“Shocks the Conscience” August 15, 2012Posted by rogerhollander in Criminal Justice, Education.
Tags: abby zimet, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, education, juveniles, mississippi, private prisons, roger hollander
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08.15.12 – www.commondreams.org
by Abby Zimet
A horrific story out of Meridian, Miss. – and evidently a lot of other places – where police act as a “taxi service” for a school-to-prison pipeline that shuttles mostly black kids to jail for “offenses” like dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect. After months of investigation, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division found the police, Youth Court and Youth Services systematically violated the rights of mostly black and disabled children by arresting them without probable cause and sending them into a juvenile justice system where “existing due process protections are illusory and inadequate.”
“The systematic disregard for children’s basic constitutional rights by agencies with a duty to protect and serve these children betrays the public trust.“
Tags: alcohol industry, beer industry, big pharma, decriminalization, drugs, for profit prisons, lee fang, legalization, marijuana, marijuana prohibition, pharmaceutical corporations, police unions, prison guards, private prisons, roger hollander, war on drugs
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Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy.
There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past.
However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books:
1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide.
2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes.
3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.
4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.”
5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.”
RELATED: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs
Tags: allen roland, federal inmates, for-profit prison, geo group, human rights, prison abuse, prison guards, prison industrial complex, prison industry, prison racism, prisoner abuse, prisoners, prisoners rights, private prisons, roger hollander, u.s. prisoners, Undocumented Immigrants, us prisoners
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March 1st, 2009 ,
Two months before the fraud charges, a study by the Seattle University School of Law and the nonprofit group OneAmerica reported that conditions at the Tacoma facility violated both international and domestic laws that grant detained immigrants the right to food, due process and humane treatment.
Federal immigration officials have the authority to incarcerate undocumented immigrants, asylum-seekers, and even lawful permanent residents while they await hearings with immigration judges or appeal decisions. ICE reports the average length of stay is 30 days, but detentions can last years, according to a November 2008 ICE fact sheet.”
Tags: abolish private prisons, ahma daeus, constitution, Criminal Justice, for profit prisons, judicial system, justice, justice system, prison industrial complex, prison industry, prison privitization, private prisons, roger hollander, slavery, supreme court
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“Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere”
Vision Without Action Is A Daydream. Action Without Vision A Nightmare.
Private Prison as Stimulus April 6, 2009Posted by rogerhollander in Criminal Justice, Economic Crisis, Human Rights, Immigration.
Tags: corrections corporation, Criminal Justice, dream act, Economic Crisis, geo, immigrant prisons, immigrants, immigration laws, immigration policies, matt kelley, prison industry, prison profits, private prisons, roger hollander, slave labor, warehousing immigrants
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Matt Kelley, http://immigration.change.org/blog
Published April 02, 2009 @ 05:00AM PST
[Change.org's Criminal Justice blogger Matt Kelley guest blogs here today about the consequences of privatization and proliferation of immigration detention. Check out Matt's blog today for my guest post there about the DREAM Act. - DB]
Cities and towns from coast to coast are struggling to stay afloat in this recession and they’re grasping for any new industry that will move to town - including one that profits from locking up immigrants, private prisons. It’s sad that the warehousing of immigrants is one of few stable industries in the United States today, but it’ll stay that way as long a cycle of profit surrounds our immigration policy.
Local governments are tripping over one another to get a piece of the private prison pie. Two news stories this week – from Baldwin County, Georgia and Morton, Mississippi – make plain the unapologetic drive of municipal governments to become prison towns to create jobs and industry when manufacturing and other industries are dying and moving away. The destructive immigration policies that siphon thousands of people into these prisons are viewed as nothing more than fodder in an economic machine.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of locking up undocumented immigrants, we could focus on enabling hard-working people to pursue their dreams and stimulate the economy through work and innovation rather than through prison profits.
Today on the Criminal Justice blog, Dave Bennion writes about the promise of the DREAM Act, which – as you know – would allow undocumented immigrants to pursue legal status through college education or military service. Passage of the DREAM Act would be a big step in the right direction, for an America that should allow us to pursue our personal and professional goals. But until progressive reforms like this take root, we’re dangling the American Dream before the eyes of millions, only to divert them to being warehoused in our private prisons, working and living for someone else’s profit.