What an election year for political junkies like me! The whole political world from left to right is in good healthy upheaval. The establishment is under attack from both the left and the right. Don't you just love it? It gives me hope that honest tangible changes may actually happen. And that maybe some of our career political parasites may end up out on their money grubbing asses.
For the first time in my memory, all issues are out on the table for discussion this year from campaign reform to mass incarceration to whether or not we should continue to wage endless wars around the globe. Everything is up for debate, and you can thank Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump for forcing the discussions. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I am also grateful for Donald Trump, because just like Sanders, he is forcing people out in the open with their ideas. I find a lot of the ideas of the Trump supporters pretty repulsive, but since they exist in the minds of my fellow Americans, it is better to put them out into the sunlight of public discussion than it is to pretend they don't exist. Good morning America, let us open up and talk!
Out of all of the conversations that Sanders and Trump have opened up, I am thinking about criminal justice reform this morning. Here is my opinion on criminal justice reform. What we are doing now — mass incarceration of non violent offenders– is a dismal failure from both social and economic points of view. Long term rehabilitation of non violent criminals is a far less costly for the taxpayers than is long term incarceration. The problem is that incarceration has become a juicy profitable plum for corporations and police forces. The right wing corporatists sell the idea of long term incarceration to the voters by peddling it as "revenge," and all human beings love us some revenge down deep in our skevie little hearts. But this revenge is a social and economic cancer on our society. It changes the non violent offenders in processes into violent offenders on down the road. Anyone who is not completely stupid or blind can see that mass incarceration feeds joblessness and hopelessness, eats up huge amounts of tax dollars and, and does not by any measure "work." Mass incarceration doesn't protect people, it creates more dangers of violent crime for us. Mass incarceration doesn't save money, it is bankrupting us. If we did away with mass incarceration, we would lose that wonderful feeling of revenge we get with it. But without mass incarceration, we would cut costs and improve results.
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