED THAT WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the People, shall elect 878 Delegates on the weekend of June 1st, 2012, and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY the week of July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia to prepare and ratify a PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES on behalf of the Ninety-Nine Percent of the People of the United States to be served upon the United States Congress, United States Supreme Court and President of the United States prior to November 6, 2012.

HELP DRAFT THIS HISTORIC DOCUMENT! The final version of the PETITION FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES, is to be written and ratified solely by the elected Delegates, and may or may not include the following grievance currently suggested by the 99% Declaration Working Group. We are asking you, America's 99%, to inform the representative Delegates and participate in the drafting of the final petition by signing on each grievance you support and if you wish, please add your comments below. Click here to see the full list of grievances.

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Curtail the Private Prison Industrial ComplexAccording to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (“BJS”), in 2010, the number of adults under supervision of correctional authorities in the United States was 7.1 million at year-end.

This is more than any other country including India, Russia and China. Of these adults, 2,266,800 were in jails or prisons; also more than any other country.

The same source reports that between 1980 and 2009, the adult arrest rate for drug possession or use {excluding illegal sales} grew 138%. Hence, of these 2.26 million people in our prisons and jails, approximately 27% are in custody for non-sale drug offenses and about 16% of all inmates suffer from mental health disorders.  

The incarceration of these millions of people for non-violent offenses is part of a booming private monopoly . The vast majority of arrests of young people under age 21 are for non-violent drug offenses, often resulting in prolonged incarceration where youth are housed in the adult jail population pending hearings and trials in over-burdened courts.

It is clear that the mass warehousing of people who suffer from the disease of addiction and mental or emotional disorders is immoral and counter-productive except for the privatized prison industry, government agencies and contractors that either profit or justify their annual budgets from incarcerating non-violent drug offenders. The so-called “War on Drugs” is a war on young people, minorities and the poor who cannot acquire adequate legal representation because the criminal justice system is overwhelmed  and understaffed.

The elderly also disappear into these modern dungeons; the BJS reports the number of sentenced federal and state prisoners who are age 65 or older grew 94 times faster than the total sentenced prisoner population between 2007 and 2010.

Non-violent drug offenders who do not engage in drug sales, and those with mental health issues must be treated rather than imprisoned and adjudicated through specialized drug and mental health courts. The cost of drug or mental health treatment can be as low as $1,100 per year while the cost of incarceration can be as high as $70,000 per year. Drug and mental health courts must offer multiple alternatives to incarceration, support, treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment for profit. Private prison corporations play on public fears and rely on campaign contributions to politicians as a quid pro quo to authorize the building of jails and prisons at taxpayer expense.

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Sarah Olds signed 2012-04-07 01:28:32 -0700
Jamie Mitchem signed 2012-04-03 22:55:48 -0700
Jasper Blake signed 2012-04-03 11:53:09 -0700
Deanie Gilbert signed 2012-04-02 16:20:25 -0700
Skinner Grant signed 2012-04-01 19:23:46 -0700
Ryan Hebert signed via Ryan Hebert 2012-03-30 17:03:56 -0700
Carol Brouillet signed 2012-03-28 23:24:34 -0700
Kelly Richins signed via Kay Finley 2012-03-26 01:58:10 -0700
darryl siemer signed 2012-03-25 16:26:47 -0700
Mary Odins signed 2012-03-25 14:43:44 -0700
Jeffrey McCollim signed 2012-03-24 06:36:48 -0700
Jesse McFarland signed 2012-03-23 21:10:58 -0700
Jesse McFarland signed 2012-03-23 21:10:06 -0700
Rachel Jacobs signed 2012-03-22 19:15:59 -0700
Canidate for District 4
Ingrid Voget signed 2012-03-21 20:33:38 -0700
T. Lester signed 2012-03-21 05:19:45 -0700
The prison hegemony has become another way for politicians to get rich off of contributions and favors by the industry. Corporations running them are driven by keeping prisons as full as allowable.

Odd how the US has such a high prison population – more so than most of the industrialized world. That doesn’t sound all that free to me.

Notice the demographics of prison populations and then consider that legalized racism is more than just a concept.
Joshua- Aaron signed 2012-03-20 06:33:50 -0700
They incarcerate anyone they can so that they can bond the case, turn that bond and your signature into a negotiable instrument and securitize them. They then basically launder the money through Wall Street and back to themselves through the CRIS ( Court Registry Investment System ) The Prisons, Courts and local Law enforcement work together to rob the people!

Especially Traffic Court! And Licensing is also a fraud. There is not one law that says you have to have a license unless you operate a vehicle for profit.
William Demers signed 2012-03-18 10:35:50 -0700
Peredwyth Oakenring signed 2012-03-16 06:31:14 -0700
Taran Barber signed 2012-03-15 18:12:22 -0700
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