What does this mean for families?
Families are without one or both of their parents. Parents suffer the loss of their child. Brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces lack role models and support of family members.
When did this huge rate of incarcerations start?
High rates of imprisoning started with "The War on Drugs" during the Reagan administration. And like most wars - the perceived goal was and has not been realized ergo drugs and drug use were not reduced.
High rates of incarceration continued with the Clinton administration with its mandatory sentencing and its three strike rule.
To add insult to injury the following have also occurred:
- Private prisons also instituted under the Clinton years mean states are compelled to keep the prisons full in order for the private corporations make profits off of the their own form of slave labor.
- Plea bargaining seems to the the only way that public defenders have the time or the resources to help...even if the person is innocent!
- Unpaid court fees now can result in jail time until paid...I thought we had done away with debtors prisons...not when it comes to court fees.
- And when those in prison have served their time, they are to report on all employment and housing forms that they have been convicted of a crime. What kind of chance do they have then?