Why is the jail industry growing when violent crime has been dropping for decades?
Why is the cost of incarceration so high? How do we solve the criminal justice system problem? How do we reverse the trends in mass incarceration? How does your local County manage its justice system? Why are jails proliferating?
These have been the questions plaguing me as I examined the economic, civic and social destruction of the middle class, of American freedom, of the entrepreneurial class of business? This lecture series is about answering those questions – for mass incarceration is a societal disease that must be diagnosed, diagrammed and re-programmed if our middle class is to survive, and if our lower classes are to recover.
The good news is that the problem can be fixed at the local level, for that is where the problem starts – at the County jail level.
In 2016 the United States jailed 11.7 million people across the nation. Mostly for minor violations! 631,000 people entered the prison system. These are TWO distinct systems. Yet we act like they are all the same. They are not.
These 11.7 million people who were jailed were not violent. They were not dangerous. They were hurt by circumstances, stress and accidents and they needed help. Instead, they were ALL severely traumatized by the process of an out of control system. And, there is little research done on the mental health impacts of being held hostage by our protectors.
So I had to do the research myself. I did it. This series of talks is about the results.
I have learned that people who have never intended to harm anyone get jailed and held for days without being convicted of a crime. Accused? Yes. Punished? Yes. Lives destroyed as a result? Yes. Thrown into poverty for life and their whole family emotionally harmed? Yes. Were they guilty? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It depends on how you measure that. In many cases they were jailed for violating a regulation, or a bureaucratic paper law…not for being violent criminals.
Ironically, people working inside the system – who work in court houses or patrol cars or jails – will tell you they are “criminals” because the habits of the system sets it up that way.
And yes, technically eventually most people plead out just to get out of jail. Why? Some of it is because they can’t pay bail. Mostly it is because there is a pre-assumption of guilt by the system that sets them up, and then there is no way out. The way the system works is that people, at the point of a 911 call, get arrested and jailed because of fear of liability by the people who are employed by the system. Once jailed, the system’s processes pushes them through that system – extracting money and punishing them so harshly they plead out because it is the only way to get out of the system.
By then, lives, families, jobs, and society is broken. Unfortunately this entire system is out of control and broken.
It is time for change. The good news is that we can change it. We can do it locally. We must do it if we want to remain a “free” people. And he answers are available. Come join us and learn different places where you can take action.