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Holy Moly! What is happening to my country?
What's different that made that last 26 year rocketing ascent?
1980 would be about the time that the first of Generation X is entering legal age (21).

My speculations - Pot? DUI? Child Support? Lack of fathers?

Any ideas?
Reagon was just coming into office and it was his War on Drugs that started the prison population spiraling out of control.

The drug laws haven't worked, will never work, and all you have to do is look back at the times of Prohibition and you can see a similar pattern: Bootleg alcohol, high prices, bad batches maiming and killing people, gang involvement, etc.
(08-23-2010 7:57 AM)mark-in-dallas Wrote: [ -> ]Reagon was just coming into office and it was his War on Drugs that started the prison population spiraling out of control.

The drug laws haven't worked, will never work, and all you have to do is look back at the times of Prohibition and you can see a similar pattern: Bootleg alcohol, high prices, bad batches maiming and killing people, gang involvement, etc.

I agree.

I think the government is missing out on a boom source of revenue if they'd just legalize it, tax it and regulate it - just like the repeal of prohibition.

With the recent VA action http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/24/health...wanted=all they may have unseated pot from Schedule I.

That should empty some prison cells. But I think incarcerating men is a big business.
Incarceration is HUGE business. The federal government have UNICOR or FPI facilities in most federal prisons (Federal Prison Inductries, Inc.) and manufacture everything from furniture to missile electronic systems.

Most states also have work programs. In Texas prisons its mainly agricultural labor and it generates millions of dollars in revenue that can be syphoned off to use wherever the state wants to use those funds.

The federal government pays prison FPI workers practically nothing, something like 10 cents to a $1.00 an hour. Texas pays it prison workers nothing. Other states will have their own policies.

So, what they've done is to create a slave work force, and profit from the cheap or free labor.
In California, I hear that we have so many prisoners that at any given time, our highways have enough inmates on prison buses to fill up an entire prison. We have too many prisoners and not enough room. Eek

And guess what the majority are in for? Drug related charges. =/
Well, it's a good thing California can afford it! Dodgy
The liberals in Berkeley have been talking about this for years. The prison system (and our use of it) has been in need of revision for a long time.
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