Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Being tough on crime creates crime

Letter by Tom Martin, Sumner on Dec. 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm with 35 Comments »
December 8, 2010 1:47 pm

Do you suppose there’s a profit incentive to the wholesale mass incarceration that’s plagued our nation? Has the criminal justice system become ‘Big Business’?

First, the media dwells on violence and crime, thus increasing their ratings and therefore increasing their profits.

Then elected officials endear themselves to the fear-struck public with a “tough on crime” stance that might very well guarantee their election.

Then many corporations whose financial well-being is dependent on the prison population have their bottom lines bulging as the prison walls bulge.

Many do not realize that being “tough on crime” has actually created crime. Many do not realize that when more money is funneled into corrections, the less is available for our schools and other social services. It’s time we realized that serious criminal justice reform is in order.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. “It’s time we realized that serious criminal justice reform is in order.”

    I agree. Let’s outsource it.

  2. aislander says:

    Yes, Velmak. I understand Nigeria is making great strides in the field…

  3. The French outsourced their no-good-niks to Devils Island In French Guiana. One of it’s main advantages was that many of them were never seen again. That has to be an improvement over our system that let’s guys like Maurice Clemmons roam freely and kill police officers in coffee shops. It’s time to bring the system back into balance, even if it offends the tender sensibilities of Eric Holder and the New York Times. Or we could just send them all to Maricopa County and let Sheriff Joe deal with them.

  4. sumner402 says:

    Th loving, contented, positive and happy right wing has spewed their venom, as usual.

  5. aislander says:

    I was being only slightly facetious, Velmak. I like your suggestions, but there is one thing I don’t understand about Three Strikes, and that is I thought it involved only violent crimes. Even I, a law and order guy, have difficulty with the idea of sending someone up for life for, say, shoplifting, if that is the third strike. Don’t misunderstand; I am for enhanced sentencing for career criminals, and even for stiffer sentences for first-time lawbreakers, so there is some deterrent effect, but I am reluctant to give someone a life sentence for a nonviolent crime…

  6. allgirlusa says:

    Maybe we should go ‘soft on crime’ then ??!! Maybe Tom would like to have criminals over to his house for a firm talking to or pay for months of therapy for convicts… *sarcastic* Maybe a soft, warm & fuzzy, feel-good approach would help cut down on crime and we just wouldn’t need silly things like prisons. Profits come from revenue, revenue creates jobs, jobs support taxes that pay for all social programs – why do the libs aways paint big business as bad?

  7. Mudbone says:

    They want to make you into criminals. For instance did you ever wonder why people who happened to drink one beer too many and get a D.U.I. conveniently have their drivers license suspended several weeks before they can get an ignition interlock license? It is solely because the state can now catch them driving with a suspended license and hence make more money for the courts, lawyers and others. The D.O.L. knows thjat the people still have to get to work, but they actually want them to drive with a suspended license and get caught. It is all a conspiracy to make more money and purposely make people into criminals.

  8. Perhaps we need a “points” system. X burglaries equates to Y robberies, at which point the perpetrators go away for good. At some point reven repeat shop lifters become an unacceptable blight on society. Charles Colson has floated the idea of restitution, but it clearly hasn’t caught on. There is a place for private enterprise in corrections, especially if felons are put to work constructively and their labor is used to compensate their victims. With our prison population, we could have an enterprising corrections firm on the DJIA in a few years. All we need now is a Bil Gates with the vision and brains to make it work. Bernie Madoff?

  9. beerBoy says:

    Do you suppose there’s a profit incentive to the wholesale mass incarceration that’s plagued our nation?

    No, I don’t suppose, I know that there is a profit incentive.

    Has the criminal justice system become ‘Big Business’?


  10. sumner402 says:

    Another example of privatization gone bad.
    And the usual lemmings are showing their blind support.
    I’m still waiting for an example of when it goes they way it’s sold.

  11. A point to make on the suspended license comment.

    If a breath test is refused, the license goes. No way out.

    If the breath test is presumptuvely DUI, a notice of hearing goes out to the address of record at DoL. If the person doesn’t live at the address of record, then the letter never gets delivered, the hearing never gets requested, and the license goes.

    I am unaware of a license being suspended for DUI (before conviction) in any other fashion other than the above methods.

  12. MadTaxpayer says:

    Such nonsense. Have you ever had your residence ransacked? your car trashed? or do you know anybody that has been assaulted or raped? If not, you live a very sheltered life.
    I have been a victim too many times here in Tacoma.
    The wholesale detention of these people does need to stop.

    What we need is a Washington State Criminal Cemetery.
    Repeat offenders can earn their way into it. It’s easy…continued to commit crimes, go to the WSCC. No repeat offenders!
    Don’t want to go to the WSCC, OBEY THE LAWS!

  13. ItalianSpring says:

    The dirty little secret is that the mantra “tough on crime” is merely a psy-ops campaign. The fact is that crooks are doing LESS time than they ever have in history. Convicted burglars used to get YEARS in prison and now only receive WEEKS or maybe MONTHS in jail, and here’s the scary part, they ALL know they won’t do serious time and behave accordingly. The letter writer’s premise is also incorrect. It’s like telling Hitler that destroying Jews only makes more Jews. Ludicrous.

  14. chris3dog says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t our last great law and order president, Ronald Reagan, say…”crime doesn’t pay, but you can’t beat the hours”?

    Or was it Nancy that whispered it in his ear, but the quote was attributed to him?

    I always wondered why he was considered to be a law & order guy, yet gave amnesty to 11 million illegals.

  15. sumner402 says:

    I always wondered why he was considered to be a law & order guy, yet gave amnesty to 11 million illegals.

    Not to mention his own flagrant law/Constitution breaking.

  16. BlaineCGarver says:

    Non-Violent criminals, for the most part, should not be taking up prison space. Charging them with felonies is counter productive, as they can never find meaningful work and will become gubment sponges. Sumner, your wrong, as usual. ‘Crats WANT slobs dependent on Gubment..why do you think they are rabid about letting felons vote??????

  17. Mr. B, avowing that you “know” something to be true isn’t really that convincing an argument. Maybe you could mail the Pierce County Council so they can start making some of that “profit”.

  18. Is the educational system big business?

    is the health care system big business?

    Is the Pope German?

  19. sumner402 says:

    Crats WANT slobs dependent on Gubment..why do you think they are rabid about letting felons vote??????

    Another fine example of GOP talking point lies repeated again and again so the brain dead learn them and believe them.

  20. sumner402 says:

    Atta boy mike, way to take the high road and offer something of value!
    You righties are all alike.

  21. Zillahboy says:

    Tom, Balderdash.

  22. BlaineCGarver says:

    Sumner…what talking point?? I don’t read the trash from any political site…I watch BBC and PBS. At least they tell the truth. You could not blow your nose with checking in on the DNC web site. ‘Crats want felons to vote, even in prison. And it ain’t out of the goodness of their hearts. The same reasoning is why the ‘Crats tried to block late ballots coming in from OverSeas…the military and people with jobs tend to be conservative.

  23. sumner402 says:

    Sumner…what talking point?? I don’t read the trash from any political site.

    You have no shame at all do you blaine?
    If you did you would be far more honest, or at least try to hide your dishonesty then this.

  24. beerBoy says:

    I guess I have to make a chart for the benefit of my friend:

    For profit corporations have gotten into the penitentiary business.
    ergo, there is a profit motivation.

    And….we already know that that profit motivation has led to a perversion of the justice system: Judge Mark A. Ciavarella and former Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan are accused of taking $2.6 million for sending children to two facilities owned by Pittsburgh businessman Greg Zappala.


  25. Interesting that they both are democrats.

  26. There’s more so unless you have something to the contrary will consider this settled.

  27. Since I have always maintained that the Democratic and Republican “parties” are two right wings of the Money Party, I don’t understand what you are trying to demonstrate to me.

    But, I will accept gracefully your acknowledgment that I was correct in my assessment of the corruption of the penal industry through profit motivation.

  28. … two individuals does not an industry make.

  29. Maybe you should investigate deeper. You could offer to become a penal implant and go undercover.

  30. Unlike many who post here, I am a man who does not suffer from penal envy.

  31. RE, DUI: Let’s adopt the Swedish System. First DUI, revocation of driving privileges for LIFE.

  32. As if …

  33. xring — I like that idea. There would certainly be an adjustment period, but I think people would get the hang of it quickly enough. I thought they were going to permanently confiscate cars, but I guess that never happened.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0