Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Huh Huh, I Said, "Penal"

The state of my state's penal system is horrendous. The SCOTUS, 5-4, upheld a ruling that, shockingly, California can't house prisoners in unconstitutional conditions. As is typical for the Right, they want to imprison people in hoards, but won't pay for it.

For an initial take on the ruling, see here.

The notion that we sweep our under-class away into prisons is one that resonates with me. The privatization of that social choice is deeply unsettling to me. The idea that someone can make a profit from imprisoning people is abhorrent. And since most of those we incarcerate, at least in Cali, are otherwise "unproductive," it makes for a too-tempting "solution" to the problem of too many poor people who aren't profiting someone while they are free.

Don't fool yourself: Prison is not for rehabilitation, is is for punishment. It is there to destroy what is left of the humanity of the convicted, and we as a society are all-too-happy to lock 'em up. Our criminal justice system, at least post-trial, is a massive failure.

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