To the editor:
New York Senate Republicans stopped New York Governor Cuomo's bill to decriminalize marijuana use in public.
The change would have reduced the consequence of an illegal pot bust for hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers.
So, who benefits? How about "tough on crime" legislators who wish to be seen protecting the public even though they aren't?
Who else benefits?
There are 1.6 million state and federal prisoners in the United States as of December 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Of those 128,195 are housed in private for-profit facilities. An additional 33,330 undocumented immigrants are privately housed as of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Corrections Corporation of America had income of $1.7 billion, according to CCA in 2011. It donated $17.4 million in lobbying efforts over the past 10 years. Who benefited from those "investments?"
The Geo Group, Inc., (GGI) another private detention company had income of $1.6 billion in year 2011, according to its annual report. GGI donated $2.5 million in lobbying efforts over the pasteight8 years. Who benefited from those 'investments?'
Who is harmed? More than one for-profit company or corporation has been seduced by the ideal of profit at any cost no matter the damage to others. Take a quick look at all the financial institutions that helped bring about our current worldwide fiscal disaster. Just as aside, why have so few malefactors been charged with all the improprieties they committed?
When criminal courts become feeders of inmates to the for-profit jails and prisons, there not only is the appearance of a conflict of interest, real conflicts happen. Imagine that you or a best friend had a child who made a poor decision and was dependent upon an overworked public defender and a judge with an interest in the for-profit domicile down the road.
No one should face such a condition, yet it has happened; it will continue to happen so long as we support such a loathsome "business plan."
More than 50,000 adults and children have been murdered in Mexico alone and our current drug policies are, at the very least, enablers. Go to an AA, NA, or another abuse anonymous meeting and ask about enablers and what is so bad about being one.
Many politicians would support a rational rewrite to our drug and incarceration policies but they don't because those who currently benefit will funnel huge amounts of money to unseat anyone in opposition. Sometimes, politicians make the best choice out of a set of only bad options.
Some recent political additions strode into office to deliberately make the worst possible decisions; now we have to contend with them as well.