Sunday, April 16, 2017

Beauregard Sessions Wants to Fill Federal Prisons with Drug Users, Not Drug Dealers

And Probably Fill Private Prisons that Donate to Republicans As Well

It seems that one thing everyone has learned in the last few decades is that jailing people for using drugs does not deter drug usage.  If it did we would not have the epidemic of drug use in the nation that we are now enjoying (not the right word).  But the new Attorney General and his henchmen, particularly a Justice Department attorney named Steven H. Cook seem to want to bring back that failed policy.  From the WaPo.

“Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.

Now jailing drug dealers is great policy. Anyone who makes substantial money peddling heroin or coke or opiates or like products should be in jail, and be there for a long time.  But apparently that is not what Sessions has in mind.

“Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs is bad,” Sessions said to law enforcement officials in a speech in Richmond last month. “It will destroy your life.”

Gosh your holiness, we all know drug usage is a terrible thing.  Is it just now news to you?  And here’s what that policy looked like

“The nation began incarcerating people at a higher rate than any other country — jailing 25 percent of the world’s prisoners at a cost of $80 billion a year. The nation’s prison and jail population more than quadrupled from 500,000 in 1980 to 2.2 million in 2015, filled with mostly black men strapped with lengthy prison sentences — 10 or 20 years, sometimes life without parole for a first drug offense.

Of course if we jail drug users for a long sentence we will need more prisons, and guess what Republicans favor, well, private for profit prisons.  So one can expect the private prison industry to line up with the Republicans on this.  And one thing that we will learn from past experience is that corruption in the prison system will allow many of the drug dealers to continue to operate from prison.  Because unless substantial funds are spent on operating and securing prisons, they don’t stop the crime, they just remove it to the prison.

And the extra benefit a great southern anti-civil rights bigot like Sessions, well there is this.

“Advocates of criminal justice reform argue that Sessions and Cook are going in the wrong direction — back to a strategy that tore apart families and sent low-level drug offenders, disproportionately minority citizens, to prison for long sentences.

Yes, crime is down, but there are still tremendous problems.

“Crime is near historic lows in the United States, but Sessions says that the spike in homicides in several cities, including Chicago, is a harbinger of a “dangerous new trend” in America that requires a tough response.

But guess what, your high ignoramus.  Murder is a state crime in most circumstances.  So what the feds need to do to help here is to support local law enforcement.  This means more money to local police and greater control of firearms.  Oops, not what conservatives want to do is it?

So years from now when the Sessions’ policy fails and people go back to what works everyone will wonder ‘what were they thinking?’   The answer of course is that they were not thinking, thinking is not something Sessions has ever been accused of doing.  And as a final note, here is Sessions's policy for reducing drug use.

"In the speech in Richmond, he said, “Psychologically, politically, morally, we need to say — as Nancy Reagan said — ‘Just say no.’ ”

Yeah, that works

No comments:

Post a Comment