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Thursday, September 11, 2014

America’s Prison System is Broken

This news item reporting on the release after 30 years of two North Carolina brothers, described in news reports as both being “mentally disabled” after being declared innocent based on DNA evidence is a timely excuse to bring up a topic that no one likes to discuss—as John Oliver put it in song, dance and puppets a few weeks ago, American’s Prisons are Broken.     And one of the primary reasons for this is, as I and others have written before, is that they have become de facto warehouses for those with mental illness, mental disability, and substance abuse conditions.   73% of female prisoners and 55% of male prisoners in state systems have mental health problems (unrelated to the fact that they are prisoners).    A recent edition of Health Affairs had several very useful and interesting articles on the mental health issues of prisoners.   Because prisoners are the only population in the United States with a Constitutional Right to health care,  the cost of prisons, including the cost of health care, has become ruinously expensive- States spent 7.7 billion on prisoner health care in fiscal 2011 the cost of health care provided to prisoners—with the aging population a considerable source of expense.

And despite whatever care they receive in prison, they leave with medical needs as or more serious than when they come in.  Study after study confirms that a high rate of prisoners don’t survive the first two weeks after release-often because of a fatal drug overdose.   This problem is one we share with Europe and with Australia.  And the expenses continue post release with ex-prisoners making high use of emergency services-see here and  here.  Those prisoners who survive the first two weeks after release, and have a look at how many don’t, find themselves umemployable due to a toxic combination of lack of marketable skills, pre-existing disabilities, and the chronic illnesses that they either acquired in prison or brought out with them.  A few states  including Kentucky and California have developed their own programs to address these post-release issues by coordinating the transition.  But these efforts are uncoordinated and underfunded.

A public health perspective of the problems we face in regard to US Prisons, would ask one question: what could prevent them?  What could prevent people from going to prison in the first place and what could prevent them from returning there when they get out?   And a legal perspective has to be how this situation can be consistent with a system of laws the purport to protect those with mental disabilities from discrimination and on those lawfully convicted of criminal offenses from cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted by Jennifer Bard on September 11, 2014 at 03:32 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink

Comments

Prisons in the 21 first Century

Why do we put criminals in failing prison systems?

Repeat Felons and Illegal Immigrants; commit most of the crime in the United States.
In the 18th century, this country started building modern prisons to discipline criminals, who commit crimes and violating the rights of others. It is so hypercritical how our Judicial System has become so willingly to pamper and cater to violent career criminals, who continue to commit crimes while incarcerated? As most of us know, prisons have turned into a circus of shams and charades, allowing so many of these psychopathic killers to demand and sue the prison system because their rights have been violated after they have tortured and violated their victim’s rights.
Now that United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and building more, modern prisons to continue the lack of prison discipline we now have, does not justify wasting taxpayers’ money they do not have in these critical times, show how insincere prisons really are.
I find it so amazing how people still naively believe that incarceration inevitably leads to rehabilitation, when the public is unaware of what truly goes on behind prison walls in the United States.”
They are lulled into a false sense of security, when in fact the justice system is failing to take the necessary steps in rehabilitating or re-socializing prisoners, to keep society and prison workers safe.
When the media reports that crime rates are declining in a city or town, someone is not looking at the full picture of why repeat felons and illegal immigrants continue to commit most of the crimes in the United States.
Pecchio, not only emphasizes his points with many vivid examples from years of working with criminals in a dangerous prison system.
Lawmakers have no solutions on how to undo criminals frivolous lawsuits and prisoner's rights, that are now taking precedence over all else. Anyone, political or not, who is working in a modern prison system today, will tell you, they are so contaminated with flaws, embedded with unthinking, unknowing or corrupted prison officials and political bureaucrats, who know that prison reform has become just a word to keep taxpayers’ money flowing into these institutions.
Pecchio offers unique insight into the inner-workings of America’s prisons. In addition, he gives readers a definitive look into the causes behind their major problems, created by lawmakers and prison officials. He boldly reveals how federal and state prisons have deteriorated to their worst condition in the history of these institutions. They have changed from operating with dignity and strong security into a hellish nightmare where corruption is the norm.
With the loss of positive leadership in prisons came the increase of prisoner’s power, primarily caused by their ability to hide behind highly defended Civil Rights, which again I say, “took precedence above all else.” These rights allowed them to live without fear of strong retribution for their actions, thereby leading to a breakdown in inmate behavior and resulting in gang wars, riots, fights, and physical and verbal abuse of prison workers
My Website, www.johnpecchio.com Displays a Video, My Written Books, Amazon and Kindles, To Explore Prison Life At Its Worst In The History Of These Institutions.
God bless America.
Sincerely John J. Pecchio Author

Posted by: John J. Pecchio | Sep 14, 2014 7:57:08 AM

Prisons in the 21 first Century

Why do we put criminals in failing prison systems?

Repeat Felons and Illegal Immigrants; commit most of the crime in the United States.
In the 18th century, this country started building modern prisons to discipline criminals, who commit crimes and violating the rights of others. It is so hypercritical how our Judicial System has become so willingly to pamper and cater to violent career criminals, who continue to commit crimes while incarcerated? As most of us know, prisons have turned into a circus of shams and charades, allowing so many of these psychopathic killers to demand and sue the prison system because their rights have been violated after they have tortured and violated their victim’s rights.
Now that United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and building more, modern prisons to continue the lack of prison discipline we now have, does not justify wasting taxpayers’ money they do not have in these critical times, show how insincere prisons really are.
I find it so amazing how people still naively believe that incarceration inevitably leads to rehabilitation, when the public is unaware of what truly goes on behind prison walls in the United States.”
They are lulled into a false sense of security, when in fact the justice system is failing to take the necessary steps in rehabilitating or re-socializing prisoners, to keep society and prison workers safe.
When the media reports that crime rates are declining in a city or town, someone is not looking at the full picture of why repeat felons and illegal immigrants continue to commit most of the crimes in the United States.
Pecchio, not only emphasizes his points with many vivid examples from years of working with criminals in a dangerous prison system.
Lawmakers have no solutions on how to undo criminals frivolous lawsuits and prisoner's rights, that are now taking precedence over all else. Anyone, political or not, who is working in a modern prison system today, will tell you, they are so contaminated with flaws, embedded with unthinking, unknowing or corrupted prison officials and political bureaucrats, who know that prison reform has become just a word to keep taxpayers’ money flowing into these institutions.
Pecchio offers unique insight into the inner-workings of America’s prisons. In addition, he gives readers a definitive look into the causes behind their major problems, created by lawmakers and prison officials. He boldly reveals how federal and state prisons have deteriorated to their worst condition in the history of these institutions. They have changed from operating with dignity and strong security into a hellish nightmare where corruption is the norm.
With the loss of positive leadership in prisons came the increase of prisoner’s power, primarily caused by their ability to hide behind highly defended Civil Rights, which again I say, “took precedence above all else.” These rights allowed them to live without fear of strong retribution for their actions, thereby leading to a breakdown in inmate behavior and resulting in gang wars, riots, fights, and physical and verbal abuse of prison workers
My Website, www.johnpecchio.com Displays a Video, My Written Books, Amazon and Kindles, To Explore Prison Life At Its Worst In The History Of These Institutions.
God bless America.
Sincerely John J. Pecchio Author

Posted by: John J. Pecchio | Sep 14, 2014 7:54:55 AM

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