3 thoughts on “The GOP’s Justice Dilemma

  1. Very interesting to learn more about the different factions within the Republican party around criminal justice reform – v. good story!

  2. Great article, brilliantly articulating a severe problem in our society….

    While it may seem reasonable to place this problem on the doorstep of a political party’s platform, reform in criminal justice may have less to do with party affiliations and party platforms at the Federal level than with the influence of the for-profit prison lobby, on both political parties, at the State level, .

    Just one of the provisions of State contracts with private prisons that encourages incarceration is an agreement “to guarantee that they will fill a certain number of beds in jail at any given point. The most common rate is 90%, though some prisons are able to snag a 100% promise from their local governments. Because of these contracts, the state is obligated to keep prisons almost full at all times or pay for the beds anyway, so the incentive is to incarcerate more people and for longer in order to fill the quota.” Other provisions of these contracts also contribute to human rights violations for prisoners:
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/20880-for-profit-prisons-eight-statistics-that-show-the-problems
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industry-in-the-united-states-big-business-or-a-new-form-of-slavery/8289

    Add to the problems of the for-profit prison industry a compromised Federal judicial system, from the FBI to the AG, and effective reform that focuses on justice and equality under the law becomes an even greater challenge.

  3. I was surprised to see Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin designated as pro-reform. Oklahoma has some of the harshest laws and sentencing in the country, and according to the Sentencing Project, has an incarceration rate of 700 per 100,000 of its residents. That is second only to Louisiana with a rate of 816. But Ok is number one when it comes to women in prisons. As I was told by a Ok legislator, this state is all about punishment. If indeed Gov. Fallin is trying to reverse that mindset, I wish her every success.

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