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U.S. Prison Population Soars, Toothbrush Industrial Complex Prospers
“C’mon and do the jailhouse rock with me, let’s rock.” Elvis Presley.
Jailhouse Rock, 1957. Prison population: 213,000 (1960). U.S.
population: 181 million.
In 1980, twenty
years later, 330,000 inmates in America were singing the same tune.
U.S. population: 227 million.
years after that, in 2002, the number of jailhouse rockers hit a whopping
two million inmates. U.S. population: 285 million.
going on here, Robin Hood? That’s an incarceration rate of increase -- in
physics we call it acceleration -- of 1,156 percent per year, or an increase
of 44,675 inmates per year over the last 40 years.
that’s not all. Get this, Scar Face. An additional 4 million jailhouse
rockers are on parole-bation. At this rate, the entire population of the
United States is slated to be locked up by the year 2065.
U.S. imprisons 6 to 10 times as many individuals per capita than most other
civilized countries in the world. Sentences are 2 to 3 times longer. Why?
Do we have a different definition of criminal than the rest of the
world? Hold on to your wallets, taxpayers. I smell big money nearby.
cost of building and operating all prisons in the U.S. rose from $7 billion
per year in 1980 to more than $40 billion per year in 2002. The average
cost to house a nonviolent inmate ranges from $20,000 per year to about
$40,000 per year. In recent stats from the Bureau of Justice, every state
in America shows a dramatic increase in incarceration rates and costs. From
Hawaii to Maine, North Dakota to Florida, the national pastime seems to be:
lock ‘em up and throw away the key.
According to the stats, even Boise, Idaho hit the prison pop charts at #5 in
the nation. Boise, Idaho? A 1,550 percent prison population increase for
the Pernicious Pilferers of the Purple Sage? Yep. Hold on to your purses
ladies, I smell big money nearby.
paying for all this? No surprise. You are. The taxpayer. $40 billion per
year and rising.
going to prison and why? The huge increase in incarceration rates can be
attributed to several main reasons. First, victimless crimes, nonviolent
crimes, drug prohibition. Second, transfer of discretionary power from
judges to Let’s-Make-A-Deal prosecuting attorneys. Third, the Judge Judy
Syndrome as evidenced by our current TV culture. Fourth, the real culprit:
the Toothbrush Industrial Complex.
the U.S. is currently living in the prohibition era of the 1920s. The
current war is against recreational drugs, not alcohol. Nonviolent,
victimless crimes constitute up to 50% of the offenders who are now in
prison. What was their crime? The equivalent of drinking, possessing, or
selling a bottle of beer.
brings us to the second reason: if convicted, the sentence can be mandatory
15 years to life. No discretion by the judge. His hands are tied by the
fact, if we applied the current drug laws to alcohol, practically the entire
U.S. population would have to be locked up for popping open a Budweiser
during the Super Bowl every year.
increasing prison population boom shows that big time drug warlords and
violent criminals are not being locked up, the crime rate in America has not
gone down, the amount of drugs in the U.S. has not decreased, and America’s
war on drugs is a failure.
current U.S. culture is caught up in the Judge Judy Syndrome. Americans are
mesmerized by TV crime, TV forensic investigations, TV cop shows, court TV,
the CIA, The Supreme Court, and all the legal maneuvers in the West Wing of
the White House. Law and order. While the American public plays Court TV,
they seem to be oblivious to their own individual rights slowly slipping
many more statistics do we need? Why do we continue pretending? Why do we
continue spending billions of dollars per year building more and more
prisons, locking up people for essentially possessing a bottle of beer?
answer is simple: because the main reason for the current prison population
boom has nothing to do with crime. The main reason is to perpetuate the
Toothbrush Industrial Complex. That’s right. $40 billion. The Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are big business for prisons. So is toothpaste. We’re talking
billions of dollars here. Don’t forget security shaving kits. How about
beds, mattresses, blankets, food, clothing, building materials, and all
affiliated industry including building contractors, architects, doctors,
shrinks, prison guards, dogs, doggie bon-bons, prison buses, ball and
chains, guns and bullets. And don’t forget the teachers to “correct” the
inmates’ behavior by running them through a maze of ridiculous Prison
Lollipop Programs, oftentimes over and over, denying parole to nonviolent
offenders in order to receive maximum dollars per headcount and provide
bureaucratic justification for building more and more prisons. Wow.
Billions of dollars for administration and building. Sounds a lot like the
public school system.
fact, it looks like the Toothbrush Industrial Complex is replacing America’s
Public Education System, America’s Jobs Programs, America’s Welfare Program,
and Harvard Law School as inmates peruse their Prison Law Libraries to write
legal briefs rivaling those of the U.S. Supreme Court.
the booming prison population figures really show? The taxpayers are losing
their individual rights. Those rights have been replaced by what the 19th
Century French philosopher Alexis de Toqueville warned the fledgling
American republic: the “tyranny of the majority.”
Taxpayers beware. The philosophy used to incarcerate your neighbor will be
the same philosophy used to incarcerate YOU. That is the real danger that
the stats for the prison population explosion reveals. When the law becomes
ridiculous, you may be next.
does it happen? You vote no on your neighbor’s victimless choice of
smokes. He votes no on your victimless choice of books. You vote no on
your neighbor’s victimless choice of movies. She votes no on your
victimless choice of alcohol.
it goes until everybody votes away all their individual rights in a
Democratic Majority Pilfer while the real crooks take over the country on
political platforms promising to protect you from the criminals you
created and have now become.
America’s Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, was alive today, he would note
two facts: one, the Toothbrush Industrial Complex is Big Bucks, and two,
the U.S. Bill of Rights has been flushed halfway down an overpriced prison
to Alcatraz, USA.
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