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Thread: In the United States, we have a severe under-incarceration problem

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by TR675 View Post
    My county is. I just had a client who got sent to TDC for 5 years for possession of 1.05 g of meth. Because of prior pen trips he was eligible for a 25-99 enhancement. The shithead prosecutor took a dislike to him and refused to waive a jury trial, preventing us from going open to the court and essentially forcing us to accept his offer.

    The client wasnt going to win any good citizen awards but sending him to prison for 5 years for a personal use amount of meth is stupid.
    I agree, 10 yrs would be better.

    We should abandon the idea that prison is for rehab or punishment, but is rather for the well-being of society: we should lock criminals up for long stretches so our society can operate normally without worrying about random meth/heroin users stealing, shoplifting, burglarizing, raping, murdering, etc. If someone who isn't "going to win any good citizen awards" keeps ending up in handcuffs, its time to move on. Just lock them up for any minor offense you happen to catch him on and don't let him out until he's too old and feeble to be a threat to anyone. I have yet to catch someone in possession of stolen property that didn't also have a meth or heroin problem, and every time I take a burg report where some nice old lady's family heirloom jewelry was stolen from her bedroom during a burg that occurred while she was at church I lose a little more of what meager sympathy I have for addicts. That loss accelerates when the poor old lady is crying because that jewelry was the only tie she had left to family members that had passed away.

    As far as the prosecutor taking a "dislike" to your client: good. We need more of that. I don't even know your client and I don't like him either. The prosecutor recognizes the suspect for the dirtbag he is. That prosecutor, his family, or the families of any good people shouldn't have to worry about becoming victims of crime because some douchebag addict has poor impulse control.

    Five years wasn't enough and never will be.

  2. #32
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiledviking View Post
    That begs the question; how is he supporting his habit? Legally or illegally?

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    He's probably getting his life back together after prison...just holding it for a know.

    I guess I just have zero fucks left to give for low level users/dealers.
    It's dangerous to challenge a system unless you're completely at peace with the thought that you're not going to miss it when it collapses.

  3. #33
    We had two, caught in the act burglars get sentenced to nine months in the COUNTY jail because it was more actual time to serve than they would have served had they been given a sentence that would have sent them to state prison.

    For those unaware, at least in this state, misdemeanor crimes are those punishable by up to 12 months confinement with those sentences being served in the county jail whereas felonies are those crimes punishable by more than 12 months in prison with those sentences being served in a state prison.

    We are seeing serious offenses in which the guidelines call for 60% of the actual sentence; so, a 10-year sentence is really only a 6-year sentence.

    People don't go to PRISON for simple possession of drugs. They may go to jail, but not PRISON.

    We work drug cases because that's how we catch burglars and thieves and solve other crimes. Drugs are often the common thread. Some dude sitting at home smoking a blunt doesn't even get on our radar.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  4. #34
    Member TGS's Avatar
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    Alexandria, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by John Hearne View Post
    One of my guys responded to a call this morning where the "victim" was convicted of murder in 2014. Not manslaughter, but murder. He was out roaming the streets after about four years. I don't think people realize this is how the system actually works.
    My brother in law murdered his drug dealer when she threatened to out him to the school he was a teacher at.

    Broke 9 of her ribs.

    Slashed her throat with a knife 7 times.

    Pummeled her face into her cranium, no bone structure left supporting her normal anatomical features.

    6 years.

    There's very obviously a split in the family between those of us who take forgiveness to the extreme, and those of us who believe in some common shred of decency, civility, and honor.
    Last edited by TGS; 12-04-2018 at 03:10 PM.
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  5. #35
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    My idea of forgiveness is letting go of hatred. In your case, Gman, you can forgive this man and at the same time view him as an unworthy and sorry individual that you choose never to acknowlege or to associate with. You can forbid mention of his name in your prescence. You should be able to have it both ways: forgiveness and EXCLUSION. Please don't think that I'm preaching to you. Your family has my sympathy.

    P.S. He ain't worth killing. That's a joke.
    Last edited by willie; 12-04-2018 at 10:28 PM.

  6. #36
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    So let me Lazarus this thread to contribute some new information:

    Linked above is an annual report from the Illinois prison system. Of particular interest to us is the statistics on prison population broken down by category of offense that begins on page 78.

    If you look at those numbers you find that 82% of their prison population is serving a sentence on something that has nothing do do with drugs with offenses ranging from homicide to DUI.

    Of the people serving time for controlled substance offenses, only 0.9% of the prison population is in there for cannabis based's a fair bet they are for something significantly higher than a dime bag. And keep in mind that the stats only show the sentence the person is currently serving with no indication of past convictions or sentences served.

    Further, they list another 9,133 people currently on parole for violent offenses.

    It is worth remembering that Chicago is in Illinois, and that in 2017 the Chicago PD's homicide clearance rate was 12%. The numbers are no prettier for other categories of violent crime like rape, armed robbery, or aggravated assault.

    Then factor in the Bureau of Justice Statistics study in the original post and you will see that of the people currently in Illinois custody for violent crimes, the vast majority will be let out of a cage having served only a few years...where they will then be on the street again in cities with homicide clearance rates that are typically under 50%. Which means they get more chances to commit more violent crimes.

  7. #37
    Member John Hearne's Avatar
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    I recently read a very interesting book on this topic. "Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform" by John Pfaff has a great analysis of the how we got here. He examines the popular narrative fairly extensively and eviscerates that story neatly. The high number of drug offenders in prison is true for the Federal prison system but that only represents a small portion of prisons in the country. For state prisons, the numbers are much lower. (And Federal drug prisoners are morel likely to be high level dealers)

    His conclusion is that prosecutorial trends have been the key driver in prison populations. In a nutshell, we brought on a lot of new prosecutors to deal with the rise in violent crime that ended in the 90's. As crime decreased, we kept those same number of prosecutors. This has meant that they have been able to turn their attention to lower level offenses which may have been ignored in the past.

    He quotes a different source for the 1% of folks in prison for basic drug possession. Prisons filled with non-violent drug offenders is a popular view but one that does not hold up to any rigorous analysis. To quote the author: "a majority of people in prison have been convicted of violent crimes, and an even greater number have engaged in violent behavior." He also notes that while violent crime has been decreasing, it is still twice what it was in 1960.
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  8. #38
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    Every day I hear on the Atlanta news about murders, home invasions, carjacking, etc. I make a long commute with the hope that my family will be safer. Over the weekend, a well respected 70+ year old gentleman was murdered in a CVS parking lot - armed robbery or carjacking gone bad - in a "safer" area north of Atlanta. The suspected killer is from Atlanta. I believe we have a crime problem that can only be solved by locking up for a long time those that make us less safe.

  9. #39
    Value Instiller RJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranger View Post
    Every day I hear on the Atlanta news about murders, home invasions, carjacking, etc. I make a long commute with the hope that my family will be safer. Over the weekend, a well respected 70+ year old gentleman was murdered in a CVS parking lot - armed robbery or carjacking gone bad - in a "safer" area north of Atlanta. The suspected killer is from Atlanta. I believe we have a crime problem that can only be solved by locking up for a long time those that make us less safe.
    Damn. Im sorry to hear that.
    Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught. J. C. Watts

  10. #40
    Ideas Are Bulletproof RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Illinois is only going to get worse. If the idiots get their way, the age for juvenile offenses under the law will be raises from 17 to 21 -

    Seriously. Because they now recognize that 60% of the prison population in Illinois is under 25-years old, their solution is to allow everyone 21 and under to be tried as juveniles. As opposed to identify why a disproportionate number of black youths are committing crimes, well just make it so they dont get prison sentences that are very long. And well seal their records when they turn 21 too.

    The problem with Illinois is definitely under-incarceration. Under-incarceration of criminal politicians and their cronies.

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