Thursday, June 04, 2020

My idea for prison reform.

I am always a little amazed when white people say they have never felt threatened by the police. I feel like those people have never actually had any interactions with them. I am not saying police are bad, but I think they could do some things that would make life easier for themselves.

You see - as a white girl I have been through the system. I was taken away from my mom and was basically a ward of the court from the time I was seven until I became an adult. I spent a month in a children's shelter. So, naturally as a teen I wound up in juvenile hall for a crime that is now legal. i.e A victimless crime. But, at the time you could spend the rest of your life in jail. No exaggeration.

My family was a firm believer that if you were going to do time - you should do it as a minor. This is an obvious dysfunctional attitude because most parents don't want their kids to do time at all. Looking back it was the best advice they ever gave me. I guess my family just always expected we would all wind up in jail and reacted accordingly. I think it's sort of what all poor people think.

So, this is now how I see the world. The first time you wind up in jail - your path is set. Even in Juvi - they told me I would be back. And I was like - no... I'm just going to be better at not getting caught. But they were right to think that because once you get into the system, the chances of you getting out are slim. The first arrest aborts all of your chances at gainful employment. Which just continues the cycle of poverty and lawlessness.

We need to figure out a way to let people work to expunge some of their crimes so these people can work and have a normal life. We need to turn some of these crimes into "administrative issues" rather than prison issues. Prison isn't deterring anyone. It only creates more criminality. Young people make mistakes. They get into situations because of family dysfunctions. Sometimes you just come from a single parent household and get with the wrong crowd. I think if people could work for some type of restitution they can pay for their crimes that way instead of in jail which costs a lot of money for taxpayers.

I think the biggest issue with the police force these days is they dehumanize EVERYONE (even white people)  and it creates this vicious feedback loop. There is some thought that criminals should be treated like animals. I think this only creates more anger and lawlessness.

Now, not everyone will take the path to restitution. Maybe they won't do it until they are much older, but they all should get the chance to turn their lives around and expunge certain crimes. Just like in the juvenile system. I just think that the current system creates so much hopelessness that what does it even matter if you become a criminal?  "You are just going to be back anyway".

We need to keep people in the workforce because without that - they have no hope. Perhaps this would be a one time thing, so people don't take advantage of the system. And obviously this is not going to work for all crimes. But if we can just chip away at the less severe ones cops can flex up on the truly bad ones.

I'm not defending all the lawlessness right now, but I do sort of understand where it comes from. I do think that police need to be better at deescalating things. Maybe part of that is creating a system where if you do get into trouble, if you work hard, you can become a productive member of society.


  1. I think that today we have a "Justice Industry"and it's a big one! It takes about $36,000 tax payer dollars to keep someone locked up for a year and we have around 2% of our population locked up. That's money in the bank for someone!

    When the Supreme Court said it was alright for cops to seize your money and not charge you with anything (you need to hire a lawyer & go to court to try & get it back) it was a giant step forward for the Justice Industry. Legal armed robbery!

    My dealings with that part of our society are not personal, a kid & an ex-wife were fed into the Justice Industry.

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, June 05, 2020 3:14:00 PM

    "I am always a little amazed when white people say they have never felt threatened by the police."

    Here's an Ancap idea you'll like: the police should only be working for you and not The State.

    That's easier to do when you're not having to deal with Taxation As Theft and you can pay for your own security as much as you want, arming yourself up as much as you feel comfortable with as well.

    So the rioters vs. police thing?


    These are just some rival gangs fighting it out.

    I have a rightful amount of disgust, loathing, and fear for the biggest armed gang that's paid via Taxation As Theft, which is why when that gang tries to bust my balls, I bust theirs harder.

    Plenty of attorneys, investigators, and even investors will take on vengeance lawfare cases.

    Hell, what do you think Peter Thiel has been doing for a while?

    Thugs only respect you when you can show them that you're at least as capable of violence as they are, and that if they abide by non-aggression, so will you.

    So let's get to Rob's thing ...

    "I think that today we have a 'Justice Industry' ... It takes about $36,000 tax payer dollars to keep someone locked up for a year and we have around 2% of our population locked up."

    It's actually a lot higher than that in a lot of states.

    Society is carceral itself, as Foucault noticed, but The State operates a carceral archipelago through the prison system.

    If society is carceral itself, why can't people who commit crimes just stay longer working them off instead of putting up resources for a future day?

    And if the debt's too big to ever be paid off, why can't society itself "round up" that number and take out the worst of the bad actors?

    What's the difference between Bernie Madoff and Derek Chauvin?

    One stands on the neck of your future retirement, killing it with schemes, while the other stands on your neck of your present, killing it with brutality.

    They're both the same kind of killer, just one wears a business suit and the other wears a blue or black clown suit with a piece of gold-plated metal on it.

    So here's my counter-idea for prison reform: you don't need prisons when society itself functions in many of the same ways as a prison, and you only need a way to deal with the people who commit crimes so big they could never pay back their debts.

    Making them ex-communicado for life with no right to protection might do that.

    BTW, I don't have a problem with vigilante justice as long as that kind of justice doesn't miss when it shoots the sons of bitches in the back of the head.

    A phrase you hear in the Southeast: "He needed killin'."

    Ever read H. Beam Piper's "Lone Star Planet"?

    It wasn't actually discussed as such, but I believe the judges in that story might consider it a capital offense to shoot at a politician who deserves to be killed and then miss the shot.

    After all, that bad actor's just messing up the shot for the judge. :-)

    "So, naturally as a teen I wound up in juvenile hall for a crime that is now legal. i.e A victimless crime. But, at the time you could spend the rest of your life in jail."

    That story by H. Beam Piper talks about a difference in the laws: malum prohibitorum, as in laws about things that are bad just because they're prohibited, and malum in se, as in laws about things deemed even in and of themselves.

    There's so much malum prohibitorum in America that I can't give a shit about the rioters vs. police gang bang fiasco, and if they take a few politicians with them, most of the bastards actually deserve it.

    I'd totally be OK with living in Piper's idea of Texas, BTW: there they string up politicians who try to pass such things as an income tax.

    Instead, Texans seem to be living in the legacy of the Texas of Ann Richards.

    One more reason I'm never going back.

  3. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, June 05, 2020 3:27:00 PM

    Here, have a plain-text version of a 1958 sci-fi classic via Gutenbeg.

    Yes, I spelled that right. :-)

  4. Yeah - unless what you were charged with is murder I'm going to say this is not the same. Because murderers actually used to get less time than having a certain amount of weed. Used to be in Arizona, if you even got caught with a seed you would do serious time.

    I very much understand the fear the black community feels. You don't know fear until you've been pulled over with a bag of weed in your cleave. That shouldn't send ANYONE to jail.

  5. I'm not saying I know the answer to the problem, but I fully agree that our current prison/crime system isn't solving much of the problem. And I dislike the current "war on drugs" process. I'm not in the "legalize it all and let darwin sort it out" camp, but what we're currently doing clearly isn't working. I do think that possession where no one is hurt, no one is driving impaired, where the person isn't dealing, shouldn't be handled as a major crime, as all that does it make it worse.

  6. Some people could say the reason I never went to adult jail was because I was white - but the truth is that I realized that if I got caught I would never get a job. That mattered. My circumstance would never change if I couldn't get a job.

    Since a large part of the black community is already in jail - it all seems inevitable anyway. It's somewhat all they know. And it takes quite a lot of work to break the cycle. We need to keep people working so they can change their lives. I don't really have the answer either. But I know that is a very big part of it. I'm not saying forgiveness. Laws are there for a reason.

    There are uncountable times I could have gotten put away for life. But I've been a responsible citizen. I own two houses! Black people may never get that chance because they got caught with weed and were never able to get a good job. That's all I'm saying. That is part of the fear and hopeless they feel I think.

  7. Yeah... way too much eternal punishment, not enough path to redemption.
    And if The Authorities can get away with, e.g., framing Michael Flynn (which framing involved perjury, falsification of official documents, and other such outright criminal shenanigans), they can pretty much get away with doing anything to anybody.

  8. Yeah. And I just really think the punishment is disproportionate. There is no way anyone should be in the ground for 20 bucks. It just feels like our system in outdated and old timey for the current times. That should be a ticket at best and maybe a class on something. At the same time, you shouldn't be able to walk into any store and San Fransisco and steal 1000 bucks worth the stuff. There has got to be a way to stop people from getting from one side of that equation to the other. And making them unemployable doesn't do any of that.

    People who grew up in normal homes don't understand how dysfunctional single parents can be. My moms generation invented the "I don't need a man" movement. I also came from an almost 14 year old teen mom. So I get it. That is a lot to climb out of and the black people who do - don't get enough credit.

    I am not anti cop by any measure. I also think a lot of the time they don't act like they work FOR us. They could communicate with people a lot more instead of flexing up. They need to distinguish the people who make minor mistakes from the truely bad players because they treat everyone the same.

  9. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, June 07, 2020 4:32:00 PM

    "I very much understand the fear the black community feels ..."

    You'd be a goddamned fool not to have a healthy amount of fear of what an enraged coral snake can do to you.

    Same with the gang that gets paid via Taxation As Theft.

    Eric: "And if The Authorities can get away with ..."

    Well, that sounds like a need for fewer of these "The Authorites" types who play power games with the money they take from you via Taxation As Theft.

    In NYC, it appears there's one civilian NYPD puke for every two pukes in clown suits with gold-plated metal trinkets on their clown suits.

    Why do they need that much admin overhead?

    That's just the tip of the admin Dilbert-berg.

    There are professors who are making such "risky" (not risky) predictions that 50% of universities and colleges will be gone in the next five to ten years.

    Wow, that's a pretty big spread you've got there, Doctor Bosco!

    Look underneath all of this Big Ed bullshit and there's another huge cadre of admin, and they're the ones who typically police the professors who aren't lock-stepping with the rest of the Circle D agents.

    My perspective has been for about three decades that degrees from universities and colleges should be disregarded entities for hiring except under one condition: if it's provable that someone with a degree wasted his or her time acquiring one, time that could have been better spent doing something meaningful or useful, then that person absolutely should not be hired.

    Because that person's a fucking idiot who doesn't understand diminishing returns, especially on a personal level.

    Now some recently acquired perspective adds a little to that: all those people were ever doing was trying to please Circle D people and to get them to sign off on their "skills" and "education" acquired during an extended period of academically-flavored hazing rituals.

    When it comes to electronics people, show me someone with an Advanced or Extra class amateur radio license who actually tinkers around with building prototypes, and I'll show you someone who probably doesn't need Circle D's gulag archipelago of colleges and universities.

    In finance, show me people who learned Smalltalk and R on their own in order to create their own financial models, and that their models don't suck.

    Nearly every field has a measure by which you can sort out the credential-humping bozos.

    And just look at what crap these academically over-fed "experts" have been when it comes to The Rona! (Yeah, Neil "Visual C++ Shit Coder Award of The Year Recipient" Ferguson, we're looking at you.)

    But I love the public shaming rituals: it turns out that the Swedish numbers are not substantially worse than the Swiss numbers for The Rona, and yet you don't see the Swiss going on about how they've made huge policy failures.

    Any pictures of the Swedish official with one black eye, BTW?

    That's how The Establishment likes marking people who have stepped out of line.

    Also, nota bene for all of those assholes taking a knee: there are stories circulating around the MIL-SPEC community about IDF-style interventions involving busting some knee caps with Ruger 10/22-style rifles and good-and-cheap wussy-assed .22 LR.

    Obvious things are obvious, such as what the sight picture looks like in the reticle when some idiot's taking a knee.

    Really, really not a good idea, because they're totally not shooting rubber bullets with these rifles.

  10. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, June 07, 2020 4:38:00 PM

    "... [police] don't act like they work FOR us ..."

    Legally they don't: ask any lawyer you know to confirm this for you at whatever level of detail you want.

    My description of the police as a gang funded via Taxation As Theft is legally factual.

    They don't work for you, they work for The State.

  11. They technically DO work for me. I pay their bills. I pay property taxes on two houses.

  12. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, June 08, 2020 1:19:00 PM

    Causation and correlation are two different things.

    Just because you pay Taxation As Theft doesn't mean you actually pay for certain services as guaranteed.

    You just get Theft. :-)

    Here's some information about Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

    And there are some more details at Cornell here.

    Again, legally, no, the police don't work for you, so sayeth The Supremes, so sayeth The State.

    See, you do this thing where you go, "But I'm a tax payer, I pay for this", and yet the system just shakes you down for Taxation As Theft and doesn't promise to give you anything even remotely resembling good results or services.

    And that's why I'm 100% OK with privatizing the police and busting them up into a bunch of competing security outfits, because doing this is a lot more honest than pretending the police are there for anything except The State.

    This is also why I'm 100% OK with Elon Musk ripping "you" off, because that money's been stolen from you via Taxation As Theft.

    If Elon Musk's California Dreaming Ripoff Scheme prevents even more police being out there to fuck with your everyday life, especially right there in your neighborhood, I'd consider that a win right now.

    Or do you just enjoy those encounters with Frezzno Fuzz when you're doing your Little Miss Speed Demon thing? :-)

    BTW, what's infernal about what's going on in Minneapolis isn't that the police are getting busted up, it's that the people paying taxes aren't getting their taxes reduced to be able to pay for private security or self-defense.

    I'd be totally OK with what they're doing if the Minnesota state legislature, Hennepin County, and the City of Minneapolis would back off on their tax assessments and give everyone at least a 3% tax rebate across sales taxes, income taxes, and property taxes.

    Even someone broke-ass with $10k of income could afford to buy a used gun with that kind of rebate, and people there making your kind of money could afford to pay for private security.

    But they won't, because Circle D's all about the wealth redistribution, from those who earn income and make things to those who don't.

    I'm picturing it'll be like a scene in "Heavy Metal" ...

    Harry Canyon: "Hi, I'd like to report a murder ..."

    Fat Desk Cop: "YEAH, SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW."