They are Emptying the Prisons; What does that mean for you?

HELP!  WE MATTER 2 (Photo Credit: New York Times)
Hundreds of thousands of prisoners are being released due to CORONAVIRUS!
I am sure a lot of you are not even aware that hardened criminals are being set free in neighborhoods all across the country.  I know that I would not have been aware of this fact if I was not constantly researching for my writing.  I am not really sure what all this means.  But, I do know that this is part of their Agenda.  Has been for a long time.
I do feel bad for prisoners.  Much like our military personnel, they no longer have ANY control over what happens to them.  They are constantly being used as guinea pigs for all manner of experimentation, they are worked to death with little to no remuneration, they are fed the most disgusting food (if they are fed at all), subjected to all kinds of mistreatment, humiliation and abuse.   
This is a trying time for all of us.  In truth, right now we are all in prison.  We have lost or given up all control over how we live, work, worship, eat, drink and behave.  They are working hard to gain control of how we think! 
Today we are going to look at what is going on with the prison system, not just here, but around the world.  Then we are going to look at how the prisoners feel about being set “free”.  
FILE - California prison
Los Angeles County Twin Towers Correctional FacilityRobert V. Schwemmer /

(The center Square) – An estimated 8,000 inmates could be eligible for release by the end of August, in addition to the state’s reduction of about 10,000 inmates since Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in March, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said.

The CDCR says its previous “pandemic emergency decompression efforts” have reduced inmate populations system-wide by approximately 10,000 people already, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within its facilities.

“These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a news release. “We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.”

According to the CDCR, of the state’s approximate 115,000 inmates, roughly 2,400 prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 31 prisoners have died from COVID-19 related illnesses accounting for roughly 2 percent and 0.026 percent, respectively, of the inmate population.

The state prison system has more than 17,000 inmates considered medically high risk, according to UCLA School of Law’s Prison Law & Policy Program.

According to a study conducted by UCLA and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, U.S. prison inmates test positive for COVID-19 at a rate 5.5 times higher than that of the general public. Contrary to this report, California prisons have faired better.

The state prison system operates 35 adult detention facilities, 4 youth facilities, and 44 conservation/fire camps.

Since 2017, California’s institutional prison population has been below a mandated target of 137.5 percent of the number of prisoners the system was built to house, but “13 of the 35 state-owned facilities individually operate beyond that capacity,” the Public Policy Institute of California states on its website.

Prisoners who have committed violent crimes, including domestic violence, have been assessed as “high risk for violence,or are registered sex offenders are ineligible for early release.

The first group of prisoners eligible for early release included those who had 180 days or less left of their sentence to serve. The second group includes those with no more than one year of their sentence left to serve.

Priority is given to inmates 30 years old or older, according to CDCR officials; efforts are ongoing to expedite the remainder of the cases.

Inmates will be tested for COVID-19 within seven days of release, CDCR said, and offenders will remain under community supervision for the remainder of their sentence.

Eligible inmates must have a housing plan in place before their release, and CDCR says it will follow post-release requirements, including making victim notifications in accordance with all CDCR procedures and state law.



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Ohio’s prison system accounts for more than 20% of its 12,919 confirmed Coronavirus cases. Mass testing at the Marion Correctional Institution, seen here, found more than 1,800 cases. Google Maps/ Screenshot by NPR(We already know that two things are true: 1. their tests show false positive more often than not. 2. they lie; but we also have some evidence that the tests themselves carry the virus.)

A state prison has become a hot spot of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio, with at least 1,828 confirmed cases among inmates — accounting for the majority of cases in Marion County, which leads Ohio in the reported infections. Ohio officials say an aggressive testing program is responsible for the large number.

The large cluster of cases was found through mass testing of everyone at the Marion Correctional Institution; 109 staff members were also positive. No COVID-19 deaths have been reported at the prison.

Because we are testing everyone — including those who are not showing symptoms — we are getting positive test results on individuals who otherwise would have never been tested because they were asymptomatic,” the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says.

There are currently 2,400 coronavirus cases among inmates in Ohio’s state prisons, along with 244 staff members. The numbers could rise this week: A prison in Pickaway County began mass testing on Sunday.

With Ohio reporting some 12,919 coronavirus cases as of Monday, the prison system now accounts for more than 20% of the state’s cases.

“They are pulling off mass testing of their entire population inclusive of staff which is something that no other state is doing,” says Jennifer Clayton, head of health services for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Texas, California, Florida and Georgia all have larger prison populations than Ohio — but those states all report significantly fewer coronavirus cases.

Michigan, which has one of the largest outbreaks in the country with more than 30,000 confirmed casesreports 572 of 889 inmates tested were found to have the coronavirus. More than 200 staff members are also infected.

New York state, whose nearly 250,000 cases account for roughly a third of all U.S. cases, reports just over 1,000 coronavirus cases in its prison system — and most of those infections (794) are among staff. New York says it tests inmates only after they show symptoms and have a medical evaluation.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently recommended early release for about 300 of the 49,000 inmates who are in Ohio’s prison system far short of the thousands of people the state’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter said should be released.

“This is devastating and terrifying, but it was not inevitable,” ACLU Ohio Advocacy Counsel Claire Chevrier said via Twitter. She added, “This was a policy choice.”

As he gave an update on COVID-19 in his state Monday, DeWine said, “We’re looking at more prisoners who can be released.” He added that Ohio isn’t planning for “a wholesale release where every one in a certain category gets out of prison.”

With dozens of staff testing positive for the virus at the Marion and Pickaway prisons, members of the Ohio National Guard are being deployed to bolster operations.


It is very probable that they are infecting these patients with the virus and releasing them into the public to spread the disease.

Dana Ashlie:  You Cannot Catch The Coronavirus Unless You Take The COVID-19 Test Or The COVID-19 Vaccine

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North Country prisons emptying as New York’s inmate population plummets


Jul 23, 2020 — Since January, New York’s prison population has plummeted by more than 6,000 people, a 13% reduction just this year. That’s a big deal in the North Country, where correctional facilities employ thousands of workers.

This is one of the largest businesses in the North Country, one of the largest employers in the North Country,” said Sen. Betty Little in 2013. But this year’s decline in inmate population is part of a decades-long trend, putting the future of North Country prisons up in the air.

(So, prisons were already seeing highly reduced occupancy and that was affecting the industry financially.  Were they really looking for a way out of the industry or were they transitioning to a whole new kind of prison system.  Temporarily losing in order to justify the changes desired to complete the transition.  You know that the corporations who run the prisons are not will to lose too much revenue in the process.)

Emily RussellNorth Country prisons emptying as New York’s inmate population plummets

The Chateaugay Correctional Facility has sat vacant since the prison closed in 2014. Photo: Emily Russell

Inmate populations plummet

Northern New York has more than a dozen state correctional facilities. Image: NYS DOCCS

New York’s prison population peaked in 1999, at about 73,000. When Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, there were about 56,000 men and women behind bars in New York. Today, there are about 38,000, amounting to a 33% reduction in the last decade.

The NY State Dept. of Corrections required a FOIL request for facility-specific population data from 2011, but NCPR was able to obtain population statistics for prisons in the North Country between 2017-2018.

Around that time, there were about 12,000 incarcerated people in North Country prisons. As of this month, there are about 9,000, amounting to a 25% drop in the just last few years. Many of the region’s prisons have seen a dramatic drop in their facility’s population in just the last few years and are now operating far below capacity.

Upstate Correctional in Malone, for example, has capacity for 1,300 inmates. In December 2018, there were 843 inmates and in July 2020, the prison was down to 475 inmates. The two other prisons in Malone— Franklin and Bare Hill— have also seen their inmate populations drop dramatically in the last few years, as have the two prisons in Ogdensburg and the one in Watertown.

Part of Cuomo’s plan

Governor Cuomo made decarceration and closing prisons a few of his top priorities when he took office.

“An incarceration program is not an employment program,” Cuomo said at his 2011 State of the State address.


Governor Andrew M.Cuomo tours Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

The repeal of the Rockefeller drug laws during prior administrations, followed by new criminal justice reform laws signed by Cuomo and the decades-long drop in statewide crime rateshave all contributed to the reduction in the state’s prison population.

“When it comes to the criminal justice agenda, you should all be proud,” Cuomo said during his 2019 State of the State address. “Since 2011, we have closed more prisons than any administration in the history in the state of New York. Period.”

Link between prisons and jobs

Four state prisons in the North Country have closed in the last 11 years— Camp Gabriels in 2009, followed by Lyon Mountain in 2011, and Chateaugay and Mt. McGregor in 2014. Despite these closures,there are still thousands of people employed by the region’s 13 remaining prisons.

(We see that the prisons are failing already and they were in the process of closing many of them.)

A prison guard keeps watching over the grounds at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. Photo: Emily Russell

According to NYSCOPBA, the union that represents corrections officers, the North Country’s 13 prisons employ 4,641 officers and 1,551 civilian workers.

“These communities opened up when the state needed these facilities and now we have a good workforce up here,” said John Roberts, a represenative for NYSCOPBA who worked previously as an officer at Clinton Correctional in Dannemora.

“Hopefully that’s recognized, that the North Country did step up,” said Roberts. “We do take our jobs seriously up here.”

Potential prison closures in 2020

The fate of the North Country’s 6,000 prison jobs, though is unclear. The 2020 state budget authorized the Department of Corrections to close three more prisons this year, which the state says would amount to an estimated $35 million in annual savings.

New York is facing a massive $13 billion budget deficit in 2021because of the coronavirus pandemic. The state is also lead by Democrats who have been pushing hard for criminal justice reform, including diversion of more low level offenders away from state prisons.   (Well, we can see it is in the best interest of the state to release all the prisoners, to save huge amounts of money.)

Cuomo was asked by a reporter back in May about the potential for more prison closures this year. “If we don’t get Washington to act intelligently,” Cuomo said, “which wouldn’t shock any of us, right, we’re going to have a serious problem and I can’t tell you what actions we would need to take to fill that budget hole because we’ve never been here before,” said Cuomo.

Advocates want Cuomo to release more inmates

Martha Swan is the executive director of John Brown Lives! an education and human rights group based in the Adirondacks. Photo: Emily Russell

Khalil Cumberbatch with New Yorkers United for Justice says the governor’s prison reform efforts are a good start, but he says the state has the ability to release many more people from prison.It is a drop in the bucket in terms of what they could be doing to dramatically drop the [prison] population in New York State.”

Cumberbatch and advocates have been pushing the governor to pass more prison reform legislation, including the elder parole bill, which could lead to hundreds, if not thousands of additional inmates being released from prison.

Out of the 6,000 inmates releasedso far this year, 1,400 of the releases are due to the coronavirus pandemic. The state has granted early release to non-violent offenders, 55 years or older who had less than three months left on their sentences.

Advocates say legislation that leads to decarceration is especially pertinent during the pandemic.“The pandemic has not created a crisis of mass incarceration, it did not create a crisis of racial disparities in healthcare and community resources. It exposed them,” said Dylan Hayre, a campaign strategist for the ACLU in New York.

Local activist Martha Swan spoke at a recent prison rally outside Adirondack Correctional near Saranac Lake.

The North Country made a bargain with the devilover four decades ago by hitching the region’s economy and our personal livelihoods to mass incarceration and the imprisonment of fathers of fellow New Yorkers, mostly and disproportionately Black and Latino fathers, sons, brothers, uncles.

As statewide incarceration rates continue to fall and as New York faces a massive budget deficit, the fate of the North Country’s 13 state prisons may become clearer in the months to come.

So, what do you guess contributed to the failing of the prison systems?  Could it be that slave labor is no longer needed now that the Big Corporations have ROBOTS to do their labor?



To Watch the video CLICK HERE


Tucker Carlson warns release of prisoners due to coronavirus threat ‘a recipe for chaos’

Americans are living in a less secure world, they’re feeling economically vulnerable … They’re uncertain of what’s going to happen in the very near future in any crisis like this,” Carlson said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “It’s important that leaders help the public feel safe, secure and confident ... Those daily briefings from the president have been helping, I think, in that way. But in some parts of the country, the authorities are doing just the opposite.”


Los Angeles County jails have reduced the inmate population by more than 600 and authorities are cutting down on how many people are booked into custody in an effort to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading within the facilities.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., has called for the federal government to commute the sentences of criminals due to the Coronavirus.

“I think now would be the time to commute some sentences to exact clemency and to take care of our most vulnerable,” Pressley said on MSNBC. “Ten percent of those that are incarcerated [are] over the age of 60 and already have an underlying condition. We should be using compassionate release.”

Notice there’s no compassion for the normal people huddled in their homes, sitting there as thousands of criminals are released onto the streets,” Carlson said in response to Pressly. “Nobody cares about them. She doesn’t.”

Carlson ripped the reduced effort to fight crime, saying it was a “recipe for chaos.”

That’s why across the country, gun sales have surged in the first half of the month. It’s rational if the police announce they’re not going to protect you, they’re not going to do their jobs because the politicians controlling them won’t allow them,” Carlson said. “And then they’re releasing criminals back into your neighborhood. What does that mean? It means it falls on you to protect yourself and your family. But you knew that.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contrributed to this report.

The ruling class are working hard to create more and more fear among the people.  They have declared that they intend to make ORDER OUT OF CHAOS… So fist, they MUST CREATE CHAOS!


Lockups are still needed.
Lockups are still needed. (James Keivom / New York Daily Ne/New York Daily News)

    Goups of zealots have argued that the Coronavirus pandemic should lead all New Yorkers to eagerly embrace a drastic reduction in the jail and prison population. While it is unsurprising that these so-called advocates would seize on our current health crisis to advance their own agenda, it is the dangerous fantasy of their demands that should trouble us most.

     The truth is that people are still committing serious crimes — acts harmful not only to individual victims but also to society. As long as this remains true, complete jail-emptying is a fiction of self-promoting politicians only looking to advance their own careers.

When the pandemic began, it created an unprecedented public health and law enforcement emergency. In response, the city’s prosecutors consented to the early release of defendants who were at high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 to other inmates or staff at Rikers Island. These defendants had been convicted of non-violent offenses and had only a short time remaining on their sentences.

     Despite our good-faith efforts, misguided and agenda-driven activists have used this as an opportunity to demand the total emptying of our jails. Yes, even of those convicted or pending trial on violent crimes including homicide, rape and sexual abuse of children. Almost daily, defense attorneys petition the courts for the release of defendants accused of committing these violent offenses or other serious crimes.

     These requests for release not only put victims at risk, they are based on a falsehood: that the infection rate in the jails is significantly higher than the city’s general population, and that being held on Rikers Island is akin to a “death sentence.” We now know that at the start of this crisis, the population at Rikers had been tested at a rate that was 8.3 times higher than the testing rate of the city’s general population. At the same time, the rate of deaths in jails remains nine times lower than the fatality rate of the city’s general population. While three individuals had died of COVID-19 while in custody by the end of April, at least 15,000, likely far more, had died of coronavirus in the city at large.

     In an egregious example, Legal Aid successfully petitioned the court for the release of a 77-year-old Staten Island defendant who had tested positive for COVID-19 while at Rikers after being charged with course of sexual conduct against a child for allegedly abusing a minor on multiple occasions. Over our objections, this COVID-positive defendant was released into a city-run nursing complex on Roosevelt Island, where it was later reported that over 70 patients had become infected with coronavirus. It’s unfathomable that the city would place COVID-positive inmates in the same facilities as law-abiding and high-risk New Yorkers, but, sadly, this is the state of our current reality.

     Moreover, inmates — some of whom might not have access to health-care or housing once released — could arguably receive better care while incarcerated. In a city with our resources, and a jail population lower than it has been in 70 years, the only solution to coronavirus at Rikers cannot be to release everyone. Instead, simple measures should have been taken from the start of this crisis to allow for social distancing and better quarantining of the sick to protect inmates and corrections staff, rather than releasing inmates en masse to account for earlier mistakes.

     In recent weeks, we have seen several serious crimes committed on Staten Island, including the double homicide of a pregnant woman and her boyfriend, and multiple significant weapons-related arrests. At each arraignment, my ADAs successfully argued for bail or remand to be set, and these defendants currently remain incarcerated pending trial.

     The delusional mission to empty all jails will make us all less safe in the end. As Justice Benjamin Cardozo said, “Justice, though due to the accused, is due the accuser also.” As we struggle every day to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, our elected leaders need to serve all New Yorkers, not just the loudest and most extreme.

McMahon is Staten Island’s district attorney.


SO, we see that none of the justifications they are claiming for releasing these prisoners is valid or even logical.  That means they have an ulterior motive.

Emptying prisons is no panacea: Column

Morris B. Hoffman
Sept 30, 2014
California Department of Corrections ; Rehabilitation Via AP California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP

Just days before Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, the Department of Justice announced one of his signature achievements. After growing for decades, the federal prison population has started to decline. The new data were greeted with wide acclaim, but before we embrace the idea that fewer prisoners is always good, let’s step back and consider whether at least one of the drivers of our declining prison population is a good idea.

Like all humans, judges are susceptible to fads. Anger management became a popular feature of American probationary sentences in the 1980s. Teen courts and drug courts followed.

The new fad is “evidence-based sentencing.It is both a refreshing attempt at rationality and a dangerous rejection of human nature.

Evidence-based sentencing purports to redirect judges’ attention from old-fashioned retribution to enlightened deterrence and rehabilitation. Judges across the country are attending innumerable evidence-based sentencing conferences that focus on how incarceration affects recidivism rates.The claim is that incarceration costs much more than its deterrent benefits.Judges should think twice before throwing away the key.  (The “cost” is as usual the main consideration. Money rules.)

We don’t need conferences to make that point. One of the hidden truths of criminal justice is that most judges, including me, give criminals chance after chance before we sentence them to prison.

There are exceptions, such as serious violent crimes and drug crimes that carry mandatory prison sentences. But, for the most part, defendants have to really work hard to land in prison.  (well, this may be true for the judge speaking, but obviously not true for all judges.  We know the courts are full of corruption.)

We should applaud efforts to put data over gut instinct when trying to predict the future behaviors of our defendants. But we also need to be realistic. There’s a reason science stinks at predicting individual behavior.An almost infinite number of bits of data contribute to human decision-making, including the billions of base pairs in our DNA and a lifetime of brain-changing individual experiences, among other things.Not to mention that unscientific interloper: free will.

When I sentence a bank robber to prison, the idea is not just to deter him from robbing again(“specific deterrence“).I also want to deter other people who might be considering robbing a bank (general deterrence”).

General deterrence is what makes us a civilized society.It is the glue that holds us together under the rule of law. It is so deeply engrained, every human society that has left a record shows evidence itpunished its wrongdoers.Indeed, our tendency to punish wrongdoers is most likely an evolved trait, which we needed in order to keep our intensely social small groups fromunravelling in selfishness.

By focusing on specific deterrence, evidence-based sentencing mavens ignore 5,000 years of civilized wisdom and 200,000 years of human evolution.

They seem to recognize this failing, but only half-heartedly. They tend to downplay crimes such as rape and murderto focus on low-harm crimes. But burglary and theft tear the social fabric more broadly simply because they are more frequent. Indeed, low-harm crimes are often crimes of cold economic predation rather than hot emotion. For them, deterrence can be more effective.Giving thieves and burglars a stern lecture and probation, just because some social scientists tell usprison doesn’t rehabilitate them, is a surefire way to increase thefts and burglaries.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in civilized societies owe that civilization to the rule of law, which means nothing without the bite of punishment.

Punishment must be merciful,but it should not be abandoned to misguided claims that it does not deter.

Morris B. Hoffman, a state trial judge in Denver, is author of  The Punisher’s Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury.

All the bleeding heart liberals want you to believe that kindness can change everything.  That is just not TRUE.  Sadly, there are EVIL people in the world who do not respond to kindness, or anything else.  Sadly, some of them cannot be stopped by anything other than permanent interment or death.  EVIL is real.  I am all for helping people change their lives.  Rehabilitation should be one tool in the toolbox.  But, this is not a one size fits all issue. 


Photo Credit: New York Times

Prisons and contagious diseases are a deadly combination. Unhygienic and overcrowded, they easily become death traps. The 18th-century penal reformer, politician and philanthropist John Howard spent much of his life travelling to visit jails. He found, in particular in the UK, many disease-ridden prisons.

The dreaded jail fever, typhus (spread by lice, fleas and mites), was rampant and could decimate prison populations in a short space of time. In the end, it was Howard himself. He contracted typhus during a prison visit in present-day Ukraine and died there shortly after, in January 1790.

Fast forward to 2020. Prisons are perhaps becoming hotbeds of the pandemic, as closed environments with little privacy and usually very little chance of social distancing. In March there were reports of prison disturbances in Italy from inmates fearing they could be at increased risk of becoming infected.

Inmates protest inside Poggioreale prison in Naples on April 1. EPA-EFE/CIRO FUSCO

There were also riots and mass escapes in other countries including Brazil, where Coronavirus was referred to by Renato Lima, director-president of the Brazilian Public Security Forum, as a “time bomb”. Lima highlighted overcrowding, a lack of a health facilities and the large number of older prisoners as specific risk factors. This was in early March and by then it was becoming clear that prisons globally were going to face a huge infection and contagion risk.

Yet many other prison systems seemed to almost view the situation as business as usual. In the Netherlands, measures were announced on March 13 which amounted to nothing more than a ban on visitors and on prisoners being granted day release. Other prisons systems undertook things even more gradually. For example, in Belgium visits were limited to one visitor per prisoner on March 12, with a complete ban on visitors being imposed the following week. The same lacklustre approach was also seen in the Czech RepublicAustralia and Canada.

Such measures were never likely to keep the virus out for long. And once inside, more radical measures were going to be needed to avoid prison sentences becoming death sentences by stealth and exposing those who work in prisons to unacceptable risk. In contrast, something quite remarkable was starting to happen in countries that suffered a peak of the virus relatively early – and that are not exactly known for their luxurious prison conditions or their liberal approach to imprisonment.

Iran and Turkey

Iran has horrific prison conditions. It has a huge system with around 240,000 prisoners held in jails designed for about 150,000. Overcrowding is the norm. On March 3 it was announced that Iran was set to temporarily release some 54,000 prisoners, amounting to about 22% of the prison population.

This was a huge step in a country where imprisonment is heavily used. Subsequently the number of released prisoners was revised up to 85,000, or 35% of the original total number of prisoners. This came to include British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. She received an ankle bracelet and was ordered to stay in the home of relatives. In all, it appears nearly 100,000 prisoners may have left Iranian prisons early.

A similar situation emerged in Turkey in late March with a proposal to free 45,000 prisoners temporarily. The bill became law on April 13. A separate bill is set to pass to free another 45,000 prisoners permanently. Turkey’s prisoner population in 2019 was around 286,000, many of whom were political prisoners. A reduction of 90,000 would mean a reduction of 31%. This is massive but at the same time it must be noted that political prisoners would not be eligible for release. It highlights the intense political nature of imprisonment in a country where conditions historically are inhumane and overcrowded.

On a smaller, but still significant scale, in Ethiopia 4,011 prisoners were pardoned and released on March 13. Some 10,000 have been released from prisons in Afghanistan, whereas prisoner releases, albeit on a much smaller scale, occurred across the United States, in states like CaliforniaOther countries following this early release plan include India, Indonesia and Morroco.

UK prisons

The UK’s approach has been decidedly mixed. The Prison Inspectorate announced that it was ceasing inspections on March 17 and by the end of the month it was announced that pregnant women prisoners would be up for early release. There is news of prisoners self-isolating and of increasing the number of prisoners in single cells. At the same time, due to inactivity in criminal courts the flow of new prisoners has been reduced. The prison is also slowly going down through “normal” release processes. So, slowly but surely, almost by stealth, the prison rate is reducing in the UK.

HMP Pentonville, London, where two staff members were reported to have died after suffering COVID-19 symptoms. Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Initially, the intention was to have some 4,000 prisoners leave prison early (which is approaching one in 20). Yet the reality is more messy than that, with issues over the availability of electronic tags, the need for risk assessments and community supervision arrangements. It was mentioned in the Commons Justice Committee that no more than 18 prisoners had been released under these plans. That is a pitiful number that will do nothing to avert a major health emergency in UK prisons, which has already seen two prison officers die after getting COVID-19 symptoms. This process now seems to have been halted and there is a lack of clarity around the whole issue.

The UK’s next move runs counter to global trends: rather than upscaling release, the system is in fact set to increase capacity. It has been reported that perhaps as many as 2,000 makeshift cells are being created to facilitate social distancing in prisons. In doing so, the UK’s approach is to more doggedly resist mass release than some of the world’s most punitive states.


Coronavirus prompts prisoner releases around the world

Iranian state media announced it would temporarily free about 70,000 prisoners to combat the spread of the disease.

March 26, 2020, 1:04 PM CDT
By Adela Suliman, Andy Eckardt and Gabe Joselow
Image: Prison guard stands along corridor in Tehran's Evin prison

A prison guard stands along a corridor in Tehran’s Evin prison.Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters file

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, some countries are freeing prisoners to stem the spread of the virus in crowded jails or free up space for COVID-19 patients.

Iran have already released 80,000 prisoners, according to official reports. Among them were British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, who was jailed in 2016 on what the United Nations, activists and her family say are trumped-up allegations of trying to overthrow the Iranian regime, and U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, 48, who has been in prison since his 2018 after he was sentenced to 13 years for insulting the country’s top leader and displaying a private photo publicly.

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said in a statement that “recent reports indicate that the COVID-19 virus has spread inside Iranian prisons,” adding that “overcrowding, poor nutrition and a lack of hygiene” were also causes for concern.

In Poland, some prisoners will be sent home to serve out the rest of their sentences, many monitored by electronic tags, according to Reuters. The Polish Justice Ministry said on its website that its plans could extend to some 12,000 convicts.

Prison visits were canceled in England and Wales this week following instructions for people in Britain to stay home, while plans have been put in place to manage disease outbreaks and staff shortages, according to the government.

The U.K. is also considering whether to make more use of temporary release programs and looking at ways to expand outside accommodation options for thousands of prisoners whose sentences are up and due to be released anyway, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

Such efforts would “alleviate some of the pressures” and “balance the protection of life with the need to protect the public,” he said.  (How does releasing prisoners protect the public?)

A 66-year-old inmate became the second prisoner to die in Britain after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, according to the prison service. So far, 19 prisoners in 10 prisons have tested positive.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being held in a London prison while he fights extradition from Britain to the United States, was denied bail on Wednesday after a judge rejected his lawyer’s argument that he should be released because of the pandemic.

Outbreaks have also begun in U.S. jails, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio preparing to release hundreds of inmates this week who he said were in “immediate danger” of contracting the coronavirus. His plans could also extend to the more than 1,000 prisoners incarcerated at the city’s Rikers Island jail, according to NBCNewYork(We know Joe is working for the elites. He is also promoting BLM.)

“Our focus is doing this safely and with the right supervision after release,” de Blasio said on Twitter.

The convicted rapist and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein tested positive for coronavirus while in prison in New York this week, according to the head of the New York state corrections officers union. Weinstein, 68, was sentenced to 23 years in prison on March 11 and remains in isolation.

Conversely, authorities in Moscow and Saudi Arabia have threatened to imprison citizens who fail to self-isolate or flaunt lockdown rules, as governments continue to grapple with the fast-spreading coronavirus.


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How the Dutch Are Closing Their Prisons

The number of prisoners in the country has halved in a decade and experts say alternative sentencing programs can further decrease the number.

A view of the former main building of the Bijlmerbajes prison complex in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 12, 2018. Bijlmer Bajes prison, which was closed in 2016 because of low crime rates in Netherlands, was reopened as a refugee center.(PACO NUNEZ/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES)

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS – Walking along the corridors of the creative work space that is housed inside the Wolvenplein prison, reminders of the building’s long history are everywhere. The heavy cell doors with tiny break-proof windows now lead to small offices. When tenants sit outside on their lunch break, they look out on the thick brick walls topped with barbed wire. In the kitchenette, instruction posters next to a large sink offer a step-by-step guide to drug-testing urine samples.

For 158 years, this was where the central Dutch city of Utrecht sent its prisoners. And then five years ago – along with almost half of the country’s prisons – it shut down.

Last year, the Dutch government decided to close four more prisons. Some of the now-empty buildings are being sold off, while others offer temporary shelter for refugees. The former Bijlmerbajes prison complex in Amsterdam even housed a Syrian refugee-run pop-up restaurant before it was demolished last year.

Countries With Most Executions in 2018

A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. The state of Ohio is one of the few states that still uses the electric chair, and it gives death row inmates a choice between death by the electric chair or by lethal injection. John W. Byrd, who will be executed on September 12, 2001, has stated that he will choose the electric chair. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

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A drop in the country’s crime rate in part explains why the Netherlands‘ prisons are emptying. A 2016 government study on capacity also noted that a focus on sentencing, with both an increase in shorter sentences and examining how crimes impact society, have helped reduce the prison population, says Wiebe Alkema, spokesperson at the Ministry of Justice and Security.

The Netherlands now has just 61 prisoners per 100,000 peoplein the general population, ranking among the lowest in Europe. In comparison, the United States has more than 10 times that figure (655 per 100,000), the highest in the world, according to data from the World Prison Brief, an online database hosted by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at the University of London. The Dutch justice department predicts that by 2023, the total prison population will drop to just 9,810 people.

“Compared to the U.S., Dutch judges are much less likely to give a prison sentence.More often they give a financial penalty or community service,” says Hilde Wermink, assistant professor of criminology at Leiden University. “They decide on a case-by-case basis to assess whether a prison sentence is appropriate or in fact harmful.”

Research Questions Long Prison Sentences

Dutch criminology researchers for years have pointed to the effectiveness of alternative sentencing. In 2013, Wermink and colleagues concluded that prison is not an effective way to reduce crime, and a study from last year showed that longer prison sentences in particular are not leading to lower crime rates.

Both community service and electronic monitoring yield better results.Although the latter is sometimes seen as a softer punishment, Wermink and colleagues found it actually decreases re-offending rates. A 2015 study compared detainees in Belgium with sentences of between six months and three years, and found that the subjects who completed their sentence at home wearing detectable ankle bracelets were less likely to reoffend than peers who had completed their sentence behind bars.

Research into the reasons for this is ongoing, says Wermink, who participates in the Prison Project, a study examining the effects of imprisonment on the post-prison lives of offenders and their families.

We do already know that prison has a negative effect on employability. Often it also destabilizes family situations. And the ‘prison as a school of crime’ theory could have an influence, especially when prison re-affirms someone’s criminal identity.”

Intervention Programs Keep Recidivism Rates Down

For those who do end up in prison, innovative intervention programs are aimed at breaking the re-offending cycle. In the town of Krimpen aan den IJssel, near Rotterdam, the non-profit organization Gevangenenzorg Nederland (Prison Care Netherlands) runs a program that invites future employers into prison to meet inmates. In preparation for release, inmates participating in the organization’s Compagnie (Company) project are allowed to work outside prison, often doing more-meaningful work than the repetitive labor programs inside. They return to cook and do household chores together with other inmates and take part in evening activities before cell doors lock for the night.

Of the 68 inmates who have joined the Compagnie project to date, 43 have successfully moved on and are in stable housing and employment. Hanna Geuze, project coordinator at the Compagnie, credits the humane treatment of inmates as a crucial factor to its success. Participants, called “companions,” must apply for a place on the ward. Once the program team is convinced of an inmate’s sincerity to change and take responsibility for their actions, they are coupled with a volunteer mentor who visits them every two weeks.

“The fact that someone comes in to simply be with you and ask how you are doing is transformative,” Geuze says. “It is a more gentle preparation for life outside.”

At the Compagnie, contact with the outside world is encouraged. Inmates are allowed to Skype home to read bedtime stories to their children and in some way stay connected to family life. Wardens call inmates by their first name rather than surname. To come to terms with their past, inmates attend therapeutic sessions in which crime victims come in to share the impact the offense had on their lives.

Following a successful pilot, the next phase of the project will see open and closed wards mixed for the first time, meaning inmates who already qualify for working outside will live alongside those who are still fully inside. “That requires a lot of trust and responsibility on the part of the participants, but we think it will ultimately aid the transition,” Geuze says. She acknowledges that the relative freedom on the Compagnie ward is too much for some. “Even though our success rates are significantly higher than on conventional wards, we know that some people will drop out,” Geuze says. “To really make an impact and change behavior, we need to work with inmates for a minimum of six months, but ideally much longer.”

The Key to Determining Sentencing

And that, ironically, is where the problem lies, says Peter van der Laan, a professor and senior researcher at the Dutch Study Centre for Crime and Law Enforcement. Van der Laan says the average prison time in the Netherlands is much too short to be able to run meaningful reintegration projects. Fifty-five percent of all custodial sentences in the Netherlands are for less than one month, and three-quarters of all sentences are shorter than three months.In practice, this means that pre-trial custody often outlasts the eventual sentence.

The Dutch judicial approach to prison is that the taking away of freedom itself is the punishment,” van der Laan says. “Therefore, once inside a prisoner should be treated humanely, and his treatment should not be a form of punishment, too.” Yet the first stages of imprisonment can be traumatic, he says, with prisoners facing significant risk of suffering mental health issues.

“When we lock people away for very short periods, they have less or no opportunity to join employment or education programs,” he says. “But there is lots of ‘detention damage’ — even a few weeks can be enough to lose a job, home and social relations.”

Instead, van der Laan says judges should aim to reduce the number of short sentences. “The first consideration is: Is there a direct danger to the general public if this person is not imprisoned? In the vast majority of cases, this is not the case,” he says, noting that many cases involve nonviolent crimes. “If the risk of direct danger is low, they should suspend pre-trial detention where possible.”

To change the public perception of “soft punishment” of criminals, it is crucial that governments and the judiciary explain their approach, van der Laan says. Retribution can be a legitimate punishment, he says, but policymakers must be pragmatic and economical. (Once again the monetary concern is top priority)

“Why do we punish in the first place?” he asks. “If the goal is to reduce crime, we know that prison often does not deliver that. And if delinquents suffer from addiction problems or mental illness, pre-custodial sentencing certainly does not help with that. In these cases, electronic detention combined with mandatory therapy might be much more effective in reducing the chances of reoffending.”

They fail to acknowledge that some people cannot be rehabilitated because they are just evil.  They say, since punishment does not rehabilitate, we should just not punish. The truth is that truly EVIL people should not continue to have access to the public,  We should either put them to death, or lock them up indefinitely.  Certainly there is a huge number of people who are in prison that really don’t belong there.  But there are many for whom that is EXACTLY WHERE THEY BELONG!


Shocking reason why prisons are shutting down in Netherlands!

Times Travel Editor|TRAVEL NEWSNETHERLANDS  Created : Jul 21, 2019, 18:11 IST

Shocking reason why prisons are shutting down in Netherlands!Credit: Getty Images

A place where there are neither convicts nor prisons would be nothing less than a utopia, a heaven on earth, where even the gods of heaven would desire to live. However, Netherlands have nailed it when it comes to lessening the number of criminals within its geographical boundaries. The result: its prisons are emptying out pretty fast.

According to the news reports, Netherland has closed many of its prisons and filled the remaining few with prisoners from other nations. The reason behind such inspirational achievement is the low incarceration rate which is the rate at which a national puts its criminals behind the bars. Netherlands is one such country that believes in rehabilitation of criminals to help them lead a better life rather than in giving punishment. As per a survey, that’s the reason why almost half of the criminals refrained from conducting any more crimes in 2018. (It seems to me that many people wishing to improve their circumstance would commit crimes in Netherlands just to receive the assistance.)

Shocking reason why prisons are shutting down in Netherlands!Credit: Getty Images

Netherlands uses electronic tagging to control its activities. It features a device strapped hooked to the ankle that records every activity of the person. A lot of criminals are released with this device hooked on to their body and allowed to resume their usual life. This is the way the authorities monitor the criminals with a well intentioned need to reform the offenders. Also the relaxed drug laws have also played a good role in bringing about the low incarceration rate. (This is the beginning phase of the new “social control technology”  Electronic monitoring, psychological and/or medical “treatments” to improve behavior. Rehabilitation or Re-Education?.)

Given the low incarceration rate in Netherlands, it could help the nation in encouraging tourist arrivals and thus, boost tourism.  (Again, monetary interests)

Meanwhile, countries like the United States Of America, China and others can take a cue from the Dutch to empty out their prisons albeit for a good reason.


Valley Street jail

Inmates have lunch at the Valley Street jail in Manchester on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The numbers of inmates at the jail are down sharply because of bail reform, drug court and overdose deaths. 

Several county jails are seeing drastic reductions in their inmate population, some dropping by almost half over a two- or three-year period, local corrections officials say.

Superintendents in the jails that serve the state’s three southern-most counties said they’ve all experienced drastic reductions. They say various factors are at play.

Some factors are controversial, such as last year’s bail reform law, which lawmakers are likely to toughen.

Others are solemn. Overdose deaths have pared the population of recidivist inmates, those with lengthy rap sheets for petty crimes who are in and out of county jails, said Rick Van Wickler, the superintendent at the Cheshire County jail.

Other factors are programs such as drug court, mental health court and county-launched diversion programs that offer treatment-focused alternatives to incarceration.

“Finally, in the corrections environment we’re getting the chance to practice corrections,” said Stephen Church, the superintendent of the Rockingham County jail, who has been in county corrections for 30 years. “Just putting people in cells and letting them out doesn’t work.”

Four years ago, his average inmate count was 247. When he spoke to a reporter last week, he was housing 147.

The number of inmates in the state’s largest jail, Valley Street jail in Manchester, was 260 on April 1. In September 2015, the population was 502, and last September it was 395.

The drop prompted Corrections Superintendent David Dionne to request a slight budget reduction when he appeared before county commissioners earlier this month. He cited numerous reasons: bail reform, drug court, mental health court and his jail’s own drug treatment program.

Not all have experienced such a reduction.

In Belknap County, the annual average daily population count has stayed in the mid 80s to low 90s over the last four to five years, said jail Superintendent Keith Gray.

“Every county has different judges, different interpretations of the bail reform law,” he said.

And the state prison system has experienced a much lower reduction than counties — a 6 percent drop over the last five years, to 2,550 inmates. Spokesman Laura Montenegro attributed the drop to reductions in new crime admissions and probation violations.

The jail in Strafford County has a stable population, too. But that’s because the county instituted a Community Corrections program more than a decade ago and saw reductions then, said County Administrator Ray Bower.

Such efforts capture the spirit of the bail reform law adopted last year.

Community Corrections staff meet with a defendant prior to a bail hearing and work up a plan. It involves family support, employment, drug or mental health treatment and restrictions on when a defendant can be outside his home and where he can go, Bower said.

The staff also monitors them. Staff will call a defendant to remind him or her of a court date. They will visit at work. And some inmates will be on electronic ankle bracelets that monitor locations and issue warnings if a defendant enters a victim’s neighborhood.

The Strafford County jail, built to hold 495 inmates, had 101 county inmates as of last week. Another 305 federal prisoners, many Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees, were incarcerated there, which generates millions for the county over a year’s time.  (once again, monetary consideration, I wonder if countries will be incarcerating other countries dissidents and getting paid for it.)

“This isn’t something everyone falls in line with and says we should do this,” Bower said. “We had to crawl before we could walk. Now we’re jogging.”

An essential component of the state’s criminal justice system, county jails operate independently. The state Department of Corrections operates state prisons, halfway houses and state parole and probation programs.

Jails house inmates awaiting trial — for everything from drunken driving to murder. And they house people sentenced to jail for a year or less, generally those guilty of misdemeanor crimes.

A county’s jail, also termed a house of correction, is funded and overseen by county government. When reforms happen, it involves collaboration by the jail, county prosecutors, judges, the sheriff and county commissioners, officials said.

Valley Street jail
Inmates have lunch at the Valley Street jail in Manchester on April 17, 2019.

“You’ve got to get the whole criminal justice wheel in your county involved,” Church said.

He said bail reform did not have as big an impact on his population as Felonies First, a court reform that went into effect in late 2017.

Under Felonies First, a person arrested on a felony charge is promptly arraigned in superior court, where felony crimes are adjudicated. Previously, an inmate was arraigned in district courts, which handle misdemeanors and traffic violations.

The lower-court judges would set a high bail, and defendants would enter what Church called “the black hole of criminal justice,” often waiting months before the case moved to superior court.

Both Dionne, at Hillsborough County, and Van Wickler, at Cheshire County, said overdose deaths also contribute to the reduction.

Van Wickler said one of his sergeants started tracking the deaths of recidivists, culling names from obituaries and other sources. An average of 27 died in each of the last two years.

“All these people, they come in, they come out, and suddenly you don’t see them anymore,” Van Wickler said. His census last week was 115, down about 10 or 15 from what it would have been the previous year, he said.

He said Felonies First and bail reform are factors.

“All these things are coming together from the late ’90s and 2000s, what reformists had been yelling about,” he said.

For those in jail, the environment is changing.

Felicia Gray said inmates get along better when there are fewer in a tier. “There doesn’t seem to be as many bullies,” Gray said. Accused of providing drugs to someone who died, she was denied bail.

In the tier with her last week was Tiffanie Portinari. A sentenced inmate, Portinari was participating the the jail’s in-house drug treatment program. She and fellow enrollees are in class and counseling for six hours a day. Once that is complete, they will be sent home early, and the jail will check up on them.

Of the 151 enrolled in the program, only 16 have failed, according to statistics he shared.

The latest criminal justice reform piece — bail reform — is creating some pushback. Gov. Chris Sununu signed it into law last year despite the opposition from county prosecutors.

Patricia Conway, the Rockingham County Attorney, said judicial warrants — which a judge issues when a defendant doesn’t show up to court — are way up. That means more work for sheriff deputies, who have to chase down the defendant, and more work for court clerks and prosecutors.

Likewise, Hillsborough County’s Dionne said police are more busy because people who would be in jail are now on the street.

“My recidivism has gone down, their (police) work has gone up,” he said.

But he remains a strong supporter of setting bail based on the ability of a person to pay.

Before bail reform, the county had to feed and provide medical care for someone who can’t afford a $50 bail. If the inmate killed himself, his staff would take it hard. And even a brief incarceration would prompt a suspension of an inmate’s Social Security disability benefits, further complicating the chances of success outside the jail, Dionne said.

Prosecutors are working with lawmakers to pare back the reform. Changes could amount to allowing a judge to take a person’s drug abuse into account. Another change would allow a high bail for people with a history of skipping court dates.

“We just want to make sure folks dangerous can be held, and risk of flight held as well,” Conway said.

Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway applauded the larger aspects of criminal justice reform such as diversion programs. As jails become more experienced with corrections and diversion — Rockingham County is preparing to provide suboxone and methadone to inmates — the jails may end up filling up with people participating in true rehabilitation programs.

Although criminal justice reform has been around for years, it came into focus in New Hampshire when county officials faced the potential of spending millions to build more jails. (again, monetary consideration is the primary driver.)

“It forced people to really look at the problem; who are we putting in jail?” she said.

Church, who started in corrections working a cellblock, said he’s a die-hard Republican conservative who favors law and order. But over a three-decade career, he’s seen what works and doesn’t work.

A lot of that time, he said, the system was just spinning its wheels.

“I’ve seen how we treat the issue, and people come around,” Church said. “The one thing that haunts me is not doing that 15, 20 years ago.”


We know that as long as there was money to be made off prisoners they were throwing people in prison for all kinds of reasons, even young kids.  These prisoners were forced to work for Corporations with little to no remuneration.  Private companies and Corporations were making money hand over fist.  No one cared about prisoners rights, or humane treatment back then.

Private prison companies are exploiting our corrupt political system to lock people up… for profit.

The two largest private prison companies alone have spent $35 million on lobbying and campaign contributions to state and local officials since 1989. Evidently, it was money well spent:

The number of prisoners housed in private facilities has jumped 1600% since 1990.

By buying favor with the right politicians, private prison companies have been able to secure everything from lucrative government contracts to harsher laws to guarantee a steady stream of inmates for their facilities. These companies turn our tax dollars into a lucrative business that hauls in $3 billion a year.

Our latest episode of Follow the Money takes a look at the simple, 3-step process:

Note: All Sources Are Linked at the Bottom of the Page 

Step 1: Campaign Contributions

Private prison corporations exploit our corrupt political system by using campaign contributions and lobbying to curry favor with legislators and regulators. CoreCivic and GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies in the United States, have funneled more than $10 million directly to state lawmakers since 1989. They pick candidates who are likely to win and donate enough money to ensure they get a seat at the negotiating table when it comes time to start writing laws.

Step 2: Hire some lobbyists

Private prison corporations employ hundreds of lobbyists at the state and federal level. Lobbyists use political contributions, personal connections, and direct lobbying efforts to wield influence over legislators — then they help write laws that make sure private prisons stay full, regardless of what’s actually best for public safety. The nonpartisan Justice Policy Institute did some digging to find out exactly what this strategy looks like:

Over the years, these political strategies have allowed private prison companies to promote politics that lead to higher rates of incarceration and thus greater profit margins for their companies.”— Justice Policy Institute

Step 3: Get paid

Once private prisons have buttered up politicians, they get everything from lucrative state contracts to new, harsher laws that lock up more people, for lesser crimes, with longer minimum sentences. Nearly every private prison deal includes a “bed mandate” that requires the state to fill 90-100% of the beds in privately-owned detention facilities. That means taxpayers are mandated to either lock up more people or pay the private prison companies for empty beds. You, the taxpayer, are paying for that.

Really think about that for a second. These companies are buying political influence to actually change criminal law — Not because it improves public safety, but because their entire profit model depends on it. This may sound like the stuff of conspiracy theories, but CCA openly admitted as much in its own 2014 annual report:

 Source: Corrections Corporation of America 2014 Annual Report
How we can fix this:

Everything private prisons do to re-write our laws is completely legal — in fact, it’s a smart investment with huge ROI. So until we make this kind of corruption illegal, it’s going to go right on happening.

That’s where you come in. Right now, RepresentUs members across America are working together to fix corruption in their own home towns by passing tough new Anti-Corruption Acts. If we pass Anti-Corruption Acts in cities and states across America, we can build enough momentum and political power to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act in Washington, D.C.

But the first step is making sure every American understands how corrupt the system really is, and that we have a solution that works.

There you have it.   As long as the Corporations, which are owned by the elite were making money off of prisoners they controlled the politicians, the laws and the courts, and law enforcement.  So, they have found another way to make money off the system.  Tracking, treatments, and digital information DATA on their Control System. 

The Era of Mass Incarceration Isn’t Over. This New Report Shows Why.

“Mass incarceration has a different face.”


Ever since the US incarceration rate started to level off at the turn of the century, activists and criminal justice reform advocates have been hopeful that the era of mass incarceration may finally be over. Indeed, the number of people locked up in prisons across the country is steadily decreasing, signaling that criminal justice reforms have started to work. A new report, however, says something critical has been overlooked in the mass incarceration discussion: local jails.

The report, published early Thursday morning, Eastern time, by the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit research organization, finds that although the national prison population has gone down, in some parts of the country, the incarcerated population, particularly in local jails, has actually increased. Not all states are facing booming jail populations. But many are, and the report’s findings suggest dramatic demographic changes—in Kentucky, if the prison and jail populations continue to grow at the rate they are now, the number of people incarcerated 113 years from now will equal the number of people living in the entire state.

“Mass incarceration has a different face,” than it did a few decades ago, Jacob Kang-Brown, a senior research associate at the Vera Institute and one of the study’s authors, told Mother Jones. And, says Kang-Brown, focusing solely on prison rates obscures what’s actually going on. “Those [national] declines are really uneven, and they’re mixed with incredible growth in some states and some counties, even in some states that are overall seeing declines. It’s a complicated picture.”

Jails are growing even in places where prisons are shrinking

The study’s authors acknowledge that prison data can be useful for measuring mass incarceration. But focusing on prisons only makes sense in places where prison and jail populations are moving in the same direction and at the same rate. In fact, more than a dozen states have prison and jail populations moving in opposite directions. Using only prison data is also misleading, say the study authors, because the decrease in prison admission rates has been driven by only a handful of states, with California on its own accounting for 35 percent of the decline.

Incarceration is mostly increasing in small towns

According to the report, 34 states have reduced their total—prison and jail—incarceration rates in recent years. However, this trend is mostly driven by large cities and their suburbs, suggesting that prison reforms are only impacting the biggest criminal justice systems. Take New York: The state’s declining prison and jail populations are entirely due to reforms in its three largest cities—New York City, Rochester, and Buffalo—a trend that the researchers note applies to other states as well. Kang-Brown says there are a couple ways to explain this; namely, a lack of resources in small towns and counties, and a misconception that mass incarceration is only a big city problem.

“People think of Rikers Island—you see it while you’re flying out of LaGuardia [Airport]—it’s this big thing,” he says. “Yet you go to suburban Kentucky outside of Louisville, and there’s a small county there that has a 400- to 500-bed jail … but if you compare them in terms of rate, the [incarceration rate of the] small county is about three times larger per capita compared to the NYC jail.”

Jasmine Heiss, another author of the study, adds that she’ll hear policymakers say things like, “Well, can you really call that jail a part of mass incarceration, because it only 500 or 200 people in it?”

“The face of mass incarceration has shifted, and yet there are places where that reform has not yet touched,” Heiss says. “We continue to leave vast swaths of the country behind.”

Instead of reducing incarceration, people are simply being moved from prisons to jails, and vice versa

In response to pressure from criminal justice reform advocates, some states have simply reclassified felony crimes as misdemeanors, emptying prisons while filling up jails. The report says that between 2010 and 2015, 11 states decreased their prison populations while concurrently increasing their jail populations. This means that, in addition to perpetuating mass incarceration, more people are serving sentences meant for prison in jail, which are supposed to serve pre-trial detainees, not long-term inmates.

In addition, some states are actually doing the opposite and sending more people to prison rather than jail, a phenomenon the authors acknowledge merits more research. The report speculates that a possible reason for this could be that counties are motivated to send inmates to the state prison instead of the county jail, because the state foots the bill for the former. (again, decisions based on monetary benefits)


Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons

AUGUST 02, 2018

Kara Gotsch and Vinay Basti


The introduction of profit incentives into the country’s incarceration buildup crosses a troubling line that puts financial gain above the public interest of safety and rehabilitation.
private prison cover with logoExcerpts only posted here.
(For Full Document DOWNLOAD PDF)

The War on Drugs and harsher sentencing policies, including mandatory minimum sentences, fueled a rapid expansion in the nation’s prison population beginning in the 1980s. The resulting burden on the public sector led to the modern emergence of for-profit private prisons in many states and at the federal level.

The United States has the world’s largest private prison population.

From 2000 to 2016 the number of people housed in private prisons increased five times faster than the total prison population. Over a similar timeframe, the proportion of people detained in private immigration facilities increased by 442 percent.

The federal government and 27 states utilized private prisons operated by for-profit and non-profit entities during 2016.3) New Mexico and Montana led the nation in their reliance on private prisons with 43 percent and 39 percent of their prison populations, respectively, housed within them (See Table 2). Between 2000 and 2016, eight states – Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin – eliminated their use of private prisons due to concerns about safety and cost cutting.4) In 2016, Louisiana changed the classification of its contracted beds and reported its private prison population as zero for the first time during this period. Alternatively, five states – Alabama, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Vermont – began contracting with private prisons between 2000 and 2016.

Table 1. Population in U.S. Private Prisons and Immigration Detention Centers
2000 2016 % change 2000-2016
Total Prison Population 1,381,892 1,505,400 9%
Total Private 87,369 128,063 47%
Federal Private 15,524 34,159 120%
State Private 71,845 94,164 31%
*Private Immigrant Detention 4,841 26,249 442%
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prisoners Series (2000, 2016). Mason, C. (2012). Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention. The Sentencing Project. Data of average daily count obtained from Detention Watch Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights.  *Immigrant detention numbers are from 2002 and 2017 and are not included in the total prison population numbers. The 2017 numbers exclude counts from three facilities.

Political influence has been instrumental in determining the growth of for-profit private prisons and continues today in various ways. If overall prison populations continue the current trend of modest decline, the privatization debate will likely intensify as opportunities for the prison industry dry up and corrections companies seek profit in other areas of criminal justice services and immigration detention.

Key Findings:

  • Of the total U.S. prison population, one in 12 people (128,063) was incarcerated in private prisons in 2016; an increase of 47 percent since 2000.
  • 26,249 people were also confined in privately-run immigration detention facilities in fiscal year 2017; a 442 percent increase since 2002.
  • Federal prisons incarcerated the largest number of people in private prisons, 34,159, marking a 120 percent increase since 2000.
  • The largest private prison corporations, Core Civic and GEO Group, collectively manage over half of the private prison contracts in the United States with combined revenues of $3.5 billion as of 2015.
  • Companies often trim prison budgets by employing mostly non-union and low-skilled workers at lower salaries and offer limited benefits compared to staff at publicly run institutions.
  • Cost savings claims associated with prison privatization are unfounded according to decades of research.

II. Trends in Privatization

State Private Prison Population Trends

Between 2000 and 2016, the number of people incarcerated in private prison facilities increased 47 percent while the overall prison population increased 9 percent. The private prison population reached a peak of 137,220 in 2012; it then declined to 126,272 in 2015, before rising again in 2016 to 128,063.6)


Table 2. Incarceration in private prisons
Jurisdiction Number of people, 2016 Number of people, 2000 Percent private, 2016 Percent change, 2000-2016
Alabama 348 0 1.2 ~
Alaska 551 1,383 12.4 -60.2
Arizona 8,285 1,430 19.6 479.4
Arkansas 0 1,540 0 -100
California 7,005 4,547 5.4 54.1
Colorado 3,564 2,099 17.8 69.8
Connecticut 508 0 3.4 ~
Delaware 0 0 0
District of Columbia * 2,342 *
Florida 12,176 3,912 12.2 211.3
Georgia 7,973 3,746 14.9 112.8
Hawaii 1,405 1,187 25.1 18.4
Idaho 420 1,162 5.1 -63.9
Illinois 0 0 0
Indiana 3,927 991 15.4 296.3
Iowa 0 0 0
Kansas 0 0 0
Kentucky 0 1,268 0 -100
Louisiana 0 3,068 0 -100
Maine 0 11 0 -100
Maryland 25 127 0.1 -80.3
Massachusetts 0 0 0
Michigan 0 449 0 -100
Minnesota 0 0 0
Mississippi 3,078 3,230 16 -4.7
Missouri 0 0 0
Montana 1,481 986 38.8 50.2
Nebraska 0 0 0
Nevada 0 508 0 -100
New Hampshire 0 0 0
New Jersey 2,720 2,498 13.7 8.9
New Mexico 3,040 2,155 43.1 41.1
New York 0 0 0
North Carolina 30 330 0.1 -90.9
North Dakota 0 96 0 -100
Ohio 6,259 1,918 12 226.3
Oklahoma 7,149 6,931 26.6 3.1
Oregon 0 0 0
Pennsylvania 680 0 1.4 ~
Rhode Island 0 0 0
South Carolina 12 0 0.1 ~
South Dakota 34 45 0.9 -24.4
Tennessee 7,433 3,510 26.4 111.8
Texas 13,692 13,985 8.4 -2.1
Utah 0 208 0 -100
Vermont 264 0 15.2
Virginia 1,576 1,571 4.2 0.3
Washington 0 0 0
West Virginia 0 0 0
Wisconsin 0 4,337 0 -100
Wyoming 269 275 11.3 -2.2
Federal 34,159 15,524 18.1 120
Total 128,063 87,369 8.5 46.6

~ Use of private prisons implemented after 2000; *District of Columbia count incorporated in federal numbers. Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners Series (2000, 2016); interviews with North Dakota and Oregon corrections officials.

Quality and Safety Concerns

Private prison companies face a challenge in reducing costs and offering services necessary to maintaining safety in prisons while also generating a profit for shareholders. The primary approach to controlling spending is by maintaining lower levels of staff benefits and salary than publicly-run facilities. Labor costs normally account for 60 to 70 percent of annual operating budgets. Such savings, though, risk compromising safety and security within prisons.

Corrections officers employed by private corporations earn up to $23,850 less on average in annual salary compared to the public sector.26) Oliver Hart, the 2016 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, contends that for-profit prison contracts lack sufficient incentives for proper job training.27) Consequently, there are higher employee turnover rates in private prisons than in publicly operated facilities.

BOP’s former Director of Research, Gerry Gaes, lamented: “You can begin to squeeze money out of the system. Maybe you can squeeze a half a percent out, who knows? But it’s not as if these systems are overfunded to begin with. And at some point, you start to lose quality. And because quality is very difficult to measure in prisons, I’m just worried that you’re getting in a race to the bottom.28)

These dynamics may contribute to safety problems within prisons. Studies have found that assaults in private prisons can occur at double the rate found in public facilities. Researchers also find that public facilities tend to be safer than their private counterparts and that “privately operated prisons appear to have systemic problems in maintaining secure facilities.29),30)

Profiting from Incarceration

For-profit prison companies exist to make money, and therefore the size and status of the country’s criminal justice system is of upmost importance to them. This connection was summed up in Corrections Corporation of America’s (now-Core Civic) 2010 Annual Report:

Our growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities. This possible growth depends on a number of factors we cannot control, including crime rates and sentencing patterns in various jurisdictions and acceptance of privatization. The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.31)

In order to overcome these challenges, private prison companies at times have joined with lawmakers, corporations, and interest groups to advocate for privatization through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This organization is a nonprofit membership association focused on advancing “the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.” This is pursued in part by advocating for large-scale privatization of governmental functions. Core Civic paid between $7,000 and $25,000 per year as an association member before leaving the organization in 2010. The company contributed additional funds to sit on issue task forces and sponsor events hosting legislators.32)

Core Civic and GEO Group were involved with ALEC at a time when it worked with members to draft model legislation impacting sentencing policy and prison privatization. These policies promoted mandatory minimum sentences, three strikes laws, and truth-in-sentencing, all of which contribute to higher prison populations. ALEC also helped draft legislation that could increase the number of people held in immigration detention facilities. While no longer a member of ALEC, Core Civic and GEO face the bottom line reality that a decline in incarceration is bad for business.

Private Contractors and their Expanding Reach

When established in 1983, Corrections Corporation of America pledged to build and operate prisons with the same quality of service provided in publicly operated prisons but at a lower cost. Core Civic and its closest competitor, GEO Group, collectively manage over half of the private corrections contracts in the United States, with combined revenues of $3.5 billion in 2015. Core Civic maintains more than 80,000 beds in over 70 facilities, including prisons, immigrant detention, and reentry centers. GEO Group operates a similar number of facilities. Smaller companies, including Management & Training Corporation, LCS Correctional Services, and Emerald Corrections, also hold multiple prison and detention contracts throughout the United States.

In 2016, following the Department of Justice’s announcement that it would phase out private prisons, stock prices dropped 50 percent. Damon Hininger, CEO of Corrections Corporation of America, announced the company would change its name to Core Civic. The new name sought to represent the firm’s changing status as a provider of “largely corrections and detention services” to a company that works on “a wider range of government solutions.”33)

In 2017 private prison stocks for Core Civic and GEO Group more than doubled after the Department of Justice, under Sessions’ leadership, announced that it would be maintaining contracts with for-profit prisons. While the firms’ stock prices have since declined, in early 2018 they were substantially higher than their 2016 low.

Private prison companies have contributed millions to President Trump’s campaign and associated super PACs. Moreover, at least one prison company appears to be acting in the personal financial interest of President Trump. GEO Group changed the location of its annual meeting from a resort in Boca Raton, Florida to the Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami. This club is reported to be the “single biggest contributor to Trump’s cash flow.”34)

Private prison companies are seeking to expand their influence with state governments as well. In Montana, lawmakers are fiercely debating the merits of accepting a cash payment of $35.7 million from Core Civic for renewal of the state’s prison contract which ends in 2019.35) The money had originally been set aside to allow the state to purchase the private facility. The state is facing a major budget shortfall and many in the legislature are urging the governor to accept the offer. Negotiations have stalled because of complaints of comparatively low pay for corrections officers compared to the state’s publicly-run prisons, and restrictions on staff unionizing.

Private Prison Companies’ Expanded Programming

Since 2005, GEO Group and Core Civic have spent $2.2 billion to acquire smaller companies in order to branch out to new industries beyond incarceration. For instance, in 2011, GEO Group acquired BI Incorporated, an ankle bracelet monitoring company. The companies also provide prison healthcare services and have established residential reentry centers.  (Well, now we know, this is the new way they can make money on prisoners. Just as I suspected.)

Core Civic has embraced the community corrections sector by investing $270 million in the acquisition of half-way houses which are often used as a transition point between prison and release. Core Civic has also sought to reconfigure its public imagine as a supporter of the movement against mass incarceration by lobbying for policies “that reduce recidivism and making campaign contributions to candidates who endorse those policies.”36)

GEO Group has also recently attempted to rebrand its services. In 2017, GEO Group purchased the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility,37) a reentry facility for the Alabama Department of Corrections which set a two-year contract for up to $18.8 million.38) The facility expects to enroll up to 600 people and provide training, drug treatment and resources for reentry. The contract is an important foothold for GEO in a state without private prisons. It also has a contract in the state to oversee immigrants on community supervision under ICE’s authority.39)

Because these companies remain profit-making entities, concerns about the quality of their public safety services persist among critics who question company investments in training, staffing levels and programming.

V. Recommendations

The United States has experienced 40 years of unprecedented growth in its prison population but a recent stabilization and modest reduction in incarceration has largely ended the prison building boom and now provides an opportunity to reexamine policies of prison privatization. The complications of mass incarceration that include the fracturing of low-income communities of color, the mistreatment of incarcerated people and the subjugation of people with criminal records cannot be wholly laid at the feet of private prison corporations. Over several decades, public institutions and lawmakers, with public consent, implemented policies that led to mass incarceration and the collateral consequences that followed. But private prisons have capitalized on the chaos of this policy approach and have worked to sustain it.

Public corrections systems have been plagued by poor conditions of confinement and mismanagement that require significant reform. But the introduction of profit incentives into the country’s incarceration buildup crosses a troubling line that puts financial gain above the public interest of safety and rehabilitation, and with limited transparency. As a result the worst elements of incarceration are exacerbated by privatization.

Developing public awareness about the excesses of the criminal justice system, coupled with the recent nationwide declines in prison populations, provides an opportunity to work towards creating a more humane and restorative prison system that one day will manage only a fraction of the people it does today. 


12 Major Corporations Benefiting from the Prison Industrial Complex

By  Rahiem Shabazz elementary genocide

Prison labor in the United States is referred to as insourcing. Under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), employers receive a tax credit of $2,400 for every work-release inmate they employas a reward for hiring “risky target groups.”

The workers are not only cheap labor, but they are considered easier to control. They also tend to be African-American males. Companies are free to avoid providing benefits like health insurance or sick days.They also don’t need to worry about unions, demands for vacation time, raises or family issues.

According to the Left Business Observer, “the federal prison industry produces 100 percent of all military helmets, war supplies and other equipment.The workers supply 98 percent of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93 percent of paints and paintbrushes; 92 percent of stove assembly; 46 percent of body armor; 36 percent of home appliances; 30 percent of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21 percent of office furniture.Airplane parts, medical supplies and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.”

With all of that productivity, the inmates make about 90 cents to $4 a day.

Here are some of the biggest corporations to use such practices, but there are hundreds more:

McDonalds-Elementary-Genocide Wendys-ElementaryGenocide
McDonald’s uses inmates to produce frozen foods. Inmates process beef for patties. They may also process bread, milk and chicken products.
Wendy’s has also been identified as relying on prison labor to reduce it’s cost of operations. Inmates also process beef for patties.
walmart-Elementary-Genocide Starbucks1-Elementary-Genocide
The company uses inmates for manufacturing purposes. The company “hires” inmates to clean products of UPC bar codes so that products can be resold.
The company uses inmates to cut costs as well. Starbucks subcontractor Signature Packaging Solutions hired Washington state prisoners to package holiday coffees.
sprint-Elementary-Genocide verizon-Elementary-Genocide
Inmates provide telecommunication services. Inmates are used in call centers.
Inmates provide telecommunication services.
Victoria-Secret-ElementaryGenocide Fidelity-Investments-ElementaryGencoide
Victoria’s Secret
The company uses inmates to cut production costs. In South Carolina, female inmates were used to sew products. Also, inmates reportedly have been used to replace “made in” tags with “Made in USA” tags.
Fidelity Investments
401(K) or other investments are held by Fidelity, and, in some cases, some of your money invested by Fidelity is used for prison labor or in other operations related to the prison industrial complex. The investment firm funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has created laws authorizing and increasing the use of inmates in manufacturing.
JC-Penny-Kmart-ElementaryGenocide American_Airlines-Elementary-Genocide
J.C Penney and Kspacermart
Kmart and J.C. Penney both sell jeans made by inmates in Tennessee prisons.
Airlines and Avis
American Airlines and the car rental company Avis use inmates to take reservations.


Repost from Elementary Genocide The School to Prison Pipeline



Elementary Genocide is a documentary executive produced by award winning journalist/filmmaker Rahiem Shabazz. The documentary appeals to a wide general viewership by addressing the social, cultural, political and personal ramifications of how the federal government allots money to each state, to build prisons based on the failure rate of 4th and 5th graders. In America, where half of the 4th grade is reading below grade level and more African-American males are in jail than are in college, Elementary Genocide serves as a striking reminder of a flawed system in need of repair.

Elementary Genocide consists of candid interviews and voice-over narration culled from original interviews from professors, teachers, best selling authors, children, parents, celebrities, etc. A few notable appearances are made by Dr. Umar Johnson, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Supreme Understanding, Dr. Torrence Stephens, Tracey Syphax, Killer Mike, Kadidra Stewart, Edward M. Garnes Jr., Okorie Johnson and Sistah Iminah.


eg2_DVD_SIDE 2

Rahiem Shabazz continues the conscience-raising dialogue generated by his acclaimed documentary Elementary Genocide: The School To Prison Pipeline with his equally hard-hitting Elementary Genocide 2: The Board of Education vs The Board of Incarceration. Featuring interviews with noted educator and Black psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson, Chief Juvenile Court Judge Steven C. Teske, fearless former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former political prisoner and Black Liberation Army co-founder Dhoruba bin Wahad, popular social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins, award-winning education reformer Dr. Steve Perry and more, The Board of Education vs The Board of Incarceration uncovers the true purpose of today’s educational system and how it’s failing the African child. Going beyond the school-to-prison pipeline headlines and conspiracy theories, The Board of Education Vs. The Board of Incarceration proves that something sinister is afloat by digging deep to explore its origin, its existence and how to plot its destruction to save every Black child.


EG3 Front Cover

World renowned journalist, and award-winning filmmaker Rahiem Shabazz presents the third installment of his docu-series Elementary Genocide: Academic Holocaust. The first two documentaries in the series; The School To Prison Pipeline and Elementary Genocide 2: The Board Of Education vs. The Board of Incarceration received critical acclaim and launched Shabazz as a political pundit and academic ambassador for the African American community.

Elementary Genocide: Academic Holocaust adds more statistical proof of the scholastic inequalities faced by Original people around the country. The documentary revisits the importance of education and its impact on self-image, family structure, financial freedom and the collective future of African/indigenous people in America and abroad. With commentary from some of the 21st century’s greatest minds of the African diaspora in America, such as financial scholar and social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins, esteemed Pan-Afrikan scholar and Professor James Small, and Kaba Kamene, international homeschooling advocate Samori Camara, Hip Hop artist and education advocate David Banner, National Talk Show Host and Lecturer Michael Imhotep and best-selling author Shahrazad Ali, Shabazz was able to illustrate the hypocrisy behind America’s public school system and how the infrastructure is designed to keep people of color from developing the capacity to recreate themselves, their families and their institutions with their own hands.

The first installment of Elementary Genocide has educated parents, teachers, and families nationwide on the injustice directed at African American and Latino youth in the public school system. With your contribution to Elementary Genocide 2: The Board of Education vs The Board of Incarceration we can reclaim our young men and women to ensure a better future for our youth. Elementary Genocide has proven to be an influential documentary that offers solutions to facilitate change around the country.


America’s Incarcerated Economy

Guantanamo BayMichelle Shephard/ZumaPress

The US has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population – about 2.2 million people, five times as many as in 1980. The question America now faces is how to cut the onerous social, economic, and moral costs of imprisonment.

BERKELEY – The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population – about 2.2 million people, five times as many as in 1980. One out of every 100 American adults is incarcerated – the highest per capita rate in the world, 5-10 times higher than in Western Europe or other democracies. The social and economic toll is similarly high.

The boom in America’s prison population in recent decades is the result of ramped up punitive crime-prevention measures, including tougher drug penalties and mandatory minimum sentences, backed up by growing numbers of police and other law-enforcement officials. Beyond the financial costs of larger police forces and increased pressure on the judicial system is $60 billion a year in spending on state and federal prisons, up from $12 billion 20 years ago. And then there are the huge costs for those imprisoned (many for non-violent crimes) and for their families and communities – costs that fall disproportionately on the poor, the uneducated, African-Americans and Latinos, and the mentally ill.

Perhaps the worst part is that the expected benefits of America’s “get tough” approach have failed to materialize. Indeed, there is only a modest correlation between higher incarceration rates and lower crime rates.

Where are all these newly released prisoners supposed to go?  What kind of life can they expect to lead on the outside?  Not all of them are excited about be turned out to fend for themselves.

Nowhere to go: Some inmates freed because of coronavirus are ‘scared to leave’

The Maricopa County Estrella Jail in Phoenix, where despite calls to release at risk prisoners in the wake of the coronavirus, County Sheriff Paul Penzone has no intention of prematurely releasing inmates without court orders to do so. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Maricopa County Estrella Jail in Phoenix, where despite calls to release at risk prisoners in the wake of the Coronavirus, County Sheriff Paul Penzone has no intention of prematurely releasing inmates without court orders to do so. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

New York (CNN) John Mele is one of roughly 700 inmates who were released from county jails in New Jersey to address the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. But when he was handed two bus tickets and freed, he said he was frightened, not relieved.

“I was scared to leave,” Mele told CNN. “There ain’t too much sh** that I’m scared of. I’m scared of heights and I’m scared of going to something I don’t know about.”
He said he was given five minutes notice last Thursday after he was told he was leaving the jail three months earlier than his sentence for breaking into a fishing store. He had no place to go and no assurances that he was healthy.
“No temperature check. Nothing. They gave me two bus tickets,” Mele said. He was steered toward a homeless shelter, but said he refused, concerned the virus would be spreading inside the cramped housing complex.
Jails are proving to be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. As of Friday, 239 inmates in NYC jails have tested positive for coronavirus out of a population of about 4,350. The top doctor for the Rikers Island jails called it a “public health disaster.” The Legal Aid Society, which represents poor New Yorkers, said there is an infection rate of 5.4% in Rikers Island, compared with 0.53% in New York state, which has the most cases in the US.
In New York, where the state system has about 43,000 people incarcerated, 36 have confirmed Coronavirus cases and two prisoners have died. In the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, 15 inmates have tested positive for the Coronavirus, according to the Bureau of Prisons. The prison facilities house a total of 1,075 inmates, according to the BOP.
The prospect of outbreaks has states, cities and counties across the country working on ways to reduce the prison population to lessen the spread of Coronavirus. (among inmates, but what about the general population?) In St. Louis, Michigan, California, New York, and New Jersey officials are releasing certain categories of prisoners, including those who are older, have medical problems, have only a few months left on their sentence, or are held for parole violations.
The criteria for release varies by state and county by county. Many are prohibiting the release of inmates with histories of sex offense, domestic violence, and murders, but in some cases those inmates have been released.
There is no estimate for how many inmates who may qualify. The federal Bureau of Prisons houses 174,837 inmates nationwide, but that’s only a fraction of the millions held in local, county and state facilities around the country.
The mass releases, according to government officials, lawyers and social service workers, have tested government safety nets and access to housing for many of these inmates. In normal times, there are hurdles to place inmates back into the community, but now, social service workers and government officials say, there are added factors complicating their re-entry, ranging from overcrowded housing shelters to families and landlords who won’t accept prisoners because of concerns about contagion. The rising unemployment rate is also expected to strain their access to shelter and jobs.
In Michigan, the Department of Corrections is working case by case to see which inmates qualify for release from state prisons and when the prisoner doesn’t have a place to go they have run into roadblocks.
What we’re finding is the hardest part right now is finding commercial placements for individuals without family or friends,” said Chris Gautz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections. “We’re finding a lot of those are closing their doors to prisoners right now. Sometimes it’s a county health department putting up a red flag: We don’t have cases. We don’t want you to parole this person back to the community. We’re worried we might get it,” he said.
The state houses 38,000 prisoners, 5,000 of which are eligible for parole, but only a fraction of them is likely to be released because of Michigan law and the qualifications.
Advocates for releasing inmates say governments need to make sure they don’t create a public health problem.
“Compassionate release is something that we want to do, we want to release as many people in those protected groups as we can, but I think we also have to be sure that the protections are there that those people don’t end up in worse circumstances and causing increased and enhanced infections. A lot of those people had no place to go,” said Barbara Banaszynski, the senior vice president for Program Operations at Volunteers of America, a social services organization that has helped inmates released in the southern part of New Jersey.
I’m very worried about, not only from a disease perspective, but from perspective of increasing homelessness and disease spread. They may not have Covid-19 when they come out of the facility, but if they’re on the street and vulnerable… they’re likely to contract and add to the problem,” she said.

‘When they come out of prison, it’s a ghost town.’

With some newly released inmates adjusting to a world turned upside down from Coronavirus is a shock to their system.
“It’s been challenging, probably the most challenging in the history of our corporation,” said Dwayne Watterman, the facility director for Hudson County at the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, a nonprofit that helps inmates find housing, employment and health care.
Normally he says he tries to build a connection with a new client first but now his primary role is to assure everyone they won’t be placed in danger.
Everybody’s fearful, worried, high anxiety, alert, all the time,” Watterman said. “When they come out of prison, it’s a ghost town. That’s a little shocking to people,” he added. His re-entry group has helped about 157 released under the judicial order in New Jersey, including Mele.
One of the largest releases has been in New York City, where officials have freed at least 900 inmates from the Riker’s Island jail in the past few weeks. Many of them have homes they can return to, but some don’t have a place to go. Re-entry programs have helped some obtain housing vouchers or shelter, but they acknowledge it hasn’t worked perfectly.
On Monday, the top prosecutors for the five boroughs in New York City sent a warning to NYC’s Department of Corrections and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office about the need for housing and support for those re-entering society.
We are concerned that the evaluation of eligibility for release appears to give little consideration to the housing, supervision and support-service needs of the individuals who are being returned to their communities: needs that, if not addressed, will only compound the possible health, safety and other risks, both to the communities and to the individuals at issue,” they wrote in a joint letter.
B. Colby Hamilton, spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, said, “For those in our custody who, upon release, advise they have nowhere to go, we are working with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeless Services to help find them immediate safe housing. All others are discharged back to the communities and homes from which they came.”
In New York City, housing shelters are overcrowded and potentially dangerous. The city reported five deaths from Coronavirus in homeless shelters as of Thursday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the release last week of up to 1,100 parole violators. “This significant action is being taken in response to a growing number of Covid-19 cases in local jails over the past few days and weeks. Our top priority remains the public health and safety of New Yorkers during this global public health emergency and this measure will further protect a vulnerable population from contracting and transmitting this infectious disease,” the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement.
In Monroe County, New York, 51 prisoners were released from the county jail last weekend at the direction of the New York State Division of Parole. Eight of those inmates classified as sex offenders and 12 of them classified as “transient population” and were provided rooms at nearby hotels, according to the county’s sheriff’s office.

Not everyone is on board

The release didn’t go smoothly. Bill Reilich, town supervisor of Greece, New York, called it the wrong decision and pressed for the removal of the released sex offenders housed in his town. He won. The former inmates were relocated.
The five districts attorneys in New York told the mayor’s office they learned that some prisoners on the lists of who could be released had histories of domestic violence and sex offenses, something they were assured would not happen.
Similar concerns spilled out into the open in St. Louis after the state attorney general accused the circuit prosecutor with releasing people charged with violent felonies, according to local news outlet KSDK. The circuit prosecutor said the attorney general mischaracterized her actions.
In New Jersey, last week more than 700 people were released after the chief judge of the State Supreme Court in New Jersey brokered a unique agreement with the state attorney general, county prosecutors association, public defender’s office and American Civil Liberties Union’s local chapter. The agreement would cover inmates in the county jails who are sentenced to less than a year for charges ranging from drunk driving, drug offenses, shop lifting, or low level assault charges.
Before inmates could be released, according to the judge’s order, they needed to work with the parties to develop a housing plan.
Alexander Shalom, senior supervising attorney and director of Supreme Court Advocacy, for the ACLU NJ, who co-brokered the deal, said even though they have a process “that doesn’t mean is working perfectly. We don’t want people going to traditional shelters but there are short term housing and hotels. There are options out there, I don’t know if there are enough options out there.”
Still he said cities and states still need to address the health risk in prisons and jails. “It is not hyperbolic to say that prisons, jails and detention centers will be incubators for this virus and people will die if we can’t thin out the populations.”
For John Mele, he was placed in a Howard Johnson hotel not far from Newark airport for six nights. He walks a mile to catch a bus to head downtown where he can find food. He’s hoping to be granted an extension to stay at the hotel a little while longer until he can get back on his feet and locate an apartment for him and his girlfriend.
But even that has its challenges.
A lot of people that I’ve called,” said Mele, “are not letting people look at apartments no more.”


“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out … without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.” — HL Mencken

The US government is working hard to destabilize the nation.   No, this is not another conspiracy theory.   Although it is certainly not far-fetched to suggest that the government might be engaged in nefarious activities that run counter to the best interests of the American people, doing so will likely brand me a domestic terrorist under the FBI’s new classification system.   Observe for yourself what is happening right before our eyes.   Domestic terrorism fueled by government-entrapment schemes. Civil unrest stoked to dangerous levels by polarizing political rhetoric. A growing intolerance for dissent that challenges the government’s power grabs. Police brutality tacitly encouraged by the executive branch, conveniently overlooked by the legislatures, and granted qualified immunity by the courts. A weakening economy exacerbated by government schemes that favor none but a select few. An overt embrace of domestic-surveillance tactics if Congress goes along with the Trump Administration’s request to permanently re-authorize the NSA’s de-activated call records program. Heightened foreign tensions and blowback due to the military-industrial complex’s profit-driven quest to police and occupy the globe.   The seeds of chaos are being sown, and it’s the US government that will reap the harvest.

Mark my words, there’s trouble brewing.   Better yet, take a look at

Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,
Pentagon training video created by the Army for US Special Operations Command.  

To view click the link

The training video is only five minutes long, but it says a lot about the government’s mindset, the way its views the citizenry, and the so-called “problems” that the government must be prepared to address in the near-future through the use of martial law.   Even more troubling, however, is what this military video doesn’t say about the Constitution, about the rights of the citizenry, and about the dangers of locking down the nation and using the military to address political and social problems.   The training video anticipates that all hell will break loose by 2030 — that’s barely ten short years away — but the future is here ahead of schedule.   We’re already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front.   By waging endless wars abroad, by bringing the instruments of war home, by transforming police into extensions of the military, by turning a free society into a suspect society, by treating American citizens like enemy combatants, by discouraging and criminalizing a free exchange of ideas, by making violence its calling card through SWAT-team raids and militarized police, by fomenting division and strife among the citizenry, by acclimating the citizenry to the sights and sounds of war, and by generally making peaceful revolution all but impossible, the government has engineered an environment in which domestic violence is becoming almost inevitable.   The danger signs are screaming out a message.   The government is anticipating trouble (read: civil unrest), which is code for anything that challenges the government’s authority, wealth and power.   According to the Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command, the US government is grooming its armed forces to solve future domestic political and social problems.   What they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.   The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints an ominous picture of the future — a future the military is preparing for bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have-nots.   And then comes the kicker.   Three-and-a-half minutes into the Pentagon’s dystopian vision of “a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers,” the ominous voice of the narrator speaks of a need to “drain the swamps.”   Drain the swamps.   Surely, we’ve heard that phrase before?   Ah, yes.   Emblazoned on t-shirts and signs, shouted at rallies, and used as a rallying-cry among Trump supporters, “drain the swamp” became one of Donald Trump’s most-used campaign slogans.   Far from draining the politically-corrupt swamps of Washington DC of lobbyists and special-interest groups, however, the Trump Administration has further mired us in a sweltering bog of corruption and self-serving tactics.   Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.   Now the government has adopted its own plans for swamp-draining, only it wants to use the military to drain the swamps of futuristic urban American cities of “noncombatants and engage the remaining adversaries in high-intensity conflict within.”   And who are these noncombatants, a military term that refers to civilians who are not engaged in fighting?   They are, according to the Pentagon, “adversaries.”   They are “threats.”   They are the “enemy.”   They are people who don’t support the government, people who live in fast-growing urban communities, people who may be less well-off economically than the government and corporate elite, people who engage in protests, people who are unemployed, people who engage in crime (in keeping with the government’s fast-growing, overly-broad definition of what constitutes a crime).   In other words, in the eyes of the US military, noncombatants are American citizens aka domestic extremists aka enemy combatants who must be identified, targeted, detained, contained, and, if necessary, eliminated.   In the future imagined by the Pentagon, any walls and prisons that are built will be used to protect the societal elite — the haves — from the have-nots.   If you haven’t figured it out already, we the people are the have-nots.   Suddenly, it all begins to make sense.   The events of recent years: The invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers.   The government is systematically locking down the nation and shifting us into martial law.   This is how you prepare a populace to accept a police state willingly, even gratefully.   You don’t scare them by making dramatic changes. Rather, you acclimate them slowly to their prison walls.   Persuade the citizenry that their prison walls are merely intended to keep them safe and danger out. Desensitize them to violence, acclimate them to a military presence in their communities, and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly-hopeless trajectory of the nation.   Before long, no one will even notice the floundering economy, the blowback arising from military occupations abroad, the police shootings, the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure, and all of the other mounting concerns.   It’s happening already.   The sight of police clad in body-armor and gas-masks, wielding semi-automatic rifles and escorting an armored vehicle through a crowded street, a scene likened to “a military patrol through a hostile city,” no longer causes alarm among the general populace.   Few seem to care about the government’s endless wars abroad that leave communities shattered, families devastated, and our national security at greater risk of blowback.   The Deep State’s tactics are working.   We’ve allowed ourselves to be acclimated to the occasional lockdown of government buildingsJade Helm military drills in small towns so that special operations forces can get realistic military training in “hostile” territory, and  Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law-enforcement officials, students, teachers, and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis.   Still, you can’t say we weren’t warned about the government’s nefarious schemes to lock down the nation.   Back in 2008, an Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report went on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”   In 2009, reports by the Department of Homeland Security surfaced that labelled right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (aka terrorists) and called on the government to subject such targeted individuals to full-fledged pre-crime surveillance. Almost a decade later, after spending billions to fight terrorism, the DHS concluded that the greater threat is not ISIS but domestic right-wing extremism.   Meanwhile, the government has been amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their “troops” for war. Even government agencies with largely-administrative functions, such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Smithsonian have been acquiring body-armor, riot-helmets and shields, cannon-launchers, and police firearms and ammunition. In fact, there are now at least 120,000 armed federal agents carrying such weapons who possess the power to arrest.   Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing, and inescapable. It’s not just the drones, fusion centers, license-plate readers, stingray devices, and the NSA that you have to worry about. You’re also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars, your cell-phone, smart-devices in your home, grocery loyalty-cards, social-media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book reader accounts.   All of this has taken place right under our noses, funded with our tax-payer dollars and carried out in broad daylight without so much as a general outcry from the citizenry.   And then you have the government’s Machiavellian schemes for unleashing all manner of dangers on an unsuspecting populace, then demanding additional powers in order to protect “we the people” from the threats.

Seriously, think about it.   The government claims to be protecting us from cyberterrorism, but who is the biggest black market buyer and stockpiler of cyberweapons (weaponized malware that can be used to hack into computer systems, spy on citizens, and destabilize vast computer networks)? The US government.   The government claims to be protecting us from weapons of mass destruction, but what country has one the deadliest arsenals of weapons of mass-destruction and has a history of using them on the rest of the world? The US government. Indeed, which country has a history of secretly testing out dangerous weapons and technologies on its own citizens? The US government.   The government claims to be protecting us from foreign armed threats, but who is the largest weapons manufacturer and exporter in the world, such that they are literally arming the world? The US government. For that matter, where did ISIS get many of their deadliest weapons, including assault-rifles and tanks to anti-missile defenses? From the US government.   The government claims to be protecting the world from the menace of foreign strongmen, but how did Saddam Hussein build Iraq’s massive arsenal of tanks, planes, missiles, and chemical weapons during the 1980s? With help from the US government. And who gave Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida “access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry”? The US government.   The government claims to be protecting us from terrorist plots, but what country has a pattern and practice of entrapment that involves targeting vulnerable individuals, feeding them with the propaganda, know-how, and weapons intended to turn them into terrorists, and then arresting them as part of an elaborately-orchestrated counterterrorism sting? The US government.   For that matter, the government claims to be protecting us from nuclear threats, but which is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in wartime? The United States.   Are you getting the picture yet?   The US government isn’t protecting us from terrorism.   The US government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror. Just think about it for a minute: Cyberwarfare. Terrorism. Bio-chemical attacks. The nuclear arms race. Surveillance. The drug wars.   Almost every national-security threat that the government has claimed greater powers in order to fight — all the while undermining the liberties of the American citizenry — has been manufactured in one way or another by the government. Did I say Machiavellian? This is downright evil.   We’re not dealing with a government that exists to serve its people, protect their liberties, and ensure their happiness. Rather, these are the diabolical machinations of a make-works program carried out on an epic scale whose only purpose is to keep the powers-that-be permanently (and profitably) employed.   It’s time to wake up and stop being deceived by government propaganda.   Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly-partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.   I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.   I’m referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully-operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.   Be warned: In the future envisioned by the government, we will not be viewed as Republicans or Democrats. Rather, “we the people” will be enemies of the state.   For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems  to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law-enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist.   What the government failed to explain was that the domestic terrorists would be of the government’s own making, and that “we the people” would become enemy #1. As I make clear in my bookBattlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re already enemies of the state.   You want to change things? Start by rejecting the political labels and the polarizing rhetoric and the “us vs them” tactics that reduce the mass power of the populace to puny, powerless factions.   Find common ground with your fellow citizens and push back against the government’s brutality, inhumanity, greed, corruption, and power grabs.   Be dangerous in the best way possible: By thinking for yourself, by refusing to be silenced, by choosing sensible solutions over political expediency and bureaucracy.   When all is said and done, the solution to what ails this country is really not that complicated: Decency, compassion, common-sense, generosity balanced by fiscal responsibility, fairness, a commitment to freedom principles, and a firm rejection of the craven, partisan politics of the Beltway elites who have laid the groundwork for the government’s authoritarian coup d’etat. Let the revolution begin. 


I posted this next piece because I from the remarks presented it seems to be a representation of how the EVIL ELITE transfer the blame for all that is wrong with the world to Evangelical Christians.  They are constantly doing all they can to make Christians appear to be evil, even terrorists.  And sadly people are buying it.

The first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation, American Apocalypse shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it.

The history Sutton assembles is rich, and the connections are startling.”
New Yorker

American Apocalypse relentlessly and impressively shows how evangelicals have interpreted almost every domestic or international crisis in relation to Christ’s return and his judgment upon the wicked…Sutton sees one of the most troubling aspects of evangelical influence in the spread of the apocalyptic outlook among Republican politicians with the rise of the Religious Right…American Apocalypse clearly shows just how popular evangelical apocalypticism has been and, during the Cold War, how the combination of odd belief and political power could produce a sleepless night or two.”
―D. G. Hart, Wall Street Journal

American Apocalypse is the best history of American evangelicalism I’ve read in some time…If you want to understand why compromise has become a dirty word in the GOP today and how cultural politics is splitting the nation apart, American Apocalypse is an excellent place to start.”
―Stephen Prothero, Bookforum


Mar 19, 2020
Become Saved Today –


Do you see that the elite, the CORPORATE RULING CLASS, have all found a way to continue making money off of you through this Robotic New World Order?  Whether it is through their draconian “Healthcare” system with its vaccinations and mandatory “care”.  Or its through the “Prison” system, their draconian surveillance and social control.  Or its through their AI/Hive Mind Network.  Or its through their man-made food, that isn’t food.   They will continue to make money off of YOU, in your slavery or in your death.