President Obama, former attorney general Eric Holder and a ton of republicans and democrats knew that the 1980’s ridiculous war on drugs failed miserably. That colossal failure led to the U.S. prison system busting at its seams for nearly 30 years. As such the Bureau of Prisons began contracting with private companies in 1997 at a time of severe prison over-crowding.
President Obama took a bold step in closing private prisons. He knew as well as any inmate did that privately-operated prisons were less safe and a poor substitute for government-run facilities.
A few weeks ago, the worse fear for anyone who had a family member incarcerated in one of these private prisons had their hopes ruined. They were duped into thinking that the private prisons would close their doors for good. Why? Duh! Together, 13 private prisons that closed housed 22,600 inmates as of December 2015, down from about 40,000 in 2014. Pretty simple math when you think about it. An idiot can see that as the crime rate drops…well so would the number of inmates being housed in these private prisons.
That simple math didn’t quite make sense to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions who sent a memo to all federal prosecutors instructing them to pursue the “most serious, readily provable offense” for their cases. The most “serious” crimes are determined by which offenses carry the longest sentences, according to guidelines. Guess who clapped the loudest from their leather chairs in high rise buildings? Likely George Zoley and Damon T. Hininger the CEO’S of GEO Group and Core Civic who’s stocks climbed a respective 2.15 and 3.44 percent within days of the memo being signed.
Sessions policy has been cleverly disguised as if it’s intended to advance public safety and promote respect and consistency for the legal system. Sessions recently said adding that it is the “the right and moral thing to do.” That was actually his secret code talk which actually meant “I’m morally obligated to bring back the failed national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war.” That approach fell out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration. Sessions desperately wants to go back to a strategy that tore apart families and sent low-level drug offenders, disproportionately minority citizens, to prison for long sentences.
No doubt everyone with some stake in the private prison system smirked when the U.S. Justice Department reversed an order by the Obama administration to phase out the use of private prisons that housed federal inmates due to overcrowding.
Sessions clearly doesn’t care that federal prosecutors, for over 30 years, failed to make “sound judgements” which is exactly why U.S. prisons spiraled out of control.
So here we are, with general crime rates at historic lows, it is clear that this type of simple-minded thinking will toss gas on the fire and direct prosecutors to give unnecessarily long and unfairly harsh sentences to people whose behavior did not warrant.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who has been accused of overt and covert racist statements in the past applauded the change, saying “it was “common sense” and will help reduce crime and drug use.” The educated and uneducated African Americans are aware that they make up 12-13 percent of the U.S. population and a little over 35% of the prison population.
What Cottons dear friend Jeff Sessions is failing to realize is that a majority of African Americans are aware that the policies that are being implemented will once again affect their communities in a huge way and are even more racist in nature. Once Sessions understands that African Americans don’t expect him to use the “N” word to make them know his true feelings the more harmless he will appear. They are keenly aware that his rekindled love for ordering federal prosecutors to pursue the strictest charges and sentences in criminal cases will once again fill private prisons. If minorities know one thing it’s the fact that the disparity in sentencing when it comes to people of color. They’ve long ago understood that inequality to mean “Let’s keep minorities in prison as long as we can which will plague generation after generation while making private prison owners wealthy.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on the other hand, said mandatory minimum sentences have “unfairly and disproportionately incarcerated too many minorities for too long.” You would think Rand Paul was an ultra-liberal to make such a statement. For those of you who may think this is a different Rand Paul then the one has a distain for civil rights and kept his former Senate campaign spokesman two years after posting a racist comment on social media with an image of a lynching on Martin Luther King weekend, no it’s him.
“It can’t be emphasized enough that the direction they’re pointing is 180 degrees wrong,” said David Alan Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches at Stanford Law School. “Mandatory minimums have had a terrible effect on the American criminal justice system, and we need to retreat further from their use, not return to the patterns of usage a decade ago.”
As Jeff Sessions and the so-called educated elite continue to press on with backward racist ideologies that will ultimately affect generations of minorities according to plan, the only happy persons will be private prison owners who are foaming at the mouth as their cells will once again become filled just like rooms within hotels in New York City by the hundreds of thousands who come watch the ball drop every New Years Eve.