The us Prison System how it Fails

The United States has the highest number of prisoners per capita in the world with China following a distant second with about 18% as many per capita. That indicates that the United States has some pervasive social issues of which the conviction and incarceration of citizens, legal and illegal aliens is a symptom.

Below are a few basic statistic about how many people are in prison or on parole or probation, and also the annual cost.  60 billion dollars annual cost of corrections

We might wonder if the nation would be better off if Al Gore hadn’t selected Senator Joseph Lieberman to be his Vice-Presidential choice in the 2000 election. No democratic candidate that was elected since Kennedy failed to pick a popular running mate-Lieberman had no national constituency. Such questions about what might have been, of how trillions might not have been spent on foreign wars and incompetent nation rebuilding, disbelief of global warming and so forth are interesting points for analysis. What about the lives lost by a society that sends people to jail and creates a population of maybe 15 or 20 million that have been part of a serious prison culture and never achieve a better potential for good citizenship? What can be done?

Criminal activities tend to coincide with bad education, poverty and illegal controlled substance use. Sure there are pros from all walks of life that commit crimes as well, yet the statistics show that blacks have about 700% more people in jail than whites and 250% more than Hispanics. With the smaller population of blacks there percentage of criminal activity is quite high-and there is a semi-official gansta rap popular music culture to reinforce the social environment of poverty, crime and mal-education.

The United States is something of a mass production consumer society today with thermodynamic waste as a general broad principal. That is itself environmentally criminal and difficult to correct. Posturing to being socially correct is quite important-those on the losers track are often aware they have few real opportunities for alternative and prosperous action. Individual character does matter-yet it is important to be aware that character can be formed in positive social environments that reinforce good conduct as well as in  negative social environments that dispense aversive reinforcement. Prisoners tend to be treated as disposable and perhaps re-conditioned material commodities-even with private corporate prison farming. It is no wonder that a response is to expand the post-prison culture into society in general and try to renormalize the status as ex-cons in a counter-culture that border on the periphery of being mainstream.

Such an expansion of the culture of correction failure and pervasive social mal-education occupies a substantial social niche. Young women riding common carrier transport vans around Texas may talk of where they did time for a few months with strangers like they were college sorority sisters, and the gentlemen likewise. It is a matter of some prestige for women to talk of their boyfriend being in jail not infrequently, as if it is a place of social maturation rather than a costly social failure.

Especially in an era of adverse social economic opportunities the possibilities of readily finding healthy, manly work declines. No more might young men just go to the forest with an ax and chop away-the environment and the technology have transformed the end of many male oriented occupations into anachronism increasingly. The illegal immigration of workers from Mexico creates direct competition and wage value of specific occupation reductions for young, badly educated urban males that tend to drift in to criminal activities. The prison systems have little real prospect for retraining inmates to high tech education qualifying jobs either. Society has no interest in providing quality job training for criminal convicts especially when the honest citizens haven’t easy opportunities themselves for getting good jobs. So what can be done to decrease the present rate of criminal activity and sentencing of citizens in the United States such that there is a high failure rate for training convicts to be good, honest,prosperous citizens?

The United States itself requires an ecological economic correction. It must get more value from fewer materials in economics. Instead of making disposability a virtue it must make durability a virtue. Citizens should be assured of a lifetime of basic housing, food and clothing as natural rights provided by society. Such goods should be easily affordable-perhaps a basic geodesic dome would cost 10,000 dollars on 2 acres of land and be sound-proof. The citizen would have a no interest contract and repay the loan for the home through work.

All citizens should have the right to grow a garden at their home and receive tax benefits for producing a certain amount of their own food annually. A national super-conductor electrical storage infrastructure should be made to exist to provide low-cost electricity stored from solar wind and fuel cell. The idea is to liberate mankind in the United States from drudgery and forced work for basic needs and free up time for better education and abstract intellectual work. In theory the pursuit of happiness of implicit interest in free enterprise will set people to be more productive when free from privation that they would enchained. A basic political philosophical point was that people work badly when in A Soviet or Pharonic slavery, while if free they become more productive-corporatism tends to make drudge workers of citizens with little profit or material reason regarding values of articles phenomenally.

 Quality rather that quantity would be stressed in a corrected United States. Consumers would vote on quality new ideas as inventions that would be allowed to be produced. A different kind of capitalism would be made to exist-intellectual capitalism and the storage of credits for ideas in a variety of objective and peer rated competitions would be made. With enough credits a citizen would be free to manufacture some invention or fund a good or service he or she as set upon manufacturing. 

In a time of fewer resources it is important for society to ration the opportunities to produce unneeded goods and produce the best that actually serve valuable social purposes. In a society where competition is a little less viscous, and a little rationality is placed in to the free enterprise market, the anomie and chaos that leads to criminal activity should decrease. The United States should become a leader at creating a durable as well as a renewable social ecological economic environment-become the politicians really haven’t a clue about ecological economics nor the radical need to change from a thermodynamically wasteful and extravagant non-renewable, disposable society the practical challenges of transformation are steep.

The prison culture should be dismantled and a social isolation corrections culture innovated to decrease violent dispositions. The human mind is something like a sinusoidal waveform that in the presence of a lot of others with bad character encounters much turbulence and interference-instability occurs. In isolation the human waveform of mind has a better chance to be at peace with itself and perhaps will seek to interact with others after release.

A human mind and body does exist in a broadly dysfunctional social environment that approaches issues from the perspective of corporate producer-consumer relations. In making small wars in to huge multi-trillions dollar protracted engagements the U.S. Government is following the path of corporatism and expenditure dominated contracting procedures creating debt. Spending more money and creating public debt has become the invariable bureaucratic solution to sundry social problems. What is lacking is an intelligent political class willing to lead to a cultural transformation of the society itself into a zero quantitative growth ecologically economic rationality that accentuates quality economic growth and equality as a basic premise of renormaliized human social existence.

Producing more material goods in a variety of forms isn’t the best or optimal value for matter o Earth and in the United States in particular. Once everyone in society has achieved a basic freedom from material privation and social abuse-it is then that a new form of intellectual capitalism needs to be designed and applied to encourage a globe of inventions, inventiveness and piece by piece replacement of existing social infrastructure with better, more durable materials. As the Earth is retaken from ecological and climatological decline, and with a stable human population, careful expansion of the existing population into the solar system with the same principles of maximum material efficiency and social liberty may advance. Prisoners would be drafted into the rationality of a good human culture in which they would be welcome and find a place to learn and explore the vast Universe present for humanity.