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Cue1*
May 22 2014, 04:36:31 AM
So this discussion has spawned inside the Millennials and Racism thread, and instead of derailing that thread further, I figure we should move to a new thread. Quoted below are the applicable posts from the other topic.




What's interesting is that while this is backed up by statistics, black people are generally prosecuted MUCH MUCH more harshly compared to white people in the United States for the same crimes. This is even when adjusted for factors like income, education, etc. There is arguably some racism here. The problem for me is that this is the problem that needs to be solved. Giving people a "leg up" in other areas doesn't do anything to address this problem.


It's a bit of a catch 22. Black people generally receive harsher punishments because the idea is that they are repeat offenders. The longer that they stay off the street, the better. They're considered repeat offenders because statistically they ARE. However, the reason that they're repeat offenders is often because they get harsh punishments, spend years in prison, and are unable to adapt to civilian life once they're out, so they turn back to crime, making the statistic true.


From the LEO side, part of the problem is that for many criminals, prison isn't a punishment. For a lot of gangs, prison is college, where they learn from their elders. For the more business oriented, prison is often just a different customer base. Worse yet, the people who might try to reform their lives after prison find it hard to do so because of the stigma involved for one, but mostly because they don't know how to return to being civilians. I know this is a bit of a side track, but this -much like anything else in the world worth discussing- has a lot of other things that loop into it.


It seems to me that the answer here is bloody simple: Fix our fucking prisons.


US prisons are not run as rehabilitation facilities, just as long duration holding pens and torture facilities. So yeah, no shit anyone going into one of those isn't going to improve. We need to adopt a treatment model for our prison system, but between the profitability of private prisons, and the lack of political will to see criminals as people, we'll never, ever actually do that.


-O







US prisons are not run as rehabilitation facilities, just as long duration holding pens and torture facilities. So yeah, no shit anyone going into one of those isn't going to improve. We need to adopt a treatment model for our prison system, but between the profitability of private prisons, and the lack of political will to see criminals as people, we'll never, ever actually do that.


-O


I gotta disagree with you there. The prisons aren't the problem. While we can argue whether they're intended to be rehabilitation or punitive centers is kind of moot. Rehabilitation is bullshit. Once a person does their time, they're still screwed in life. The ability to get a decent job is very small in the US. Access to a number of benefits regular citizens enjoy is gone. Crime re-occurs for many because it's the easier option to make ends meet.






US prisons are not run as rehabilitation facilities, just as long duration holding pens and torture facilities. So yeah, no shit anyone going into one of those isn't going to improve. We need to adopt a treatment model for our prison system, but between the profitability of private prisons, and the lack of political will to see criminals as people, we'll never, ever actually do that.


-O


I gotta disagree with you there. The prisons aren't the problem. While we can argue whether they're intended to be rehabilitation or punitive centers is kind of moot. Rehabilitation is bullshit. Once a person does their time, they're still screwed in life. The ability to get a decent job is very small in the US. Access to a number of benefits regular citizens enjoy is gone. Crime re-occurs for many because it's the easier option to make ends meet.


But this applies to every race.


As to Aea's original point. Can you point me to the race that has the culture that promotes crime as a positive in music, media, and dress?


Agree with Keorythe here. The prisons themselves are not the problem. Yes, they are holding pens, that's the intended function. Working as intended. Serious criminal offender is not on the streets to offend again. The issue is when they get out. Congrats, you did your time, now you're free to go, and we don't want to see you ever again. Except there's nothing to ease them into society. And even if there were, the rest of your life is a sigma. Good luck getting work in the first seven years when you have to report being a felon to any potential employer.


The prisons are not the sole problem, they are however a major part of the problem. Keorythe, why do you believe rehabilitation is bullshit? You've basically conceded every single point for why rehabilitation should be a focus. Felons have very limited employment opportunities after prison, though realistically they didn't have them before either. They tend to turn to crime because they can't make the system work for them, so they work outside it. Rehabilitation should be focused on teaching useful work and life skills to prevent them from simply going right back to crime to support themselves.


And Cue1, if you really just want criminals off the street and don't care about rehabilitating them, you may as well just go all the way to summary execution of the convicted. You've just written them off as ever being worthwhile members of society. Prison is the only point in that cycle where the state has significant ability to alter the individual, throwing that opportunity away because it's expensive, or difficult, or not 100% effective, or because you personally find the idea of (god forbid) helping criminals to be abhorrent is cowardly and pathetic.


-O





To be fair, if the War on Drugs retardedness ever finally stops, I think we would see a huge drop in the prison pops, especially among minorities.


But the prison companies and the guard unions are doing everything they possibly can to prevent that from happening.

Cue1*
May 22 2014, 04:40:54 AM
For organization sake, I'm going to double post to put my reply in.


And Cue1, if you really just want criminals off the street and don't care about rehabilitating them, you may as well just go all the way to summary execution of the convicted. You've just written them off as ever being worthwhile members of society. Prison is the only point in that cycle where the state has significant ability to alter the individual, throwing that opportunity away because it's expensive, or difficult, or not 100% effective, or because you personally find the idea of (god forbid) helping criminals to be abhorrent is cowardly and pathetic.

Ah yes, because wanting a violent criminal off the street for a significant amount of time is the same as wishing him dead. Gotcha.

For someone to reform, they have to WANT to reform. You can't pick up a three time felon, shove reform down his throat, and get an ideal model of society out of him; it just doesn't work that way. Which is why a lot of states have a three strikes rule. There are already a lot of programs to help the people who want to reform in prison. Christ, people can get their Bachelors in prison for pretty cheap. The issue isn't in prison, it's outside of it. So you've got a Bachelors in business, now what? No one will hire you, because you're a convicted felon. You can't make enough to live somewhere other than the slums, which surprise surprise, are crime infested. The fix needs to be something around the part after prison. Yes, there could be MORE opportunity for reform offered in prison, but you can't force it. For the people who don't want to reform, the best thing you can do is stop them from offending again, AKA keep them in prison as long as possible.


To be fair, if the War on Drugs retardedness ever finally stops, I think we would see a huge drop in the prison pops, especially among minorities.

But the prison companies and the guard unions are doing everything they possibly can to prevent that from happening.

I'm actually a pretty firm believer in decriminalizing a lot of the softer drugs. Not legalizing mind you, just stop making possession a long term prison sentence. Confiscate the drugs, give them a bill for what they owe in taxes on the drugs, fine them some money, and offer rehab programs. But putting a drug user in prison doesn't really help anything. The dealers shouldn't get any lighter punishment, so possession with intent to distribute shouldn't change, or maybe it should get even harsher.

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 05:26:15 AM
Ah yes, because wanting a violent criminal off the street for a significant amount of time is the same as wishing him dead. Gotcha.

You've just admitted that you see them as irredeemable, that you believe prisons' only function is to cage the criminal until they must be released by law and that having them off the streets for longer is better. The conclusion to that line of thought is that having them off the streets forever would be best, and since you've ruled out rehabilitation as an option, that leaves execution as the simplest, most assured method of keeping them off the streets forever. I'm just following your logic to its endpoint.


For someone to reform, they have to WANT to reform. You can't pick up a three time felon, shove reform down his throat, and get an ideal model of society out of him; it just doesn't work that way. Which is why a lot of states have a three strikes rule. There are already a lot of programs to help the people who want to reform in prison. Christ, people can get their Bachelors in prison for pretty cheap. The issue isn't in prison, it's outside of it. So you've got a Bachelors in business, now what? No one will hire you, because you're a convicted felon. You can't make enough to live somewhere other than the slums, which surprise surprise, are crime infested. The fix needs to be something around the part after prison. Yes, there could be MORE opportunity for reform offered in prison, but you can't force it. For the people who don't want to reform, the best thing you can do is stop them from offending again, AKA keep them in prison as long as possible.

And this is where you're incorrect. BF Skinner proved that if you control an organism's environment you absolutely can alter its decision-making process, and it will retain those trained behaviors. Humans are no different (In point of fact, behavioral psychology is dedicated to this.) Designing a prison system in such a way that it creates a reward/punishment schedule to break down undesirable behavior and encourage desirable behavior is absolutely doable. We usually couch this in terms like 'counseling' and 'therapy', but at its core, we're talking about behavioral modification via operant conditioning.

'They have to want to change' is a cop out. It ignores the fact that a prison is an entirely controlled environment. It's the easiest point in the whole criminal cycle to actually change people. Yes, in order to have maximum success it needs to coincide with changing the environments that prisoners are released into, but the scope of -that- set of changes is orders of magnitude larger. Changing prisons is the efficient point to start.

-O

Cue1*
May 22 2014, 05:47:20 AM
You've just admitted that you see them as irredeemable, that you believe prisons' only function is to cage the criminal until they must be released by law and that having them off the streets for longer is better. The conclusion to that line of thought is that having them off the streets forever would be best, and since you've ruled out rehabilitation as an option, that leaves execution as the simplest, most assured method of keeping them off the streets forever. I'm just following your logic to its endpoint.


You're following the logic as if it exists in a vacuum. Yes, I think that there are people who are irredeemable, absolutely. I also believe in justice, not vengeance; and that just because I believe a criminal to be irredeemable, doesn't mean they don't deserve the right to prove me wrong.


And this is where you're incorrect. BF Skinner proved that if you control an organism's environment you absolutely can alter its decision-making process, and it will retain those trained behaviors. Humans are no different (In point of fact, behavioral psychology is dedicated to this.) Designing a prison system in such a way that it creates a reward/punishment schedule to break down undesirable behavior and encourage desirable behavior is absolutely doable. We usually couch this in terms like 'counseling' and 'therapy', but at its core, we're talking about behavioral modification via operant conditioning.

'They have to want to change' is a cop out. It ignores the fact that a prison is an entirely controlled environment. It's the easiest point in the whole criminal cycle to actually change people. Yes, in order to have maximum success it needs to coincide with changing the environments that prisoners are released into, but the scope of -that- set of changes is orders of magnitude larger. Changing prisons is the efficient point to start.

-O

For how long does Dexter Morgan need to be conditioned before he's reformed? And I mean really reformed, not I'm-going-to-fake-it-so-I-can-get-out-and-get-back-to-what-I was-doing reformed. Skinners very own Pidgeon Project proves my point far better than his other research does yours.


Skinner complained "our problem was no one would take us seriously." The point is perhaps best explained in terms of human psychology (i.e., few people would trust a pigeon to guide a missile no matter how reliable it proved).

Keorythe
May 22 2014, 12:37:20 PM
For someone to reform, they have to WANT to reform. You can't pick up a three time felon, shove reform down his throat, and get an ideal model of society out of him; it just doesn't work that way. Which is why a lot of states have a three strikes rule. There are already a lot of programs to help the people who want to reform in prison. Christ, people can get their Bachelors in prison for pretty cheap. The issue isn't in prison, it's outside of it. So you've got a Bachelors in business, now what? No one will hire you, because you're a convicted felon. You can't make enough to live somewhere other than the slums, which surprise surprise, are crime infested. The fix needs to be something around the part after prison. Yes, there could be MORE opportunity for reform offered in prison, but you can't force it. For the people who don't want to reform, the best thing you can do is stop them from offending again, AKA keep them in prison as long as possible.

And this is where you're incorrect. BF Skinner proved that if you control an organism's environment you absolutely can alter its decision-making process, and it will retain those trained behaviors. Humans are no different (In point of fact, behavioral psychology is dedicated to this.) Designing a prison system in such a way that it creates a reward/punishment schedule to break down undesirable behavior and encourage desirable behavior is absolutely doable. We usually couch this in terms like 'counseling' and 'therapy', but at its core, we're talking about behavioral modification via operant conditioning.

'They have to want to change' is a cop out. It ignores the fact that a prison is an entirely controlled environment. It's the easiest point in the whole criminal cycle to actually change people. Yes, in order to have maximum success it needs to coincide with changing the environments that prisoners are released into, but the scope of -that- set of changes is orders of magnitude larger. Changing prisons is the efficient point to start.

-O


I called rehabilitation bullshit earlier because people continue to believe that the purpose of jail/prison is just that. However, there are few points in history where this has been the case. As Cue1 mentioned, there have been opportunities granted to help many re-enter society with at least some skills, but those are voluntary. People who put in the real effort will eventually eck out a decent living even hampered by their status as ex-convicts. The problem is again, we can't force that. When their sentence ends, they don't have to feel remorse, they don't have to care, and we can't keep them for any longer than the sentence placed on them.

Bringing up Skinner and/or Watson is odd since they operant conditioning reinforces exactly what was mentioned before. The positive or negative reinforcement only comes with an individual attempting to reach that positive marker. This has already been in use for decades with mixed success. The famous Attica riots were in part a result of this kind of conditioning.

This doesn't address the big issue of recidivism as a result of the restrictions and stigma put on them for the rest of their lives. If positive reinforcement included some sort of waiver that would expunge or seal records allowing an individual to re-enter society as a result of good behavior and participation then you would probably see a drop in repeat offenders. I have nothing to prove that right now as I need to sleep. I'll try to dig up some numbers tomorrow if someone doesn't already do that today.

Zeekar
May 22 2014, 01:58:18 PM
If rehabilitation doesn't work explain the vastly different rates between repeat offenders in the so called Scandinavian model compared to the USA model.

Straight Hustlin
May 22 2014, 03:40:41 PM
To be fair, if the War on Drugs retardedness ever finally stops, I think we would see a huge drop in the prison pops, especially among minorities.

But the prison companies and the guard unions are doing everything they possibly can to prevent that from happening.

I'm actually a pretty firm believer in decriminalizing a lot of the softer drugs. Not legalizing mind you, just stop making possession a long term prison sentence. Confiscate the drugs, give them a bill for what they owe in taxes on the drugs, fine them some money, and offer rehab programs. But putting a drug user in prison doesn't really help anything. The dealers shouldn't get any lighter punishment, so possession with intent to distribute shouldn't change, or maybe it should get even harsher.

I'm going to have to disagree. Decriminalization is largely bullshit, and is just a word that people throw around to make themselves seem forward thinking on the drug problem; when in reality little changes & your liberties have not be restored in the slightest. Until recreational drug use is on the same footing as recreational alcohol use, nothing has changed

Simple possession is rarely if ever a long prison sentence; and when it is, it is due to laws where someone pulled a number X out of their ass, and if you have more then X, you are obviously a horrible drug dealer type and you get charged with distribution. Consider how retarded that is, if I were to pick up what I smoke in a month in one go; the law requires that I be charged with intent to distribute, regardless if I do or not. Also just as retarded is containering; If I buy 2 eighths that come in separate bags; that's intent to distribute.

Also, if the government does not legalize possession & purchase of drugs, then they cannot assess a tax on them. Fines are one thing, but I am fairly sure it would be unconstitutional to assess tax on something you cannot legally purchase.

Prohibition has never worked in the past. All it did for alcohol was create a massive black market for the criminal enterprises to rule. It made good, honest, otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals for simply wanting to enjoy their liberties. It's done largely the same with drugs; except this time instead of rival gangs shooting up the streets of Chicago, the effect has gone global and there are private armies working for the cartels in central America.

The only sensible way forward is to legalize & start treating drug addicts less like hardened criminals and more like people with a dependency problem that's no different than alcoholism.

Frug
May 22 2014, 03:53:25 PM
If rehabilitation doesn't work explain the vastly different rates between repeat offenders in the so called Scandinavian model compared to the USA model.
Of course it works.

In the US you have crazy weird consecutive sentences dished out to people. Like you're behind bars for 100 years or more if you do a bunch of shit. I heard a Canadian lawyer talking about this a while back, and he pointed out that it's not done in Canada because prison is supposed to be rehabilitation, not punishment. I found it pretty compelling. In extreme cases where someone is really a monster, they label them a dangerous offender, and that gives the possibility of never releasing them (but they are still eligible for parole, afaik).

I found Norway's handling of Anders Breivik laudable, too. It was nowhere near the degree of pitchforks and torches calling for blood that you'd get in North America. Just put him in a box, treat him like a broken specimen of humanity and get on with your life without lowering yourself to barbarism. What did Norway lose by being civilized?


I'm going to have to disagree. Decriminalization is largely bullshit, and is just a word that people throw around to make themselves seem forward thinking on the drug problem; when in reality little changes & your liberties have not be restored in the slightest. Until recreation drug use is on the same footing as recreation alcohol use, nothing has changed
Doesn't it make a difference when you're trying to find a job? Muricans love to do background checks on people from what I hear. Pretty sure it'd make a difference to a lot of people. Take what you can get, why treat it like an all or none thing? Progress happens gradually. It's not legal in Canada but man it's totally different up here when nobody gets thrown in jail for smoking a joint.

Straight Hustlin
May 22 2014, 04:12:14 PM
I'm going to have to disagree. Decriminalization is largely bullshit, and is just a word that people throw around to make themselves seem forward thinking on the drug problem; when in reality little changes & your liberties have not be restored in the slightest. Until recreation drug use is on the same footing as recreation alcohol use, nothing has changed
Doesn't it make a difference when you're trying to find a job? Muricans love to do background checks on people from what I hear. Pretty sure it'd make a difference to a lot of people. Take what you can get, why treat it like an all or none thing? Progress happens gradually. It's not legal in Canada but man it's totally different up here when nobody gets thrown in jail for smoking a joint.

See here is the a big part of the problem; most people do not understand the fine differences between decriminalization & legalization. Decriminalized just means that instead of being charged with a criminal offence, you are charged with a civil offence. For example, in NJ alcohol related offenses are considered civil offences instead of criminal like most states; but you can be sure that an employer can and will hold them against you; and that's for something that is legalized.

Additionally with decriminalization, it still leaves the problem of biased application of the law that we already see. Except instead of white kids getting conditional discharges & black kids getting hit with possession & time; The white kid is going to be ignored, or just have his drugs taken; and the black kid is going to get hassled & fined.

Whereas with legalization, neither of these are issues. Under the laws that currently stand, an employer could not deny or fire you from a job for doing something that is legal, unless it affects your job performance or safety. There can be no biased application of the law, because there is no law being broken.

Frug
May 22 2014, 04:17:49 PM
I'm going to have to disagree. Decriminalization is largely bullshit, and is just a word that people throw around to make themselves seem forward thinking on the drug problem; when in reality little changes & your liberties have not be restored in the slightest. Until recreation drug use is on the same footing as recreation alcohol use, nothing has changed
Doesn't it make a difference when you're trying to find a job? Muricans love to do background checks on people from what I hear. Pretty sure it'd make a difference to a lot of people. Take what you can get, why treat it like an all or none thing? Progress happens gradually. It's not legal in Canada but man it's totally different up here when nobody gets thrown in jail for smoking a joint.

See here is the a big part of the problem; most people do not understand the fine differences between decriminalization & legalization. Decriminalized just means that instead of being charged with a criminal offence, you are charged with a civil offence. For example, in NJ alcohol related offenses are considered civil offences instead of criminal like most states; but you can be sure that an employer can and will hold them against you; and that's for something that is legalized.

Additionally with decriminalization, it still leaves the problem of biased application of the law that we already see. Except instead of white kids getting conditional discharges & black kids getting hit with possession & time; The white kid is going to be ignored, or just have his drugs taken; and the black kid is going to get hassled & fined.

Whereas with legalization, neither of these are issues. Under the laws that currently stand, an employer could not deny or fire you from a job for doing something that is legal, unless it affects your job performance or safety. There can be no biased application of the law, because there is no law being broken.

Are you telling me there's no difference between how long it takes or how hard it is to have a civil offense cleared from your record?

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 04:44:58 PM
I called rehabilitation bullshit earlier because people continue to believe that the purpose of jail/prison is just that. However, there are few points in history where this has been the case. As Cue1 mentioned, there have been opportunities granted to help many re-enter society with at least some skills, but those are voluntary. People who put in the real effort will eventually eck out a decent living even hampered by their status as ex-convicts. The problem is again, we can't force that. When their sentence ends, they don't have to feel remorse, they don't have to care, and we can't keep them for any longer than the sentence placed on them.

I'm sorry, I'm confused. Are you saying that rehabilitation is bullshit because prisons are not rehabilitation facilities, and therefore rehabilitation doesn't work? Because following your logic that's what I get.


Bringing up Skinner and/or Watson is odd since they operant conditioning reinforces exactly what was mentioned before. The positive or negative reinforcement only comes with an individual attempting to reach that positive marker. This has already been in use for decades with mixed success. The famous Attica riots were in part a result of this kind of conditioning.

Citation please? Attica, as far as I know, was not due to operant conditioning attempts but simple brutality and the treatment of prisons as torture facilities. I.e. the very things I'm arguing against. (Also, I suspect that you only have a very basic understanding of operant conditioning. If you're thinking that it requires brute physical feedback, you don't really understand it.)


This doesn't address the big issue of recidivism as a result of the restrictions and stigma put on them for the rest of their lives. If positive reinforcement included some sort of waiver that would expunge or seal records allowing an individual to re-enter society as a result of good behavior and participation then you would probably see a drop in repeat offenders. I have nothing to prove that right now as I need to sleep. I'll try to dig up some numbers tomorrow if someone doesn't already do that today.

I agree that prisons are not the only thing that needs to change, but you appear to be arguing for all or nothing. 'Well we can't change society and prisons at the same time, so why bother changing prisons?' essentially. My argument is that changing prisons in isolation will have a lower success rate than changing them in conjunction with a shift in society, but it will reduce recidivism over the current model of treating prisons as holding pens and torture facilities.

-O

Straight Hustlin
May 22 2014, 05:10:40 PM
I'm going to have to disagree. Decriminalization is largely bullshit, and is just a word that people throw around to make themselves seem forward thinking on the drug problem; when in reality little changes & your liberties have not be restored in the slightest. Until recreation drug use is on the same footing as recreation alcohol use, nothing has changed
Doesn't it make a difference when you're trying to find a job? Muricans love to do background checks on people from what I hear. Pretty sure it'd make a difference to a lot of people. Take what you can get, why treat it like an all or none thing? Progress happens gradually. It's not legal in Canada but man it's totally different up here when nobody gets thrown in jail for smoking a joint.

See here is the a big part of the problem; most people do not understand the fine differences between decriminalization & legalization. Decriminalized just means that instead of being charged with a criminal offence, you are charged with a civil offence. For example, in NJ alcohol related offenses are considered civil offences instead of criminal like most states; but you can be sure that an employer can and will hold them against you; and that's for something that is legalized.

Additionally with decriminalization, it still leaves the problem of biased application of the law that we already see. Except instead of white kids getting conditional discharges & black kids getting hit with possession & time; The white kid is going to be ignored, or just have his drugs taken; and the black kid is going to get hassled & fined.

Whereas with legalization, neither of these are issues. Under the laws that currently stand, an employer could not deny or fire you from a job for doing something that is legal, unless it affects your job performance or safety. There can be no biased application of the law, because there is no law being broken.

Are you telling me there's no difference between how long it takes or how hard it is to have a civil offense cleared from your record?

Moving the goal posts a bit, but I'll still hit it.

Yes there is a difference; but as there is no decriminalization law; it remains to be seen under what type of offence you would be charged.

Expungement in the US is weird and varies greatly from state to state. Some states do not recognize the expungement statutes of other states. In NJ the expungement period is 10 years for indictable offenses, 5 years for disorderly persons, and 2 years for municipal offenses. However there are certain situations where things cannot be expunged. For example if you have 4 or more disorderly persons offenses than you cannot get your record expunged. Traffic offenses cannot be expunged, so if you get CDS (possession in a vehicle) it will always be on your record.

And again things vary from state to state. If you had your record in NJ expunged, and moved to Texas; you would have to disclose your offences because Texas would not recognize the expungement.

Also expungement does not mean things disappear forever; they have just been removed from the state's public records, and they will release them only when court ordered. If you apply for a job with any municipal, state, federal, military or civilian law enforcement; you are required to disclose expunged offences under penalty of perjury.

Furthermore; decriminalization is almost always pertaining to simple possession only. It does not address the issues of paraphernalia, production, or transportation; nor does it address ridiculousness around packaging with respects to distribution.

That said, decriminalization is a surely a step in the right direction; but it falls short of addressing the root of the issue, leaves too much room for biased application of law, and still retains the impression that people who chose to do drugs recreationally are somehow worse members of society than people who choose to drink alcohol.

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 05:37:19 PM
That said, decriminalization is a surely a step in the right direction; but it falls short of addressing the root of the issue, leaves too much room for biased application of law, and still retains the impression that people who chose to do some drugs recreationally are somehow worse members of society than people who choose to do other, different drugs recreationally.

Alcohol is just another drug. One with better PR.

-O

Zeekar
May 22 2014, 06:03:23 PM
If rehabilitation doesn't work explain the vastly different rates between repeat offenders in the so called Scandinavian model compared to the USA model.
Of course it works.

In the US you have crazy weird consecutive sentences dished out to people. Like you're behind bars for 100 years or more if you do a bunch of shit. I heard a Canadian lawyer talking about this a while back, and he pointed out that it's not done in Canada because prison is supposed to be rehabilitation, not punishment. I found it pretty compelling. In extreme cases where someone is really a monster, they label them a dangerous offender, and that gives the possibility of never releasing them (but they are still eligible for parole, afaik).

I found Norway's handling of Anders Breivik laudable, too. It was nowhere near the degree of pitchforks and torches calling for blood that you'd get in North America. Just put him in a box, treat him like a broken specimen of humanity and get on with your life without lowering yourself to barbarism. What did Norway lose by being civilized?



Yes exactly thats my point but I want somebody who believes that it doesnt work to explain why it doesnt work when there is ample evidence of the opposite.

Cue1*
May 22 2014, 06:43:52 PM
Simple possession is rarely if ever a long prison sentence; and when it is, it is due to laws where someone pulled a number X out of their ass, and if you have more then X, you are obviously a horrible drug dealer type and you get charged with distribution. Consider how retarded that is, if I were to pick up what I smoke in a month in one go; the law requires that I be charged with intent to distribute, regardless if I do or not. Also just as retarded is containering; If I buy 2 eighths that come in separate bags; that's intent to distribute.


This alone proves you have no idea how the law works. Simple possession of a Schedule 1-4 is a class I felony. If you don't have any priors, that's still six months in jail, and it's still a felony, meaning the three strikes rule applies. There are people serving life right now for possession. If that's not a long prison sentence, I don't know what is. NC vs Wiggins proves your second statement wrong. Wiggins had 215 grams of pot on him, but the law ruled he didn't have enough to count as possession. NC vs Wilkins defendant had 1.89 grams of pot in three separate packages, and $1264 in cash beside it, but that's not intent to sell. Or NC vs Nettles where the defendant had five crack rocks individually packaged totaling to 1.2 grams but no money or weighing materials nearby, again, not intent to sell.


Just because you saw it on CSI or NYPD blue doesn't make it real(and for the record, GSR only lasts for four hours or so).


Also, if the government does not legalize possession & purchase of drugs, then they cannot assess a tax on them. Fines are one thing, but I am fairly sure it would be unconstitutional to assess tax on something you cannot legally purchase.

This is amazingly untrue. The government currently taxes all drugs, including those that are illegal to possess. Here's the FAQ for my state about it (http://www.dornc.com/taxes/usub/substance.html).


Prohibition has never worked in the past. All it did for alcohol was create a massive black market for the criminal enterprises to rule. It made good, honest, otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals for simply wanting to enjoy their liberties. It's done largely the same with drugs; except this time instead of rival gangs shooting up the streets of Chicago, the effect has gone global and there are private armies working for the cartels in central America.

The only sensible way forward is to legalize & start treating drug addicts less like hardened criminals and more like people with a dependency problem that's no different than alcoholism.

There's a difference between alcohol and meth. By your logic, we should make murder legal since we only tend to solve about ten percent of those cases. Tell me about all the good, honest, and otherwise law abiding citizens who do meth. There are drugs, then there are Drugs. One responsibility of a government is to protect it's citizens from habits that could make the citizen unproductive. Helpfully, this is in the governments own interest as well as the interests of the citizen. Hard drugs are a quick way to make a productive citizen unproductive.

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 06:58:24 PM
There's a difference between alcohol and meth. By your logic, we should make murder legal since we only tend to solve about ten percent of those cases. Tell me about all the good, honest, and otherwise law abiding citizens who do meth. There are drugs, then there are Drugs. One responsibility of a government is to protect it's citizens from habits that could make the citizen unproductive. Helpfully, this is in the governments own interest as well as the interests of the citizen. Hard drugs are a quick way to make a productive citizen unproductive.

Okay, I'll bite. Say hello to one of the most brilliant mathematicians of all time, as well as long-term amphetamine user, Paul Erdos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s)

Addiction isn't a crime, it's a disease. The sooner we stop treating the afflicted as criminals, the sooner we can address the problem in an effective manner. Drugs aren't the problem, addictive behavior is. By stigmatizing and criminalizing drug use, you force the very people who most need easy, confidential access to help away from every institution which could help them.

-O

Cue1*
May 22 2014, 07:55:15 PM
There's a difference between alcohol and meth. By your logic, we should make murder legal since we only tend to solve about ten percent of those cases. Tell me about all the good, honest, and otherwise law abiding citizens who do meth. There are drugs, then there are Drugs. One responsibility of a government is to protect it's citizens from habits that could make the citizen unproductive. Helpfully, this is in the governments own interest as well as the interests of the citizen. Hard drugs are a quick way to make a productive citizen unproductive.

Okay, I'll bite. Say hello to one of the most brilliant mathematicians of all time, as well as long-term amphetamine user, Paul Erdos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s)

Addiction isn't a crime, it's a disease. The sooner we stop treating the afflicted as criminals, the sooner we can address the problem in an effective manner. Drugs aren't the problem, addictive behavior is. By stigmatizing and criminalizing drug use, you force the very people who most need easy, confidential access to help away from every institution which could help them.

-O

Which is why I'm for decriminalizing, but not legalizing. Try to keep up.

Aea
May 22 2014, 08:00:33 PM
I feel this thread has rapidly transitioned from prison system to justice and sentencing.

My feeling on the decriminalization debate is that regardless of how far you feel it needs to go decriminalization is a step in the right direction. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and many other steps followed this path. Reduce sentencing -> Decriminalization -> Legalization.

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 08:06:06 PM
Which is why I'm for decriminalizing, but not legalizing. Try to keep up.

Which is just a fancy way of saying you still want it to be stigmatized, you just don't think the current level of stigma is the correct one. Try to think things through before you post.

-O

Aea
May 22 2014, 08:22:48 PM
Which is why I'm for decriminalizing, but not legalizing. Try to keep up.

Which is just a fancy way of saying you still want it to be stigmatized, you just don't think the current level of stigma is the correct one. Try to think things through before you post.

-O

This is an exceptionally idealistic all-or-nothing viewpoint.

Ophichius
May 22 2014, 08:26:28 PM
Which is why I'm for decriminalizing, but not legalizing. Try to keep up.

Which is just a fancy way of saying you still want it to be stigmatized, you just don't think the current level of stigma is the correct one. Try to think things through before you post.

-O

This is an exceptionally idealistic all-or-nothing viewpoint.

If Cue was arguing for decriminalization as the first step to legalization, I could see that as a valid criticism.

-O

Straight Hustlin
May 22 2014, 08:33:40 PM
snip

Firstly you know that you are stating North Carolina state law, and that has no bearing anywhere outside your states borders.

Which Wiggins case are you referring to, Rae Lamar or Meco Tarnell? In any event Lamar's (http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2003/020959-1.htm) case does not even cite possession of drugs as a charge against him, only that the charges against him (conspiracy to commit murder) were due to because of his refusal to finance a drug deal for his accomplices. Meco Tarnells case does not reference drugs at all.

For Wilkins, please provide me with a first name or a docket number, as there are apparently a fuck ton of Wilkins in NC.

And again; just because these are how cases have played out in NC, that doesn't mean it applies anywhere else.

Firstly in NJ simple possession (under 50 grams) is a disorderly person offence, not a felony. Secondly there is no mandatory minimum sentencing with respect to possession in NJ, whether under or in excess of 50 grams. All first time offenders have the option of going through Pre-trial intervention. PTI is essentially probation where instead of reporting to someone, you just have to stay out of trouble for the duration. When enrolling your record is sealed, and when successfully completed the arrest is expunge from your record.

Also the criteria here for establishing intent to distribute is very simple, Possessing multiple packets, empty baggies, a scale, or any other similar paraphernalia is sufficient to bring forth a charge. Now a good lawyer can get you off on something like you bought two eights that came in separate bags, but the state is still going to bring forth the charge.

For your point on taxation; North Carolina's tax is pretty interesting and I am surprised no one has challenged it, as it is no different then the Crack Tax that was introduced in Tennessee which was found to be unconstitutional and was repealed in 2009. The primary purpose of these laws is to create a frame work which law enforcement used to repossess and sell "ill-gotten goods" from convicted drug offenders.

And to your final point; How bout this; There are guns, and then there are GUNS, tell me what good law abiding citizen needs an automatic rifle, or handgun. After all if a government's interest is protecting its citizens, and keeping them productive, well there is nothing less protected or productive than dead citizens.

Also to directly answer your question about all the good law abiding citizens on meth; you would be shocked how many medications are wholly or in part, made from methamphetamines. You can in fact go to your doctor and get a script for it for ADHD or weight loss. Yet most cancer patients cant even smoke a fucking joint without being in legal peril.

Aea
May 22 2014, 08:48:32 PM
I know Texas requires a tax stamp for illegal drugs, they'll get you for tax evasion too, and this is pretty common.

Also I think it bears talking about minimum sentencing guidelines for drug possession which can be egregiously bad or often entirely abused by prosecutors.

Here's an example on the federal level:

http://i.imgur.com/un8Ay3k.png

So to receive a MANDATORY [/b]MINIMUM[/b] sentence of 5 years for the FIRST offense you need to be in possession of one of the following substances:

100 g+ heroin
500 g+ cocaine
28 g+ crack
10 g+ PCP (pure) or 100 g+ PCP (mixture)
1 g+ LSD
100 kg+ marijuana or 100+ marijuana
plants
5 g+ meth (pure) or 50 g+ meth (mixture)

What's egregious about this is that not all substances are treated equal. 500g of cocaine will make roughly 1000g of crack cocaine, but only 28g of crack cocaine (very commonly used by minority communities over cocaine) is required.

Meth is apparently considered a cardinal sin of the greatest level since only 5g gets you locked up for life. The LSD one is the most egregious of all. 1g of pure LSD would mean 5,000+ doses. But the justice system considers the storage mechanism to be part of the drug. Have a dozen doses on blotter paper and you'll get a slap on the wrist. Have a dozen doses in a tincture and you're going to prison for a decade.

Also note that the law states "intent to distribute" but the bar for intent is hilariously hilariously low. Getting caught with any amount over a couple doses will likely get you intent to distribute even if you had no intention of over selling or distributing.

More Data http://famm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Chart-All-Fed-MMs-NW.pdf

Frug
May 22 2014, 08:54:08 PM
If rehabilitation doesn't work explain the vastly different rates between repeat offenders in the so called Scandinavian model compared to the USA model.
Of course it works.

...



Yes exactly thats my point but I want somebody who believes that it doesnt work to explain why it doesnt work when there is ample evidence of the opposite.

I think Cue1 is the only person who's said that prisons should be "nothing but holding pens" until their time of release, which is quite baffling. Not because of some 1900's stuff citing BF Skinner that supposes people are anything like dogs, but because human beings are generally social creatures and most of us respond to our social environment in a way that changes our beliefs, desires and opinions.

I'd like to see him attempt to defend that, too. Cue? You say that you can't "shove reform down their throats" which is fine, of course you can't reprogram people. But do you actually think that the environment people are kept in doesn't shape what they believe and want? Do you actually think that if you take a million people and shove them into jails that are run like holding pens, that there will be no difference between shoving them into an environment that attempts to 'reform' them (half the time this will mean giving them emotional support)?

People don't stop learning just because they're out of school, never mind how many of them never did finish school.

Sacul
May 24 2014, 12:46:32 PM
For this discussion i recommend Michel Foucalts 'discipline and punishement'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

Keorythe
May 27 2014, 08:29:30 AM
For this discussion i recommend Michel Foucalts 'discipline and punishement'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

Would you like to give some context as to why?

The author in question was born into a rich well off family, was an eccentric douche who rejected outside labels and made up his own, appeared to have little to no actual hands on study outside of student protests, was French, and died of AIDS. His entire history shows his scientific methods to be of questionable validity but supported by friends on an emotional basis.

The criticism section in that link you posted is fairly big and brings up some serious flaws.

Sacul
May 27 2014, 04:48:14 PM
For this discussion i recommend Michel Foucalts 'discipline and punishement'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

Would you like to give some context as to why?

The author in question was born into a rich well off family, was an eccentric douche who rejected outside labels and made up his own, appeared to have little to no actual hands on study outside of student protests, was French, and died of AIDS. His entire history shows his scientific methods to be of questionable validity but supported by friends on an emotional basis.

The criticism section in that link you posted is fairly big and brings up some serious flaws.

I like how you add all those ad-homenims in there.

Foucalt has been majorly influential in the debate on punishment vs. rehabilitation (even in the US in the seventies and eighties). I usually dont like wiki pages but its all in there. You guys were discussing his points and i added a view point that might actually help the discussion but you opted to get all uppity because he is french, had aids, was rich etc etc.

Good going you dumb ignorant american fuck.

Frug
May 27 2014, 06:27:26 PM
For this discussion i recommend Michel Foucalts 'discipline and punishement'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

Would you like to give some context as to why?

The author in question was born into a rich well off family, was an eccentric douche who rejected outside labels and made up his own, appeared to have little to no actual hands on study outside of student protests, was French, and died of AIDS. His entire history shows his scientific methods to be of questionable validity but supported by friends on an emotional basis.

The criticism section in that link you posted is fairly big and brings up some serious flaws.

You're funny because you whine about ad hominems when anyone says something mean to you, and then you rile against one of the most influential figures in social and literary theory with schoolyard insults.

I know someone like Foucault is so antithetical to your worldview it would never enter your realm of thinking, but the way you went about this is pathetic.

Keorythe
May 28 2014, 12:21:04 AM
For this discussion i recommend Michel Foucalts 'discipline and punishement'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

Would you like to give some context as to why?

The author in question was born into a rich well off family, was an eccentric douche who rejected outside labels and made up his own, appeared to have little to no actual hands on study outside of student protests, was French, and died of AIDS. His entire history shows his scientific methods to be of questionable validity but supported by friends on an emotional basis.

The criticism section in that link you posted is fairly big and brings up some serious flaws.

You're funny because you whine about ad hominems when anyone says something mean to you, and then you rile against one of the most influential figures in social and literary theory with schoolyard insults.

I know someone like Foucault is so antithetical to your worldview it would never enter your realm of thinking, but the way you went about this is pathetic.

Yes, I did toss in a few ad's in there due to the abrupt way that Sacul toss in this guy as a reference. Ok, he's an influential and really controversial figure. Some of my points still stand against him, and I don't mean the French and AIDS part.

I see I've hit a nerve with you two and yet you've still contributed little about this guy and why I should read his book. Sacul, posting a link to a complex topic that spans into areas that have no bearing on an argument isn't really doing much here. If you have a book, point of view, or ideal that you want to toss in the ring, then add context because listing a book isn't adding a point. In this case you want to probably say something a bit about structuralism or explain how the book addresses the debate since not everyone has read it and not everyone is going to do so. The wiki post appears to have two paragraphs relevant to the discussion at hand. Would you like to expand on that? Are you making an argument towards a "delinquent class" or are you saying that US prisons are (dis)similar to the Panoptic prison design noted by Foucault?

Itiken
May 28 2014, 12:39:33 AM
You should probably read the book because you come across constantly as a pretty dumb, ignorant hick racist in every post you make and by doing so you may, just may educate yourself.

(The good part of me hopes you are the internet personality of an educated human btw).

Hast
May 28 2014, 05:42:19 PM
ok, thats enough with the personal insults from both sides.

Sacul
May 28 2014, 07:49:27 PM
ok, thats enough with the personal insults from both sides.

Yes Sir! Good to see you Sir!
;)

Cue1*
May 29 2014, 04:47:18 AM
Which is why I'm for decriminalizing, but not legalizing. Try to keep up.

Which is just a fancy way of saying you still want it to be stigmatized, you just don't think the current level of stigma is the correct one. Try to think things through before you post.

-O

This is an exceptionally idealistic all-or-nothing viewpoint.

If Cue was arguing for decriminalization as the first step to legalization, I could see that as a valid criticism.

-O

Not sure why what I argue changes your viewpoint. It's all or nothing, and very idealistic. I don't think there should be any more stigma attached to pot use than there is alcohol use, other than the fact one is legal to possess, the other gets confiscated. Addiction is a disease, but as has been proven time and time again, the first step is admitting a problem, and you can't just throw people into rehab and hope they change.


Firstly you know that you are stating North Carolina state law, and that has no bearing anywhere outside your states borders.

~

And again; just because these are how cases have played out in NC, that doesn't mean it applies anywhere else.

Firstly in NJ simple possession (under 50 grams) is a disorderly person offence, not a felony. Secondly there is no mandatory minimum sentencing with respect to possession in NJ, whether under or in excess of 50 grams. All first time offenders have the option of going through Pre-trial intervention. PTI is essentially probation where instead of reporting to someone, you just have to stay out of trouble for the duration. When enrolling your record is sealed, and when successfully completed the arrest is expunge from your record.

Also the criteria here for establishing intent to distribute is very simple, Possessing multiple packets, empty baggies, a scale, or any other similar paraphernalia is sufficient to bring forth a charge. Now a good lawyer can get you off on something like you bought two eights that came in separate bags, but the state is still going to bring forth the charge.

Let's cut this shit off right here. Every state has it's own laws, and then the feds have theirs. They are ALL totally independent, there's no discussion to be had if you want to talk about every fucking state's different laws.

With that said, the vast majority of law in the US is built on case law, which is exactly what I've given you. When someone takes a case to appeals court, they bring forward case law from anywhere that's applicable. So no, it's not completely irreverent.

My point is that there are people currently serving hard time for possession. Just because your state doesn't have laws on it, doesn't disprove my point.


Which Wiggins case are you referring to, Rae Lamar or Meco Tarnell? In any event Lamar's (http://www.aoc.state.nc.us/www/public/coa/opinions/2003/020959-1.htm) case does not even cite possession of drugs as a charge against him, only that the charges against him (conspiracy to commit murder) were due to because of his refusal to finance a drug deal for his accomplices. Meco Tarnells case does not reference drugs at all.

For Wilkins, please provide me with a first name or a docket number, as there are apparently a fuck ton of Wilkins in NC.
http://law.justia.com/cases/north-carolina/court-of-appeals/1977/7630sc985-1.html
https://www.courtlistener.com/ncctapp/dfuK/state-v-wilkins/



And to your final point; How bout this; There are guns, and then there are GUNS, tell me what good law abiding citizen needs an automatic rifle, or handgun. After all if a government's interest is protecting its citizens, and keeping them productive, well there is nothing less protected or productive than dead citizens.

Gun ownership does not cause loss of production. I've owned a gun for almost a decade now, still productive member of society. Or if you'd like to go by just pure numbers, 30,000 people die in the US every year due to guns. 20k or so of those are suicides, 10k are homicides. Drugs kill 38,000 every year. This seems somewhat close until you look at the 7.5 MILLION people who meet the clinical definition of dependence in 2012 between pot, pain killers, and cocaine. Add in the 529,000 regular meth users, and you're comparing an illegal and challenging to tax industry to a heavily taxed and regulated one at a rate of something like 260 to 1.

References (http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states) before (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends) you (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/drug-overdose-deaths_n_3843690.html) ask. (http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/methamphetamine-facts)

Also to directly answer your question about all the good law abiding citizens on meth; you would be shocked how many medications are wholly or in part, made from methamphetamines. You can in fact go to your doctor and get a script for it for ADHD or weight loss. Yet most cancer patients cant even smoke a fucking joint without being in legal peril.

My apologies that you can't smoke a joint if you have cancer, but use of medication made from meth does not equal addicted to meth. I've had Oxycontin for pain before, doesn't mean I'm a heroin addict. Chemical changes in a drug change the effects of a drug. Arguing two drugs are related makes them equal is about as stupid as asking for a ban on steel because guns are made of steel.


Cue1

Five fucking characters and people still can't get my name right. :(


I think Cue is the only person who's said that prisons should be "nothing but holding pens" until their time of release, which is quite baffling. Not because of some 1900's stuff citing BF Skinner that supposes people are anything like dogs, but because human beings are generally social creatures and most of us respond to our social environment in a way that changes our beliefs, desires and opinions.

I'd like to see him attempt to defend that, too. Cue? You say that you can't "shove reform down their throats" which is fine, of course you can't reprogram people. But do you actually think that the environment people are kept in doesn't shape what they believe and want? Do you actually think that if you take a million people and shove them into jails that are run like holding pens, that there will be no difference between shoving them into an environment that attempts to 'reform' them (half the time this will mean giving them emotional support)?

People don't stop learning just because they're out of school, never mind how many of them never did finish school.

Actually, what I said was that they're currently being used as holding pens, and that that's their intended function. Working as intended. Doesn't mean it can't be improved to a better system, but you can't go just letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry back out on the street because they claim to have reformed their ways.


Cue

See!? You got it right that time!

Ophichius
May 29 2014, 04:56:46 AM
Not sure why what I argue changes your viewpoint. It's all or nothing, and very idealistic. I don't think there should be any more stigma attached to pot use than there is alcohol use, other than the fact one is legal to possess, the other gets confiscated. Addiction is a disease, but as has been proven time and time again, the first step is admitting a problem, and you can't just throw people into rehab and hope they change.

Ah. I've run into this problem before. I'm arguing for how things should be. So yes, I will be idealistic. Ask me if I've got a roadmap to get there, and the answer will be "If I had a feasible roadmap, would I be on some forum arguing about it?"

If I understand your argument correctly however, it still doesn't make much sense. You want pot and alcohol to be exactly the same except...one's legal and one's not? Why? Can you give me an actual justification for why legalizing pot would be bad in that scenario?

-O

Aea
May 29 2014, 05:45:27 AM
I think he's posting a fact not making an argument for how it should be.

Cue1*
May 29 2014, 06:06:31 AM
I think he's posting a fact not making an argument for how it should be.

Actually, I merged two sentences and apparently lost a paragraph in between the two. Not sure how that happened, my fault.

I don't have any issues with legalizing pot, other than some minor issues with how to handle lace. I have an issue with legalizing heroin, meth, and similar 'hard' drugs. I think that sending someone to prison for possession is stupid though. Stigma is mostly applies by society, change the punishment, the stigma will follow. Do people think you're a shitbag for getting a speeding ticket? Because that's what I'm suggesting as punishment for possession.