Wed Dec 2, 2015, 03:04 PM

Yet another reason our Criminal Justice System is an Abomination

We live in a world in which we form societies. There are things that we do for the common good, things that bring benefit to everyone. Providing a basic level of education for our children is something we do collectively. Everyone pays in, and while only the children benefit directly, we all benefit indirectly.

Our Criminal Justice System is another thing which we collectively fund, and maintain. We pay into the system through our taxes and fines. Those funds offset the costs of courts which we use to settle disputes and assign blame. Those funds also pay for the incarceration of those we as a society determin should pay a penalty for their misdeeds.

The principle behind this is simple, and understood by even the most anti-social of individuals. I can not maintain a private prison where those who wronged me will be incarcerated until such time as they have been appropriately punished. Instead, we manage this collectively. Or at least, we are supposed to.

There are many things which are wrong and I am not alone in speaking out against them. An example is Civil Forfeiture, an abomination and perversion of the principles this nation was founded upon.

Today however, I'm going to speak about forcing prisoners to pay for the room and board they enjoyed while incarcerated. The principle of rent or room and board is just as easily understood as many of the other ideals within society. If I were to ask you if I could stay at your house, we would agree in advance to any fees or costs. This would be fair, as it would be to both of our advantages. I would have the advantage of a bed, and perhaps breakfast meal with you. You would have the advantage of money to offset any annoyance you would likely endure. If you ran a hotel, then your fees would be posted up front for the rent, and services provided would be listed, and I would be free to avail myself of this room, and these services for the agreed upon fee. If I didn't like them, I could depart and find other accommodations.

Many States however, are presenting a bill, and suing to get the bill paid for prisoners. People who had all their choices taken from them by a judgment of the court. This is not a fine levied upon the person found guilty. This is billed as rent for the room and meals enjoyed by the prisoner while incarcerated. http://mic.com/articles/128245/some-jails-charge-inmates-an-absurd-amount-of-money-just-for-being-locked-up#.s2YNi9pRs

A principle in punishment is that once an individual has been punished, we forgive, if not forget, the individual. These nonsensical rent demands are worse that whatever crime the guilty may be accused of. It's barbarism. If you can't afford to maintain your incarcerated population, then don't incarcerate as many people. It's fairly obvious. There are other punishments that could be handed down that don't include incarceration. Community service, fines, treatment. But to deprive someone of their liberty, and then expect them to pay rent for the privilege of being locked up and fed, is barbaric.

Illinois is bankrupting those it has just deprived of liberty. http://news.yahoo.com/illinois-ramping-horrifying-practice-against-223135334.html

The more we learn about our criminal justice system, the less justice we find. Because it can't be considered just to carry out these practices.

People will generally agree that prisoners should not receive minimum wage for any labor. We considered it part of the punishment that being incarcerated includes. However, if you are going to charge the individual rent for the room they are required to be in by a judgement of the court, and provide them with food that would barely be considered adequate for an exorbitant fee of up to $66 per day.

If you are going to charge the prisoners rent, you must provide them with sufficient means of paying for the room and board. In other words, you should have to pay them a sufficient wage to cover their expenses. If you feel that your accommodations are worth $66 per day, you should have to pay twice that to the prisoners for whatever work they are required to do. You don't get to have it both ways. You do not get cheap labor for projects like road maintenance, and then get to charge the prisoners more than they would pay at a Motel 6.

This is yet another reason I believe our Criminal Justice System is an abomination. I believe that practices such as this, and the Civil Forfeiture, and many other examples of moral and ethical wrongs are barbaric.

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Reply Yet another reason our Criminal Justice System is an Abomination (Original post)
SavannahMan Dec 2015 OP
ol geezer Dec 2015 #1
stupidicus2 Dec 2015 #2
pavulon-lives Dec 2015 #3
SavannahMan Dec 2015 #4
I814U2CY Dec 2015 #6
SavannahMan Dec 2015 #7
USNRET1988 Dec 2015 #5

Response to SavannahMan (Original post)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 03:28 PM

1. I'm hearing crickets.

How can anyone even think being incarcerated and having to pay for the privilege is somehow legal?
Another example of Righty logic.

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Response to SavannahMan (Original post)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 03:30 PM

2. it truly is


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Response to SavannahMan (Original post)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 03:32 PM

3. why should I pay for those assholes

put them to work cleaning up shit on the side of the road, whatever shitty job needs to be done. I couldn't give less of a shit about those found guilty of major felonies.

and you know what if they are found innocent later, they get a refund.

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Response to pavulon-lives (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 07:56 PM

4. Well this is going to be tricky.

The Constitution allows the rights of citizens to be suspended through a mechanism referred to a due process of law. Once that process has determined that a guilty person be remanded into custody, the state becomes responsible for the care and feeding of that individual. You and I as members of society are responsible. It is our Government that prosecuted the individual. It is our laws passed by our representatives that said the behavior was unacceptable to the members of that society.

We do not have a mechanism in place to allow banishment or exile. We do have the mechanism in place to allow incarceration. We the citizens want that offender punished through that incarceration. We are responsible for that individuals care. Setting up a mechanism that allows the offender to earn ten dollars a day bit charges him sixty dollars for room and board is not just unjust, it is immoral. If you are going to charge him for the necessities of life, and restrict his ability to go out and earn the monies to allow the individual to pay your mandatory rent, then you have to give the individual the means to earn the money.

When released from prison at the end of the sentence, we expect the individual to become a productive member of society, his debt to society for the transgressions paid in discomfort. However, placing a levy for the monies you denied him an opportunity to earn is not just unjust, it is the act of a monster. It leaves little choice for the individual other than additional crimes to attempt provisions of hi,self, and any family.

If you are going to pay the prisoner what are called prison wages, then you can not expect the prisoner to pay premium for the privilege of being incarcerated.

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Response to SavannahMan (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 2, 2015, 08:52 PM

6. Convicts also pay fines; even the incarcerated ones.


The dilemma is easily avoided.

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Response to I814U2CY (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 3, 2015, 03:54 PM

7. Fines are assessed at the time of the conviction.

Not when the sentence has been served, and it's not referred to as room and board. That's utter nonsense.

Having been raised in the Catholic Church, I'm somewhat familiar with the idea of doing something wrong, and being punished, and forgiven. That's the entire principle behind confession. You tell God through the Priest what you've done wrong, and listen to the Priest tell you that God has the power to forgive, and that Jesus died to wash away our sins.

This is also the basic principle behind punishing those who have broken laws of man. They have done something wrong, and are punished for that. After their punishment is complete, they should be forgiven for their wrongs. Instead, we stack the deck against them in such a way that they can never strive forward to do no wrong. We restrict the types of work they can do through legislation. Then we levy huge "rent" payments. Nonsense. Absolute rubbish. Then we destroy their credit rating. Remember, these people have served their sentence, they've paid for whatever wrong they've done. Now you aren't happy with that, you want them to pay for life for one transgression.

I repeat. Nonsense. It's the Government trying to do something on the cheap. Pretending that by doing this, they are saving the taxpayers. But they aren't. They are actually costing the taxpayers more money. Because the aforementioned criminal who has served their sentence won't be able to find work sufficient to pay their back rent to the state, and will end up either homeless, or living on the dole, probably in public housing. So the taxpayers are footing the bill any which way you want to look at it. Instead of a productive member of society, we end up with another person who is a drain on society.

Even if that money is eventually paid, it's already gone to collection, destroyed the credit rating, and cost the taxpayers more than they would recoup. It's asinine. No business could run like that. If you spent ten thousand dollars to get six thousand dollars, you would be out of business in short order. That's another part of the reports, is that the States and Counties are actually losing money doing this.

It's asinine. It's moronic, and only a Donkey would think it was a brilliant method of recouping lost money. Pfui.

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Response to SavannahMan (Original post)