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Prisons: California’s concrete empire

December 30, 2011

by Carl Harrison

California's prison building boom overlooked some deadly environmental hazards. When the soil is stirred up at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Central California, prisoners inhale valley fever spores that have killed many. - Photo: Heidi Schumann, New York Times
In 1978 California began building a concrete empire of jails and prisons across the state. After the building was completed, a new California Gold Rush began – a feeding frenzy for all the jobs in city, county and state law enforcement agencies.

People from all over the world and from all over America came to California to get these jobs. The unions, special interest groups in unison with this new powerful government voting pool started changing the laws to make it much simpler to lock up minorities, the poor, illiterate and uneducated, mentally ill and medically ill, developmentally disabled.

Standing armies of police were poured into the cities’ poor districts to target these people exclusively. County prosecutors and police realized that these weak people were defenseless and had to rely on public defense attorneys who were in most part overworked or lapdogs of the courts.

You see, courts control which attorneys get the most money, which places public defenders at the control of hanging judges who want convictions. Police, they obtain rank, status and higher pay when they make more arrests and cause convictions, and prosecutors also need convictions for the same reasons.

Unfortunately, the rich and middle class are simply not suitable targets for police and prosecutors because they can fight back with real defenses that police and prosecutors shy from. They prefer easy kills who can’t fight back and cause trouble for the government.

In addition, the target groups are usually a burden on government treasury because they are receiving government financial aid, which government employees want to reroute into their own agency’s pockets once the targets are locked away in jail or prison and no longer qualified for aid by virtue of incarceration.

Send our brother some love and light: Carl F. Harrison, J-43634, A-1-102, P.O. Box 290066, Represa CA 95671. This letter was typed by Adrian McKinney.

 

One thought on “Prisons: California’s concrete empire

  1. John Mulligan

    Violent crime was on the rise in the 1970s in the entire US. California enacted Three Strikes in 1994, and since then violent crime has declined. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/cacrime.htm

    If not prisons and harsher laws, what caused the decline in crime? Is it because the demographics of traditionally black neighborhoods is changing with the addition of more Asians and Latinos? Is it because schooling has improved? Is it because black people have more career opportunities? You disagree with building more prisons and putting people in them, but why should we? Are you saying something else caused the drop in crime?

    Are you suggesting that these statistics are fake and that crime never declined? If so, shouldn't we put more people in prison? If the purpose of more prisons and three strikes was to reduce crime and crime did decline, what was the cause of this decline?

    If crime is happening in the poor districts, shouldn't that be where the police go? If the police abandoned the poor districts, wouldn't you blame the police for that too?

    Reply

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