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Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Vindy.com (IP Logged)
Date: June 12, 2006 07:14PM


Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 12, 2006 07:14PM

To Whom it may concern,
Everybody "who is so bent on helping prisoners" should really take a look at the guards who work there in all the overcrowed prisons and what they need for help. Every day working there with these so called I don't belong here I didn't do it prisoners and government cut backs. I think none of them get payed enough or enough respect for what they do.




Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 12, 2006 07:15PM

if you think they don't get paid enough then they should go back to school and get real educations

Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Carrol Cox (IP Logged)
Date: June 13, 2006 04:36PM

Probably retail drug dealers dont' get paid enough for the risks they take. Nor do Walmart clerks get paid well enough. In fact there are 10s of millions of people in the u.s. who don't get paid anywheres near enough for whatever they are doing.

But this is not usually viewed as an excuse to go beat people up who are making one's job difficult.

Backing up a bit. Capitalism requires a professional repressive force. There is no way that the pay for that force can be sufficient for the outrageous activities it is supposed to perform in the conduct of its repressive policies. The solution to this conundurm is to offer the personnel of that repressive force (police, prison guards, etc.) a more or less free hand to operate in their own immediate interests as they subjectively perceive those interests. Hence enforcing ordinary rules of human decency on this repressive force would seriously endanger the morale of that force. For example, it has been clear from the beginning that the central motive for the judges, prosecuting attorneys, governors, etc. who dealt with the Mumia case was not his guilt or innocence but the necessity for maintaining the morale of the thugs who constitute the Philadelphia Police Department.

Carrol Cox

Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: J J (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 10:32AM

Helping prisoners is helping us as taxpayers. It would be cheaper and far more productive to send people with drug problems to rehabs then to prisons. It would be cheaper and have better results to send people with mental illness to places they can get help instead of incarcerating them. Most prisoners are going to be released some day and be our neighbors. It would be far better for them to get college or vocational training in prison so they can have a chance to make it when released. Yet, these programs have been cut. If they learned a skill like, carpentry or plumbing they could be self-employed. That way they wouldnĺt be discriminated against when job hunting. Proving education and reentry to society skills would be far cheaper and make more sense than paying for the former inmate to end up incarcerated again. Don't just think of these things as benefiting us as taxpayer but as doing what is morally right.

Yes, guards just like most every other job should be paid more and respected for the difficult job they do. In the performance of that job like every other job it must earn it's respect. Overcrowding and cutbacks are things we as citizens must work to eliminate. For we are the government and must remind our "representatives" of that. If we didn't put the mentally ill (which by different studies is anywhere from one third to half of all inmates) and drug addicts in jail we wouldn't have overcrowding.


Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 10:44AM

Rehabs work ONLY if the addict/alcoholic is desperate enough...has hit bottom hard enough...to change EVERYTHING in their lives. EVERYTHING!!! For the rest of their lives. This is why the recovery rate for hard drugs is so abysmal, i.e. 1% on a good day. This is the kind of neighbors crack addicts make..



So come on up here on the porch of this old house, it

sure ain't no
home. More like Grand Central Station with all the

people coming and
going. People laughing, people crying, people just

hanging out--no
matter the temperature. Guy standing on the porch in

zero weather
hugging his elbows--people wonder what's the matter

with him?

Crack cocaine. He sold the coat off his back to the

Dopeman for
crumbs. Mere crumbs.

He could use that coat indoors: crack houses usually

about as cold as
they are bare. Electricity and gas . . . luxuries. No

electricity
equals no stove, no cooking, no TV, no popcorn. No hot

tea. No ice
tea. (No ice.) No phone ringing. Lots of fast food

wrappers laying
around or maybe crammed into a box or trash can, not

that anyone ever
empties it.

The couch sits squat to the floor instead of on its

legs, sure sign
where the decorator found it, in the dump. Also a table

for important
items: a glass stem, hollow like a straw, or maybe a

metal one--these
are your "pipes"--and a full Bic lighter, some empty

Bics, a box of
Chore Boy steel wool (for filters).

A candle for when the sun's gone and the Bics are

empty. Matches for
the candle so the Bics aren't wasted. Broken hangers or

car antenna
for cleaning out the pipes. No clocks, don't need them.

Crack time is
when's my next hit.

Come on in a little further. There's probably a hall,

empty condom
package on the floor, and here's a kitchen. The table

is bare except
for razor crumbs from cutting or shaving the rock, too

small to see
though though sure enough they'll be somebody down

under that table
on all fours looking. Maybe two or three of them.

An empty plate, an empty baggy box. An empty

refrigerator if there is
one. Empty cupboards, empty shelves, it's an empty

place. On those
occasions where it is somebody's home, it's almost

empty and on its
way to being trashed, gutted, shot up, busted out, and

the occupant
maybe beaten, maybe prostituted, maybe evicted--at

least one of
those, only a matter of time. That's because a crack

house is nothing
more'n a temporary site with one sole purpose: money.

Money for the dealer, from $100/hour for a little guy,

to maybe $400
to $500 when everything is set up just right and all

players are
behaving. Maybe $1,000 on a good day, maybe $2,500 if

you know how to
satisfy the choicest clientele. I'm talking hourly now,

and
conservative. And money for the occupant, too. Don't

forget him.
Money or something much much better than money. Which

is crack, poor
fool.

The more crack sales, the hotter the spot and the

hotter the spot,
the more faces you see, 10 or 15 people milling around

at any one
time. The hotter the spot, the more risk; the more

risk, the more
precautions necessary, which leads to the first player:

The Doorman--the one responsible for the door. Who is

it? Say it's
you. You don't leave your post without consent. After a

couple of
days you get pretty funky. You're a geeker (hooked

smoker) and your
wage is crack. And you get plenty extra on the sly,

too, as middle
man, breaking crumbs off other people's dope. Till you

get caught.

So comes a knock and you open your door and your

customer comes in.
You ask them what they want. They tell you 20. Or 25 or

30 or
40...dollar amounts, a quarter rock ($25) being about

this [ ] size
and a little thicker, though not always. You take this

money and
count it and turn around and walk off in back to:

The Dopeboy--the main man, dopeman, the dealer, who

does not want to
be seen (hence the Doorman). Dopeboys travel in packs,

three, four,
five or six of them, for fear of being robbed. Each has

his own stock-
-they're just together for security--and they take

turns at the crack
house.

The Hit Man--a necessary feature. He guards the

Dopeboy's back, his
44 magnum never far from reach. You meet that muzzle at

the door,
you've got no illusions the dopeboys are playing

around. Believe me,
they're not playing. Shoot first, ask questions later,

after they
pack up and find another spot. Where it starts up

again, and goes on
all night, all next day, twenty-four/seven.

The Rushers--the ones who run up to any and every car

or even to
ordinary people passing by: Hey, you looking? Come on,

I'll get you
hooked. Usually there's four or five of them, yelling

and haggling
and just rushing the @#$%& out of the poor customer--he

gives his
money away just to get them out of his face! They'll

rush anyone.
I've seen these @#$%& run up to the wrong car and

get cuffs
slapped on them--comical as hell. These suckers get a

$20 piece for
every $100 they take to the Dopeman.

The PFs and PF @#$%&--PFs stands for personal favors.

These crack
ladies, forgive me saying so, will do anything they're

told for a
hit, and what limit is there to a 19 year old dopeboy

showing off how
sick he can think? If you got a dirty mind, then

stretch it as far as
you can. They say women are more susceptible in this

regard, will let
themselves sink lower, but don't fool yourself: a man

want crack bad
enough, he'll be giving PFs in a wink. Self-respect is

one of the
first things traded for crack, somewhere in there just

before your
mother.

Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 11:31AM

Anonymous Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> if you think they don't get paid enough then they
> should go back to school and get real educations


I know corrections officers. A lot of them have 4 year degrees in criminal justice. Is that a real enough education for you?

Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 11:57AM

Your !% figure has no basis. It's like most folks just something they think must be. Of course drug rehab is tough and you want to have to kick the @#$%&. Of course the war on drugs is a joke. We go to war for oil and win but can't stop drugs from coming in. Homeland Security has shown we only inspect 4% of the cargo coming in. Sure Ronnie Reagan flooded poor neighborhoods with crack. The point is what are we going to do to fight back? Fire up a crack pipe or fight back against the powers that be that want to enslave us? I read your poem elesewhere on this site, nice good. Go down to the monthly poetry readings Pig Iron does and leave the facts to those who know better about prison issues. The Drug Project.

Deaths in the United States in a typical year are as follows:

* Tobacco kills about 400,000
* Alcohol kills about 80,000
* Workplace accidents kill 60,000
* Automobiles kill 40,000
* Cocaine kills about 2,500
* Heroin kills about 2,000
* Aspirin kills about 2,000
* Marijuana kills 0

There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana at any time in US history.

All illegal drugs combined kill under 20,000 per year, or a small percent of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco.

Tobacco kills more people each year than all of the people killed by all of the illegal drugs in the last one hundred years.

The National Center On Addiction And Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
If all illegal drug use were to be curtailed by some stroke of a magic wand, the drug-related deaths in the country would decrease by 1 percent. The remaining 99% remain just as dead, but dead by legal, and thus socially acceptable means.

The drug problem may not be the size we are being told it is, but it is large enough for concern. What are some of its causes? There is a feeling of helplessness in much of our poor population, particularly among young Black and Hispanic males. There is a total absence of any sense of self-worth in most of the residents of our inner cities.

There is extensive homelessness, and an increasing state of alienation between the middle-to-upper and the lowest classes. On one side, there is a growing attitude of I've got mine, and the hell with you, and on the other, I've got nothing to lose, so screw you.

There is a shameful public health problem of massive proportions (AIDS, teen-age pregnancies, rising infant mortality and the abandonment of any serious effort to help those with debilitating mental illnesses). There are children who have no families, no food, no education, and no hope.
Drug use is not the cause of any of these terrible problems.

It may certainly be one of the results, but it is not the cause. Nonetheless, a major national effort is being made to convince the American people that winning the War on Drugs will indeed cure us of all ailments, if we would but relinquish a few more individual rights in the pursuit of victory.

This war cannot be won. And we will only lose more and more of our freedoms in a futile effort to win it. Our efforts must be directed towards the causes, not just the consequences of drug misuse.
From the National Institite on Drug Abuse:In general, the more treatment given, the better the results. Many patients require other services as well, such as medical and mental health services and HIV prevention services. Patients who stay in treatment longer than 3 months usually have better outcomes than those who stay less time. Patients who go through medically assisted withdrawal to minimize discomfort but do not receive any further treatment, perform about the same in terms of their drug use as those who were never treated. Over the last 25 years, studies have shown that treatment works to reduce drug intake and crimes committed by drug-dependent people. Researchers also have found that drug abusers who have been through treatment are more likely to have jobs.
Drug treatment programs in prisons can succeed in preventing patients' return to criminal behavior, particularly if they are linked to community-based programs that continue treatment when the client leaves prison. Some of the more successful programs have reduced the rearrest rate by one-fourth to one-half. For example, the "Delaware Model," an ongoing study of comprehensive treatment of drug- addicted prison inmates, shows that prison-based treatment including a therapeutic community setting, a work release therapeutic community, and community-based aftercare reduces the probability of rearrest by 57 percent and reduces the likelihood of returning to drug use by 37 percent.

Drug abuse has a great economic impact on society-an estimated $67 billion per year. This figure includes costs related to crime, medical care, drug abuse treatment, social welfare programs, and time lost from work. Treatment of drug abuse can reduce those costs. Studies have shown that from $4 to $7 are saved for every dollar spent on treatment. It costs approximately $3,600 per month to leave a drug abuser untreated in the community, and incarceration costs approximately $3,300 per month. In contrast, methadone maintenance therapy costs about $290 per month.
The Califano Report

Drug Prisoners

* 1,360,000 Drug Prisoners in America
* 1.7 million Americans are incarcerated in prisons or jails, more per capita than any other nation.
* Nearly 80% of all prisoners in America are for drug related offenses.
* Ten million people have been arrested for marijuana since 1965.
America has only 5% of the world population but consumes 60% of ALL illegal drugs produced in the world.

We are the government! When are we going to take it back and do what needs to be done?

Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 12:34PM

Not a poem...simply a description of "life" in a crack house. Written by someone...not myself...who knows.

As to methadone...ask a heroin addict which is harder to kick..methadone or smack.

As for blaming laws...lets look at the root cause of addiction...not drugs..the individual in question. Drug/alcohol abuse is a symptom of that feeliong of terminal uniqueness that an addict feels. That is why recovery...not just treatment, but recovery is such a rarity. Basic, paradigmatic changes in the addicts behavior and thinking must occur. This requires a drive and focus on recovery that very few individuals can manage. Most non-drug addicted persons can't manage those fundamental changes....

Addicts use because they want to hide from life on life's terms. This article may help explain the problems that arise when dealing with addictive thinking...


Addiction, Lies and Relationships
Floyd P. Garrett, M.D.

Addiction means always having to say you are sorry Ó and finally,
when being sorry is no longer good enough for others who have been
repeatedly hurt by the addiction, addiction often means being sorry
all alone.

Addiction is often said to be a disease of denial Ó but it is also a
disease of regret. When the addictive process has lasted long enough
and penetrated deeply enough into the life and mind of the addict,
the empty space left by the losses caused by progressive, destructive
addiction is filled up with regrets, if-onlys and could-have-beens.
In early addiction the addict tends to live in the future; in middle
and late addiction he begins to dwell more and more in the past. And
it is usually an unhappy, bitterly regretted past.

The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At
first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the
addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands
and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind
and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as
to himself. He becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters
related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though
prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas
as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest.

First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, then he begins
to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning
and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are
necessary parts of the addictive process. They precede the main body
of the addiction like military sappers and shock troops, mapping and
clearing the way for its advance and protecting it from hostile
counterattacks.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and
unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it
simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without
the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from
the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades.
The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of
the addict must be justified and rationalized so that the addiction
can continue and progress.

One of the chief ways the addiction protects and strengthens itself
is by a psychology of personal exceptionalism which permits the
addict to maintain a simultaneous double-entry bookkeeping of
addictive and non-addictive realities and to reconcile the two when
required by reference to the unique, special considerations that Óat
least in his own mind- happen to apply to his particular case.

The form of the logic for this personal exceptionalism is:

Under ordinary circumstances and for most people X is
undesirable/irrational;
My circumstances are not ordinary and I am different from most
people;
Therefore X is not undesirable/irrational in my case - or not as
undesirable/irrational as it would be in other cases.
Armed with this powerful tool of personal exceptionalism that is a
virtual "Open Sesame" for every difficult ethical conundrum he is apt
to face, the addict is free to take whatever measures are required
for the preservation and progress of his addiction, while
simultaneously maintaining his allegiance to the principles that
would certainly apply if only his case were not a special one.

In treatment and rehabilitation centers this personal exceptionalism
is commonly called "terminal uniqueness." The individual in the grip
of this delusion is able to convince himself though not always others
that his circumstances are such that ordinary rules and norms of
behavior, rules and norms that he himself concurs with when it comes
to other people, do not fairly or fully fit himself at the present
time and hence must be bent or stretched just sufficiently to make
room for his special needs. In most cases this plea for accommodation
is acknowledged to be a temporary one and accompanied by a pledge or
plan to return to the conventional "rules of engagement" as soon as
circumstances permit. This is the basic mindset of "Iăll quit
tomorrow" and "If you had the problems I do youăd drink and drug,
too!"

The personal exceptionalism of the addict, along with his willingness
to lie both by commission and omission in the protection and
furtherance of his addiction, place a severe strain upon his
relationships with others. It does not usually take those who are
often around the addict long to conclude that he simply cannot be
believed in matters pertaining to his addiction. He may swear that he
is clean and sober and intends to stay that way when in fact he is
under the influence or planning to become so at the first
opportunity; he may minimize or conceal the amount of substance
consumed; and he may make up all manner of excuses and alibis whose
usually transparent purpose is to provide his addiction the room it
requires to continue operating.

One of the most damaging interpersonal scenarios occurs when the
addict, usually as the consequence of some unforeseen crisis directly
stemming from his addiction, promises with all of the sincerity at
his command to stop his addictive behavior and never under any
circumstances to resume it again.

"I promise," the addict pleads, sometimes with tears in his eyes. "I
know I have been wrong, and this time I have learned my lesson.
You'll never have to worry about me again. It will never happen
again!"

But it does happen again Ó and again, and again, and again. Each time
the promises, each time their breaking. Those who first responded to
his sincere sounding promises of reform with relief, hope and at
times even joy soon become disillusioned and bitter.

Spouses and other family members begin to ask a perfectly logical
question: "If you really love and care about me, why do you keep
doing what you know hurts me so badly?" To this the addict has no
answer except to promise once again to do better, "this time for
real, youăll see!" or to respond with grievances and complaints of
his own. The question of fairness arises as the addict attempts to
extenuate his own admitted transgressions by repeated references to
what he considers the equal or greater faults of those who complain
of his addictive behavior. This natural defensive maneuver of "the
best defense is a good offense" variety can be the first step on a
slippery slope that leads to the paranoid demonization of the very
people the addict cares about the most. Unable any longer to carry
the burden of his own transgressions he begins to think of himself as
the victim of the unfairness and unreasonableness of others who are
forever harping on his addiction and the consequences that flow from
it. "Leave me alone," he may snap. "Iăm not hurting anybody but
myself!" He has become almost totally blind to how his addictive
behavior does in fact harm those around him who care about him; and
he has grown so confused that hurting only himself has begun to sound
like a rational, even a virtuous thing to do!

Corresponding in a mirror image fashion to the addictăs sense of
unfair victimization by his significant others may be the rising self-
pity, resentment and outrage of those whose lives are repeatedly
disturbed or disrupted by the addictăs behavior. A downward spiral
commences of reciprocally reinforcing mistrust and resentment as once
healthy and mutually supportive relationships begin to corrode under
the toxic effects of the relentless addictive process.

As the addictive process claims more of the addict's self and
lifeworld his addiction becomes his primary relationship to the
detriment of all others. Strange as it sounds to speak of a bottle of
alcohol, a drug, a gambling obsession or any other such compulsive
behavior as a love object, this is precisely what goes on in advanced
addictive illness. This means that in addiction there is always
infidelity to other love objects such as spouses and other family -
for the very existence of addiction signifies an allegiance that is
at best divided and at worst -and more commonly- betrayed. For there
comes a stage in every serious addiction at which the paramount
attachment of the addict is to the addiction itself. Those
unfortunates who attempt to preserve a human relationship to
individuals in the throes of progressive addiction almost always
sense their own secondary "less than" status in relation to the
addiction - and despite the addict's passionate and indignant denials
of this reality, they are right: the addict does indeed love his
addiction more than he loves them.

Addiction protects and augments itself by means of a bodyguard of
lies, distortions and evasions that taken together amount to a full
scale assault upon consensual reality. Because addiction involves
irrational and unhealthy thinking and behavior, its presence results
in cognitive dissonance both within the addict himself and in the
intersubjective realm of ongoing personal relationships.

In order for the addiction to continue it requires an increasingly
idiosyncratic private reality subject to the needs of the addictive
process and indifferent or even actively hostile to the healthy needs
of the addict and those around him. This encroachment of the
fundamentally autistic, even insane private reality of the addict
upon the reality of his family and close associates inevitably causes
friction and churn as natural corrective feedback mechanisms come
into usually futile play in an effort to restore the addict's
increasingly deviant reality towards normal. Questions, discussions,
presentations of facts, confrontations, pleas, threats, ultimatums
and arguments are characteristic of this process, which in more
fortunate and less severe cases of addiction may sometimes actually
succeed in its aim of arresting the addiction. But in the more
serious or advanced cases all such human counter-attacks upon the
addiction, even, indeed especially when they come from those closest
and dearest to the addict, fall upon deaf ears and a hardened heart.
The addict's obsession-driven, monomaniacal private reality prevents
him from being able to hear and assimilate anything that would if
acknowledged pose a threat to the continuance of his addiction.

At this stage of addiction the addict is in fact functionally insane.
It is usually quite impossible, even sometimes harmful to attempt to
talk him out of his delusions regarding his addiction. This situation
is similar to that encountered in other psychotic illnesses,
schizophrenia for example, in which the individual is convinced of
the truth of things that are manifestly untrue to everyone else.
Someone who is deluded in the belief that he is the target of a
worldwide conspiracy by some organization will always be able to
answer any rational objection to his theory in a fashion that
preserves the integrity of his belief system. Even when he is
presented with hard and fast data that unequivocally disproves some
of his allegations, he will easily find a way to sidestep the
contradiction and persist in his false beliefs. (He can for example
easily claim that the contradictory data is itself part of the
conspiracy and is expressly fabricated for the purpose of making him
look crazy! Anyone who has ever tried -uselessly- to reason with
delusional patients knows the remarkable creativity and ingenuity
that can be displayed in maintaining the viability, at least to the
patient, of the most bizarre and obviously erroneous beliefs.)

The addict's delusions that he is harming neither himself nor others
by his addictive behaviors; that he is in control of his addiction
rather than vice versa; that his addiction is necessary or even
useful and good for him; that the circumstances of his life justify
his addiction; that people who indicate concern about him are enemies
and not friends, and all other such beliefs which are patently and
transparently false to everyone but himself, are seldom correctable
by reason or objective data and thus indicate the presence of
genuinely psychotic thinking which, if it is more subtle than the
often grotesque delusions of the schizophrenic, is by virtue of its
very subtlety often far more insidious and dangerous to the addict
and those with whom he comes into contact. For in the case of the
delusional schizophrenic most people are quickly aware that they are
dealing with someone not in their right mind - but in the case of the
equally or at times even more insane addict, thinking that is in fact
delusional may be and commonly is misattributed to potentially
remediable voluntary choices and moral decisions, resulting in still
more confusion and muddying of the already turbulent waters around
the addict and his addiction.

In many cases the addict responds to negative feedback from others
about his addiction by following the maxim of "Attack the attacker."
Those who confront or complain about the addict's irrational and
unhealthy behaviors are criticized, analyzed and dismissed by the
addict as untrustworthy or biased observers and false messengers.
Their own vulnerabilities may be ruthlessly exposed and exploited by
the addict in his desperate defense of his addiction. In many cases,
depending upon their own psychological makeup and the nature of their
relationship to the addict, they themselves may begin to manifest
significant psychological symptoms. Emotional and social withdrawal,
secrecy, fear and shame can cause the mental health of those closely
involved with addicts to deteriorate. Almost always there is fear,
anger, confusion and depression resulting from repeated damaging
exposures to the addict's unhealthy and irrational behaviors and
their corresponding and supporting private reality.




Re: Forum raises prison issues
Posted by: Anonymous (IP Logged)
Date: June 14, 2006 04:13PM

You don't actually think anyone read that whole novel you just posted, do you??? The bottom line is: Drug dealers belong in prison, chemically dependent people do not! Might not know what the answer is for people who are hooked on alcohol or drugs, but we know prison doesn't help. The judges who send them there are no better than they are!

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