Saturday, November 17, 2007

An Unorthodox Solution To Prison Overcrowding

I heard on the radio this morning a news story about a new prison being opened locally today. The prison cost $48.3 million and took over two years to build. Of course, I reacted to this news by asking the obvious question I'm sure you are all considering: Why build a new prison when we could release 19,500 crack offenders back onto the streets instead?

I think that would be the most practical and economical solution to the prison overcrowding epidemic in the United States, instead of just building more prisons. I mean, when we build new prisons, we're just sending the clear message to our criminals that, it's okay if you want to commit crimes. There will always be a place waiting for you when you get done. Don't worry; the United States will provide for you. Yes, we are criminal enablers, inviting them to victimize us over and over again.

The only logical way to break the cycle of abuse is to tell the criminals that we've had enough! No longer will they have a place to stay when they get done commiting their crimes. They'll be on their own, on the streets, with no place to go and no one to love them. Clearly the most direct way to illustrate this message, so that there's no reasonable doubt of our sincerity, is to take criminals who are already happily incarcerated and terminate their free ride. We give them the boot. We kick them out, and leave them to fend for themselves on the cold, hard streets. That's what you get, criminals who commit crimes! No more cozy shelter and warm food! No more comfort! We will enable you no longer!

Some may view the release of nearly twenty thousand crack offenders back onto the streets as a negative thing, but I don't think so. It frees up our prisons for more important criminals, like Martha Stewart, or the guy who defaulted too long on his student loan payments. A lot of people think that crack is a very dangerous and degenerative narcotic, but what do a lot of people know? A farmer's wife or sanitation worker is hardly the expert on the effects of different chemicals on the human brain. The government tells us that crack heads are good, decent, upstanding citizens who can be trusted; shouldn't that be good enough for us?

While the DEA is busy raiding medical marijuana plants in states where medical use is authorized, the government is at the same time considering the release of tens of thousands of crack offenders. Now, I've seen some crack heads in my life, and every single one of them is some sort of hideously gnarled, Lovecraftian horror of a human being. They all walk around shaking and chattering, or talking emphatically to no one like a schizophrenic, and you never know when one is just going to flip out and bludgeon you to death with an old shoe or a Kit-Kat bar. Going by this, I would rate crack cocaine further up there on the "bad things it will do to a human being" list than other abusive chemicals, such as caffeine or pot.

Yeah, pot heads are generally annoying too, but in a completely different way. They're just incredibly slow and like to laugh a lot. The worst they do is try to buy cigarillos underage, but according to the Surgeon General, those are only bad for minors if they have tobacco in them. Extract the tobacco and put pot or Kool-Aid or those little styrofoam pellets in them, and they're perfectly healthy. A crack head might try to rob you, armed with a kitten, a TV remote, or a dolphin statue. They're typically irritable and may try to bite you, turning you into a crack head as well. So there's pretty strong evidence that, as far as bad drugs go, crack cocaine is pretty up there on the list.

Here's the thing. The argument is that crack offenders shouldn't get far higher prison sentences than cocaine offenders. Now I'm not totally aware enough of the various things drugs do to the human brain to determine whether there's a major difference between ingesting powder cocaine or cocaine concentrate, but it pretty well all destroys your brain, as evidenced by way of watching crack heads try to operate in society.

The question isn't even a matter of the laws being disparate. Quite frankly, I don't really care if the laws for cocaine and crack are different. It doesn't affect me in the slightest as someone who a) would never use crack, and b) would have no idea how to go about doing it even if he wanted to. I don't care if there's a ten-year gap between the sentences for cocaine and crack. It makes no difference. The point is that these people committed crimes, and they should be punished for those crimes. They should be removed from interaction with decent citizens and placed somewhere they can do no harm to themselves and others. If they didn't want to go to prison, they shouldn't have committed the crimes. The thing about criminals is that they know that what they're doing is wrong, and yet they still choose to do it. So fuck them.

I don't care about the heartbroken grandmother in the ghetto mourning for her grandchild in the state penn. Guess what, you're grandchild is a crack head. Deal with it. Trust me, prison is probably the safest place your grandchild could be. In case you haven't noticed, crack heads will steal, deal, and even kill for their next fix. Locking them away has reduced violent crime rates because there's a direct correlation between crack addiction and violent fucking crime. Now we're considering releasing tens of thousands of admittedly violent criminals back out onto the streets where they can indulge as much as they like.

I say, fuck it. Keep building more prisons. Keep locking away more criminals. Fuck the prisoner advocacy groups. Unless the prisoners are being sodomized by the guards or something, I don't care about how unfair their sentences were perceived to be. They knew they would go to prison, and they still made the choice. The amount of time spent is trivial. They've sent the clear message that they didn't care about going to prison, so as far as I'm concerned, they lost the right to protest the length of the sentence on the grounds of semantics.

We'll just keep piling more criminals into the prisons until we either run out of criminals or run out of space and just start shooting them in the back of the head. Even then, they still wouldn't care and would still continue doing stupid shit for stupid reasons because criminals are fucking stupid. They jutted a big middle finger at the law the second they decided to start doing crack, so it's about time the law jutted an even bigger middle finger back.


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