Can Privatized Prisons Work?
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25-08-2016, 05:22 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 05:00 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This is the second time you've given the forum a "me or him" ultimatum RocketDoc. It diminishes your point.

Oh what the fuck ever, dude. I don't have a point, except that I cannot abide the way that guy deliberately fucks with my emotions in order to get what he wants. TTA is not a place I come so I can grind my teeth and reduce the already-too-low amount of sleep I'm getting.

If you will recall, I did leave when the pain of dealing with that asshole became too much, and no one was willing to stand up and say "this is wrong" and take the steps necessary to make coming here less painful than my tolerance threshold. It took quite a while to work up the courage to return, knowing he was here and that people had refused to look out for one another.

You can retain members who contribute to the good of this environment, or you can cultivate a crop of cruel-spirited assholes, but you can't do both.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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25-08-2016, 05:27 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2016 05:34 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 05:22 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(25-08-2016 05:00 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This is the second time you've given the forum a "me or him" ultimatum RocketDoc. It diminishes your point.

Oh what the fuck ever, dude. I don't have a point, except that I cannot abide the way that guy deliberately fucks with my emotions in order to get what he wants. TTA is not a place I come so I can grind my teeth and reduce the already-too-low amount of sleep I'm getting.

If you will recall, I did leave when the pain of dealing with that asshole became too much, and no one was willing to stand up and say "this is wrong" and take the steps necessary to make coming here less painful than my tolerance threshold. It took quite a while to work up the courage to return, knowing he was here and that people had refused to look out for one another.

You can retain members who contribute to the good of this environment, or you can cultivate a crop of cruel-spirited assholes, but you can't do both.

I agree with everything you said. I recall your previous absence on principle. It's a point well made. It's your ultimatum which is unnecessary and counterproductive and diminishing. .... And for that matter patronizing. "It's him or me fatboy. Make your choice." .... How 'bout No.

#sigh
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25-08-2016, 05:45 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 05:22 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You can retain members who contribute to the good of this environment, or you can cultivate a crop of cruel-spirited assholes, but you can't do both.

True. And for every one like Rocket who tells what he is going to do, there are several people who quietly leave.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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25-08-2016, 05:53 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 05:45 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(25-08-2016 05:22 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You can retain members who contribute to the good of this environment, or you can cultivate a crop of cruel-spirited assholes, but you can't do both.

True. And for every one like Rocket who tells what he is going to do, there are several people who quietly leave.

I was once a member of a forum that had thousands of members, but had just a couple of throbbing assholes (who happened to be atheists, yet). When I went to look that forum over after about 8 years or so, it has maybe 10 people who post on a regular basis. Most of those people appear to just have quietly gone away to greener pastures.
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25-08-2016, 06:44 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 02:14 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(25-08-2016 01:46 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Thanks, I thought it was interesting too, when hearing about it! And I agree with you that it would make sense to change at least some of the laws to better reflect the era we live in now, beyond some that have already been repealed.* I personally wouldn't mind seeing what you've suggested there, because it would probably help people more, though, they'd probably have to increase the pay rate for it to be good for people's families if they could send the money out instead of just adding it to a commissary account.

Right now, the pay range for paid inmate labor in the U.S. can range from ten cents an hour to whatever is decided by the state, federal government, or other entity running the facility. The Federal Prison Industry program (known as UNICOR) has some 83 factories around the United States, but only pays its prison workers a range from between 23 cents to $1.15 per hour, and tends to be considered on the high side of "employee" payment.

RS mentioned the law library gig paying well for the environment, and I think he said $40 a month? I was shocked it was that well paying sadly. x.x


*Totally not what you meant needed repealed, and I know you didn't mean it, but just one that I think folks may find interesting...one of the systems of prison labor that used to be big was the buying of people's contracts from the prison. Basically a private company, say a railroad or coal mine, would house, feed, and guard the inmates and have total control over their lives. Making them essentially slave labor for the company. But yeah, know what you mean about the ones that probably should be repealed for now.

Random thought: Now you've got me thinking I need to try and look and see if anyone's thought of your idea there, and tried publishing it in Criminology and Public Policy, which is written for accessibility to both academics and practitioners, and tends to discuss policy ideas regarding how stuff works in the system. It sounds like something one of their frequent contributors, Todd Clear, would bring up.

Edit: Also the sending money out brings up a thought. While some states allow inmates to send money out, I don't know offhand if all do, or the Feds do, and imagine private companies would have their own thoughts on the matter.

I haven't the foggiest notion what prison financials look like, but if a prison could take on contracts for skilled labor, then maybe they could generate enough money to operate the facility. Let's assume that a welder makes $12/hr on the outside. This figure assumes a profit for the welding company. Even if on the inside, the welder is only making $2/hour (take home), that may still allow for prison costs and small stipend for child support. It may enable prisoners to have enough income to address their personal needs rather than relying on family members on the outside to supplement them.

Even if the figure is only $100/ a month, wouldn't we rather see that $100 leaving the prison to go to feed a prisoner's kid rather than that $100 coming out of that kid's mouth to feed the prisoner?

RS already answered amazingly, but just wanted to say that I do agree with you, especially on the child support. One time I found myself sending out child support letters in a Probation office. You took the amount backlogged, and divided by the months left on Probation; if they ran out of time on Probation with back child support still owed, then they got hit with charges for that, and would probably soon be incarcerated. One letter I sent out was a "one minimum payment of $37,000", to round it down. (Not sure if they garnish wages from people's jobs for it there now, but then, they did not, and he was employed.) I'd be happy as a lark if he made enough and had it garnished towards child support while locked up.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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25-08-2016, 07:02 PM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
I agree with the ban and I have to say I enjoy the overall feel of this place. People seem to speak their minds here more instead of giving you bullshit and making you guess at what they mean. That's very refreshing to me.

As for why I agree with the ban, it's actually quite simple. The guy was very unpopular, the vast majority of the forum won't miss him, clearly, and his purported value as a voice of dissent was clearly and decisively offset by his display of utter stupidity and sociopathic behaviour.

RS, to share those things about your past in spite of who asked for them and how showed a great strength of character, and I respect you for it.

I also think people should be a community here and support each others as a result, especially against deranged trolls.

I do not worry that this situation will have precipitated a trend of staff mindlessly censoring free speech. This case was as clear-cut as they come and they made the right decision.
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25-08-2016, 10:50 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2016 11:21 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
Back on topic with privately-run prisons...

I was driving home from my folks' place today when I heard this on NPR. It's an interview with an investigative journalist who's spent the past several years investigating private prisons contracted to house federal inmates. It's the better part of an hour long, and while the conditions, corruption, and negligence described are disturbing, the descriptions are not very explicit.

That same journalist, Seth Freed Wessler, has been publishing a series of articles with The Nation on the subject. Here's the ones I could easily find:
The True Story of a Texas Prison Riot
A Guide to Our Investigation of Deaths Inside the Federal Bureau of Prison's Immigrant-Only Facilities
The 25 Men Whose Lives Ended Under Questionable Circumstances
'This Man Will Almost Certainly Die'
Family Sues Private-Prison Operator Over Deaths at Immigrant-Only Facilities
Federal Officials Ignored Years of Warnings About Deaths at Private Prisons
The Feds Will Shut Down the Troubled Private Prison in a ‘Nation’ Investigation
The Justice Department Will End All Federal Private Prisons, Following a ‘Nation’ Investigation

I haven't read all of these, so I can't vouch for their content. But the NPR interview about his reporting was a good and informative listen all on its own.

Overall, it seems that the original question focusing on whether private prisons can work in theory or what incentive structure would make them work in theory was the wrong one to ask. (Unsurprising, given who asked it.) Regardless of whether they CAN work.... they don't.

pleasedontspambanmepleasedontspambanmepleasedontspambanme

EDIT: Sorry RS, but I'm guessing that this content is not of the calm-you-down sort. You might want to wait until daytime to peruse it.
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26-08-2016, 12:13 AM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2016 12:19 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
(25-08-2016 10:50 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  EDIT: Sorry RS, but I'm guessing that this content is not of the calm-you-down sort. You might want to wait until daytime to peruse it.

Nah, I'm well-aware of the issues. I'm glad you posted it.

The sad part is that most federal prisons (and their privately-contracted counterparts) are significantly better for the health and well-being of inmates than state-run prisons... defendants would actually take plea deals to federal charges (often, as in the case of gun charges, they will be charged by both the state and the federal governments for the same exact action, which is legal for some reason) on the condition that the sentences are run concurrently and served in the federal joint, not the state. As a result, there were incidents where the governments would renege on the bargain and send the inmate to the state prison, anyway, at which point the inmate would have to sue to have the plea bargain--which is essentially covered under contract law--enforced correctly. These practices became so epidemic that laws were passed at the federal level to prevent sentence credit from applying toward one's federal sentence if one also had state time, though there are a few exceptions.

I have spoken with literally hundreds of inmates who had done both federal and state prison time, and not one of them would remotely prefer state time over federal time. Ever since the PLRA was passed, the feds have largely washed their hands of oversight of the conditions in state prison unless they're so demonstrably egregious (I say demonstrably because it's very, very hard to get solid evidence into court for things that happen behind walls patrolled by armed guards) that the feds have no choice but to step in under the Civil Rights codes of 42 USC § 1983. However, there are so many barriers under the PLRA that attempts to correct even the most brutal conditions are usually pointless.

[Edit to Add:Worse, the senators who pass these bills will openly state that the inmates "just sit around with nothing to do but make up false allegations", or some derivative of that statement. I would often help inmates with cases they had already filed, and I have never once, in the hundreds of cases I worked on, seen such a false allegation. I've seen frivolous claims, which have no merit in court, but never a false one. Often, we would have to leave out some of the worst parts of the claim because it seemed so over the top and the evidence we could provide was so thin that it would make the judges more likely to dismiss the whole thing, so we'd focus on what we could more-likely demonstrate, against the high bar of the PLRA.]

Lambda Legal (an LGBT advocacy legal group) has an excellent entry on some of the problems, in this case specifically detailing the Prison Rape Elimination Act and how its efficacy is shredded by the PLRA... and the PREA-related cases have the broadest leeway of any other type.

http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20150613_humphrey-plra

Here is an article by a "jailhouse lawyer" like I was, detailing what happened to him, with relation to these laws:

http://www.nlgmass.org/2010/10/prison-li...eform-act/

If you want to start to have a genuine idea of what our country is doing to its citizens, read these. There's a LOT more, sad to say.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-08-2016, 12:24 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
Almost forgot... there's a second law, also passed in the mid-90s by the "Moral Majority" congress and signed by President Clinton, called the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which similarly guts Habeas corpus for state prisoners, meaning that if a state subjects you to their laws in a manner that is unconstitutional and the state courts use their power to cover for the state prosecutors (which happens because most state appellate and supreme courts are composed of former members of the state Attorney General's office, the chief prosecutors of the state) and prisons/jails, you have an almost impossible task of bringing your claim before the federal courts. Even if you get in to the federal courts, they will rarely intervene against the "sovereign" state in the way the state enforces its laws, regardless of how wrong the state is, unless it interferes directly with a federally-guaranteed right covered by the 14th amendment... and that application of the 14th to state prisoners is what the AEDPA targeted/gutted.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-08-2016, 01:44 AM
RE: Can Privatized Prisons Work?
Quote:Earmuffs, your analogy is not quite right. If someone fired off a random comment about a random story about a priest, by joking that perhaps he was imprisoned in the same manner as other priests have (or should have) been imprisoned for pedophilia, it'd be fine, even funny. If I was speaking personally to a priest who told me he was wrongfully incarcerated and then exonerated, and I immediately asked "Oh, you're a pedophile?", it is an entirely different scenario and would warrant my banning in any civilized place.

Except Blowjob didn't know what you were in prison for thus him asking.
Accusing a priest of whom you knew was wrongfully imprisoned is different to light heartedly asking a priest "what were you incarcerated for? fiddling with the alter boys?".

Yea, it's an insensitive but its not an accusation and it's not worth banning Blowjob over or you leaving the forum over.

Quote:I had hoped that a call for protection from my fellow atheists would have been enough. Instead, what I get is to "toughen up" and grow a thicker skin.

Look, I'm sorry for what you went through. It fucking sucks. There's no words to explain how much it sucks. BUT its not Blowjobs fault you went through that AND he didn't know. You can't ban him, and this is going to sound very harsh but I mean this in as non-insensitive way as possible, for something that's your problem.

If he knew all this about you and was purposely goading you to flare up your PTSD than yea, I think banning him for the sake of protecting you would be called for.
But he wasn't. And we can't hold someone accountable for something they MIGHT do.

You, and everyone else, obviously wont like my view but that is what I feel this forum's version of free speech is about.

Quote:So either the people here are willing to respect that and help to protect me, or they are not. I have asked for such protection and offered my conditions for remaining because that is my only choice. To say that I am just being overly sensitive is deeply insulting and disrespectful, though I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that it was out of ignorance rather than malice.

So you'll give me the benefit of the doubt but not Blowjob?


Blowjob wasn't banned because he was rude, Blowjob was banned because he didn't fit in with the group. Nobody liked him. I updated a pretty disgusting comment on an old Australian mans rep page for how long before he finally upped and left. Was I banned? Not even close. He was though, for complaining about my rude disgusting comments too much. And what I said was far far worse than a light hearted comment. I'm pretty sure I still have a comment on someones rep page about their vagina being as wide as the grand canyon. No whispers of my ban.

Blowjob makes one rude comment and everyone's up in arms??

I've never disagreed with this moderating team. I think Moms, Stark, DLJ and the others do a fantastic job. The best I've ever seen. But this. This I disagree with.

A lot of you 2015ers who are calling for Blowjobs ban haven't been here very long.
You don't know the old times and the arguments and issues we had. You view this forum like you'd view any other. You think its ok to ban someone simply because they're on the outside of the main group or because they're not liked. But TTA is not like that. We don't ban someone based on if they're hated or not we do it based on their actions and Blowjobs actions here were not ban worthy. Unpopular and rude but not ban worthy. It's the reason why we say we have great free speech compared to other forums and shit.

Starks golden rule of "this place isn't for everyone" is what makes this place what it is. I'm sorry Rocket, but if I was an admin I would have picked Blowjob over you even though I like you more and think Blowjobs a douche. And I think the admins were wrong to ban him. This is an open forum where people post anomalously. The issue is yours and its not TTAs job to protect you, you're an adult you know what does and doesn't trigger you.

@adey, oh sack up.
@Losty, you can sack up too.

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