Locked Up: How the Modern Prison-Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail

FromAmmo.com

“There’s no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.

The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.)  Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.

On top of those currently serving time, 4.7 million Americans were on parole in 2016, or about one in 56. These numbers do not include people on probation, which raises the number to one in 35. Nor does it include all of the Americans who have been arrested at one time or another, which is over 70 million – more than the population of France.

For firearm owners in particular, the growth in this “prison-industrial complex” is troubling because felons are forbidden from owning firearms and ammunition under the 1968 Gun Control Act. As the number of laws has grown and the cultural shift for police has gone from a focus on keeping the peace to enforcing the law, more and more Americans are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights (not to mention other civil rights like voting – as of 2017, 6.1 million Americans cannot vote because of their criminal records). All told, eight percent of all Americans cannot own firearms because of a felony conviction.

For American society as a whole, the prison-industrial complex has created a perverse incentive structure. Bad laws drive out respect for good laws because there are just so many laws (not to mention rules, regulations, and other prohibitions used by federal prosecutors to pin crimes on just about anyone). How did we get here?

History of Incarceration in the U.S.

The Prison-Industrial Complex: How a Profiting Prison Industry is Disarming AmericaUnited States law is, of course, based on English common law. Thus, no history of incarceration in the United States can start without first discussing the history of incarceration in the Kingdom of England and later the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

The prevailing notion of where crime came from in the old country and the colonies was idleness. Punishments often involved sending criminals to workhouses, which were quite distinct from the prisons we know today. Rehabilitation and reform weren’t strong currents in the English and later British penal system until the 1700s. Reformers sought to improve the criminal and to make him not want to offend.

Another historical fact worth noting is that incarceration is a relatively recent innovation in punishment. Historically, criminals were punished by shaming, corporal punishment, mutilation, exile and death. The purpose was generally not to make the criminal better, but to deter him from offending again while simultaneously providing the community with some awareness of his crimes for the purpose of allowing them to take measures to protect themselves (for example, branding a “B” on the forehead of a burglar). Where criminals were incarcerated, it was generally a temporary measure prior to trial or post-trial punishment, not a punishment in and of itself.

Remember, a significant portion of early American settlers were convict laborers. This convict labor was not incarcerated, but rather freely mingled with the general population. For the safety of the non-criminal elements, they had to be quickly and easily identified. However, the early American colonies were in no position to expend resources to house, feed and clothe criminals who were not providing productive labor – which is why incarceration made about as much sense as cutting off a criminal’s hand. Only four types of criminals were prohibited from being shipped across the ocean from England: murderers, rapists, burglars, and witches.

Prison became the primary means of punishment for felonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Two systems emerged: One where prisoners were incarcerated alone and another where they were incarcerated in groups. For what it’s worth, most prisons were in the North. Throughout the South, crime was largely viewed as a northern problem. Rather than prison, the Antebellum South relied heavily on extra-judicial violence and honor culture to keep their crime rates low.”

The rest of the article is here: https://ammo.com/articles/prison-industrial-complex-disarming-america

Heroes of the week: Officers charged after allowing two women to drown while locked in police van

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Posted by Deborah Jarrett

January 4

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two South Carolina law officers were charged Friday in the deaths of two women who drowned while locked in the back of a sheriff’s department van during Hurricane Florence.

Stephen Flood is charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter, according to online court records. Joshua Bishop faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A judge set bond at $30,000 for Flood and $10,000 for Bishop and both were released after posting bail.

Flood, 66, and Bishop, 29, were fired from the Horry County Sheriff’s Office in October as part of an internal investigation. Authorities said the deputies were driving 45-year-old Wendy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green through Marion County to a mental-health facility under a court order when their van was swept away by rising floodwaters as Hurricane Florence inundated the state.

According to records from the state Criminal Justice Academy, Flood made a “conscious decision” to drive around a barricade near the Little Pee Dee River, and Bishop didn’t try to stop him.

The powerful tropical system smashed into the Southeast coast as a hurricane Sept. 14, triggering severe flooding as it weakened yet nearly stalled over the Carolinas for days.

Green and Newton drowned in the back of the locked van on Sept. 18.

The families of both women tearfully addressed the judge Friday. Rose Hershberger, Green’s oldest daughter and a high school senior, mourned her mother missing milestones like her graduation.

“Every night is just a constant lack of sleep,” Hershberger said. “All I see is my mother, and I hear her screams and her cries.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/officers-to-be-charged-after-2-patients-drowned-in-van/2019/01/03/35b61ba4-0fc3-11e9-8f0c-6f878a26288a_story.html?utm_term=.88999b4c0daa

A few bad apples : Bexar county Texas, 22 deputies arrested in 2018

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“An off-duty Texas sheriff’s deputy was arrested Monday on a domestic violence charge, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Bexar County deputy, Michael DeWitt, was arrested by San Antonio police at about 6:10 a.m. after he allegedly assaulted the victim by choking or strangulating them. He was booked into the Bexar County Jail on a $3,500 bond.

DeWitt is at least the 22nd Bexar deputy arrested in 2018.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office’s Internal Affairs division is conducting a separate but concurrent investigation into DeWitt’s alleged misconduct.

“I’ve made my stance perfectly clear on this issue,” said Sheriff Javier Salazar. “Proactively since September 2018 we have included family violence training during our annual in-service with Family Violence Prevention Services Inc. for this purpose. This case will be handled as swiftly and severely as allowable by civil service and the collective bargaining agreement.”

According to the sheriff’s office, DeWitt, 51, is assigned to the Law Enforcement Bureau Patrol Services division. He has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

RELATED: Jail chief abruptly resigns from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

DeWitt, a 19-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was previously arrested in 1995 for alleged drag racing, but the charge was later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

The arrested deputy is at least the 22nd deputy arrested in 2018. This year, Salazar has made efforts to curb behavioral issues in his office. He’s added a staff psychologist to identify at-risk deputies, and he updated the job application requirements for deputies to reject anyone who has previously been arrested for a crime”

https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/crime/article/Bexar-County-deputy-arrested-on-suspicion-of-13439230.php

Rape,child porn, theft and more: Compilation of heroes in blue arrested for the week of 12-17-2018

Georgia road bandit shot dead after preying on armed citizen

Atlanta

A road bandit, monetarily preying on citizens for the state of Georgia, was shot dead Thursday after confronting an armed citizen. The citizen, apparently at his wits end after being pulled over, fled on foot.

The road bandit, who is currently unidentified, was shot and killed during the chase when the citizen pulled out a fire arm and fired at him.

The citizen who is also unidentified, was later hunted down by a larger group of Road bandits and killed in a firefight after dogs were released on him.

Nationwide this is the 46th killing of a Road bandit or associated Government officer.

In a typical year almost 2000 Bandits are accused of crimes against citizens and are themselves arrested.

In New York city alone, $385 Million was paid out in a five year period to settle abuse claims against the cities bandits

So far to date in 2018, Road bandits have killed 947 citizens nationwide

 

A few bad apples: Florida police chief sentenced to prison after he and his Dept. framed innocent black men

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Posted by Deborah Jarrett

Seriously, do you think that you should believe what any of them have to say? A few bad apples? My ass it is. If it were just that we wouldn’t have this unending stream of arrest material to work with. Are you surprised that they are racist liars?  Why wouldn’t they be? What incentive do they have other than the risk of getting caught? I know that I am not surprised. As a matter of fact that is why this website exists.  That’s right a lying, scumbag cop. My wife did 30 days in jail because this cop sat on the stand and perjured himself.   He lied his ass off in testimony that was in direct opposition to what he testified to earlier. 30 days for a first offense of resisting without violence. A woman who was a nurse, a social worker, a guardian Ad litem and a medic. All the judge had to say was ” Bring it up at appeal, I can’t discount the testimony of a sworn officer of the court”. A sworn officer. A lying officer, just like the chief here.     If you get called to jury duty, you remember these lying P.O.S. on this page and do the right thing. Don’t believe a word they say. 

 

MIAMI  Nov. 27— The former police chief of a small Florida city will serve three years in prison for a conspiracy in his department to frame black men for crimes they did not commit. A federal judge in Miami imposed the sentence Tuesday on ex-Biscayne Park chief Raimundo Atesiano, who had faced a maximum 10-year sentence.

Three other former officers have also pleaded guilty in the case, which centered around efforts by Atesiano to improve his department’s crime-solving rate.

Atesiano’s lawyer says the victims were not randomly selected but were known to police as having criminal pasts. The judge allowed Atesiano to remain free for two weeks before surrendering so he can care for his mother, who is dying of leukemia, according to The Miami Herald.

“When I took the job, I was not prepared,” Atesiano told the judge, the newspaper reported. “I made some very, very bad decisions.”

Prosecutors say the crimes for which black people were falsely arrested included burglaries and vehicle break-ins.

Two ex-officers were sentenced to a year each in prison, while the third got just over two years behind bars.

Original is here along with video of Chief claiming they solved all the burglaries in 2013: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/raimundo-atesiano-former-biscayne-park-police-chief-gets-prison-for-framing-innocent-black-men/

Police crime info

June 22, 2016

The Washington post

So far this month, two New York City police commanders have been arrested on corruption allegations, an officer in Killeen, Tex., has been accused of sexually assaulting a female driver, a Philadelphia police officer has been charged with extortion of a drug dealer, and an officer in Hono­lulu has been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Such sporadic news accounts of police officers being arrested led one group of researchers to a question: How much crime do police officers commit?  No one was keeping track, much as no one was tracking how often police officers shoot and kill civilians, although both may involve use of police power and abuse of public trust.

Now there is an answer: Police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day, according to a new national study. The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found. About 72 percent of officers charged in cases with known outcomes are convicted, more than 40 percent of the crimes are committed on duty, and nearly 95 percent of the officers charged are men.

The study is thought to be the first-ever nationwide look at police crime, and was conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University through a grant from the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. The research covered seven years, 2005 to 2011, and sought to quantify not only the prevalence of police officers arrested across the country, but also how law enforcement agencies discipline officers who are arrested and how officer arrests might correlate with other forms of misconduct.

For example, the study found that 22 percent of the officers arrested had been named as defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit at some point in their careers, unrelated to their arrest case. The authors suggest that police agencies analyzing such suits “could potentially lead to new and improved mechanisms to identify and mitigate various forms of police misconduct.”

In the seven years of the study, the researchers compiled 6,724 cases, or about 960 cases per year, involving about 792 officers per year — 674 officers were arrested more than once. But the study has continued beyond 2011, and lead researcher Philip M. Stinson at Bowling Green said the number of cases now averages about 1,100 arrests per year.

“Police crimes are not uncommon,” Stinson concluded. “Our data directly contradicts some of the prevailing assumptions and the proposition that only a small group of rotten apples perpetrate the vast majority of police crime.” Although nearly 60 percent of the crimes “occurred when the officer was technically off-duty,” Stinson wrote, “a significant portion of these so-called off-duty crimes also lies within the context of police work and the perpetrator’s role as a police officer, including instances where off-duty officers flash a badge, an official weapon, or otherwise use their power, authority, and the respect afforded to them as a means to commit crime.”

“This is probably the tip of the iceberg,” said Cara Rabe-Hemp, a professor at Illinois State University who has studied police deviance. She said the effort is the “first-ever study to quantify police crime” and shows it is “much much more common than what police scholars and police administrators previously thought.”

To be clear, police are not committing crimes at anywhere near the level of civilians. Stinson’s data found 1.7 arrests of police per 100,000 population over the seven years of the study, where the general arrest rate in 2012 alone was 3,888 arrests per 100,000 population.

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The number of arrests was “not particularly notable,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police officers’ union, “when you take into account there are between 850,000 and 950,000 law enforcement officers.” The study did not include federal law enforcement, only state and local agencies. A recent Justice Department census of sworn state and local law enforcement officers put the nationwide total in 2012 at about 750,000.

Pasco said “the level of media scrutiny of police is way up,” even in the years of the study, making recruitment of quality officers more difficult. “In that context, some departments have lowered their standards,” Pasco said. “And you get what you paid for.”

The study gathered cases by using Google news alerts that send a message whenever an item on the Internet contains specific search terms. So only cases that are uncovered by a media outlet or disclosed in a police news release are captured in the database, meaning that many arrests that aren’t reported by, or even known to, the police are excluded.

“Every profession struggles with what to do when a member of their own commits a crime,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). “But for the police, having officers involved in crime strikes at the very core of what is important to them: public trust and integrity.”

Wexler said PERF and the Justice Department studied a series of sexual assaults committed by San Diego police officers. Officers working late shifts by themselves used traffic stops to commit sexual crimes against women they pulled over, Wexler said. “The actions of these officers impacted the whole department and resulted in major changes. Better screening for hiring, more effective supervision and early warning systems could help reduce these crimes.” He said the new study “sheds light on the extent and nature of this problem.”

The study found that more than 81 percent of the crimes were committed by patrol or detective-level officers and that nearly 85 percent were reported in metropolitan agencies.

New Orleans had the highest per-capita number of officers arrested, with 44.2 arrests per 1,000 officers, during a period that included misconduct committed after Hurricane Katrina. Milwaukee, with 36.7 arrests per 1,000 officers, and Memphis with 29.7 arrests were the cities with the highest arrest ratios.

 

There were 125 officers charged with murder or non-negligent manslaughter in the seven years of the study, and the Bowling Green researchers have followed the outcomes. Of the 125 cases, 107 have been resolved and 77 of those officers were convicted, a 72 percent conviction rate, the same conviction rate as for officers in all crimes where the outcomes are known. A Justice Department study of state court convictions for all defendants, not just police, found a conviction rate in all felony cases of 68 percent, and a 70 percent conviction rate for murder.

Stinson felt it was particularly significant that of all the officers arrested, for offenses ranging from murder to drunken driving, only 54 percent were fired, and 37.5 percent arrested for domestic violence lost their jobs.
The study also found that roughly two-thirds of all the arrests were made by an agency that didn’t employ the officer, and “in at least some cases agencies are not aware of the crimes perpetrated by their own officers.”

Although applicants for police jobs are required to disclose arrests, Stinson said all police departments should require all sworn employees to disclose their arrests or protective orders against them, “so that police agencies can document and respond to known cases of police crime.” He suggested that all law enforcement agencies conduct routine annual criminal background checks of all officers, noting that officers arrested for domestic violence sometimes are able to maintain jobs requiring them to carry guns by not notifying their agency.

“Systems designed to provide an early warning of officers who are problem-prone,” Stinson wrote, “cannot be considered complete if they are unable to identify sworn law enforcement officers who have perpetrated a criminal offense.”

Rabe-Hemp noted that data showing 54 percent of arrested officers being fired likely means that many officers are allowed to resign and retain their law enforcement certification. “When officers resign, they usually just go to a neighboring county,” she said. She said she had studied a number of arrested officers’ cases, and “you could find them bopping all over the Midwest.”

Rabe-Hemp also pointed out that while women constitute 12 to 15 percent of all police officers, they make up less than 5 percent of those arrested. “One solution to police crime should involve hiring more women as police officers,” she said.

In cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, 72 percent of the officers were fired, and more than 80 percent resulted in convictions, the study found. There were 422 reported cases of forcible and statutory rape, 352 cases of forcible fondling and 94 sodomy cases over the seven years of the study, which Stinson called “larger than expected based on the existing research.” The data search turned up 174 examples of male officers arrested in cases of “Driving While Female,” in which women drivers were harassed or assaulted. About 82 percent of those cases ended in convictions.

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The study also checked each arrested officer’s name in the federal court database to see if they had ever been named as a defendant in a federal civil rights suit. Of the 5,545 arrested officers, 1,233, or 22 percent, were named as a defendant in a federal civil rights action at some point during their law enforcement career. The researchers found that “officers who perpetrate crimes while on-duty are significantly more likely to have been named as a [civil rights] defendant” than those whose crimes occurred off-duty.

Although the Bowling Green database now includes about 1,100 cases per year, Stinson thought that number underrepresented how much crime police commit, both because news articles may not capture every arrest and also because police agencies may allow officers to resign in lieu of arrest because “they don’t want to air their dirty laundry.”

Stinson noted that almost two-thirds of the police arrests were made by agencies other than the officer’s. In some cases, Stinson wrote, “the employing agency should have made the arrest and failed to do so,” in part because of officers extending each other “professional courtesy.” He noted that of the 960 drunken-driving arrests, there were “comparatively few run-of-the-mill cases of DUI,” and that arrests only occurred if something egregious happened, such as a crash, injuries or leaving the scene.

Of the drunken-driving cases with known outcomes, however, officers were convicted only 35 percent of the time, and only about 38 percent lost their jobs.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/06/22/study-finds-1100-police-officers-per-year-or-3-per-day-are-arrested-nationwide/?utm_term=.25eaa2159d85