Something else to consider this upcoming election when you vote on three separate law and order initiatives. I’ve already explained to the best of my ability the reasons I oppose Propositions 6 and 9. I support Proposition 5, the attempt to improve the mechanizations of imprisonment when the convicted are non-violent drug addicts. Drug addiction is a mental disorder, nothing more or less. It’s better to help people overcome addiction so they can get out of the system and do something with their lives than to keep sending them back into the system. It’s cheaper than repeatedly imprisoning them and it’s obviously more humane. It also challenges a status quo which sees harsher penalties for possession of crack (minority) over powder cocaine (white) and the delusional society that airs commercials for alcohol dependency treatment in resort getaways during episodes of COPS where people strung out on Meth get tazered.


Photo by Monica Almeida, courtesy of the New York Times.

But it gets worse, as I’ve just learned after reading another cry from the dark. Prison Photography just blew my mind yet again. I had never heard of the “pay to stay” program where non-violent offenders can apply through the courts to, for a moderate daily fee, upgrade their prison experience to a kinder, gentler, whiter and safer one. The New York Times breaks this down in a succinct manner with a comparison price chart (circa 2007); more stunning is the City of Santa Ana official web page where prospective “clients” can learn more about skirting the system. You think the best way to deal with crime is longer sentences, more severe punishment, bring back the labor camps? You think that rehabilitative measures are too soft, we’re just letting murderers and rapist escape their just desserts? Really?

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