Atlantis Alumni

Monday, October 1, 2007

Police State; War State?

I heard several startling statements on the Sunday morning political talk shows yesterday. The one that sticks with me the most has do do with US prisons. The population of the United States is 3% of the world's population. However, we have 25% of the world's prisoners in our jails! What this says about our society and our values is troubling, to say the least. The overwhelming majority of our prisoners are members of minorities. Some of the reasons for this are the lack of job opportunities, combined with the ill effects of broken families on our young people, and our ridiculous drug policies that criminalize the use of "soft" drugs like marijuana. Where are we headed when two of our biggest expenditures are for our wars and our prisons, to the tune of a quarter of a trillion dollars a year?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many of the persons populating our prisons today are repeat offenders. I agree firstly that jail time for marijuana is ludicrous. Let's let go of the outdated idea that pot is the "gateway" to harder drugs, if this is true then so is alcohol. But back to the point, I feel that the only answer to our prison situation is to overhaul the system so that every prisoner gts some sort of job training as well as counseling. I know that the first argument againdt this idea is the cost, and I know that initially it will be huge, but as a nation we can afford it and the results down the pike will be that costs for warehousing people simply to let them go and have them return will diminish. Our overall society will be improved, and so will the lives of many of the inmates. I'm not a Pollyanna, I know that for some hardened criminals this will not work and that will always be the case, but I truly believve that many can be rehabilitated and taught to find a better way to live.