Within a heartbeat of California legalizing marijuana, attorney general Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama administration sentiment to stay out of pot friendly state law. Sessions put America on notice, federal law trumps state fancy – federal prosecutors have been instructed to replace hands-off State decriminalization of pot with an aggressive approach to prioritizing resources in a crack down of possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana in states were it is legalized.
“In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the department’s finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions,” Sessions said in a memo to all federal prosecutors. “These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community.”
A ponder was born – why now, why California, has Trump been extra naughty prompting another pathetic news bomb diversion? Then it hit me – duh! American for profit prisons are tossing a fit, a raging tantrum punctuated with threats of dwindling campaign contributions.
Major players in the for profit prison industry are GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America ( CCA ). In 2014, CCA wrote in their annual shareholders report –
“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. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. … Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior.”
GEO and CCA report a combined annual income of more the $3 billion. For profit incarceration contracts stipulate local and state government maintain a minimum occupancy of inmates (typically 90%) or taxpayers pay for empty beds.Contracts of 3 private prisons in Arizona demand 100% occupancy. Sweet deal that goes a long way toward explaining why America has more prisoners per capita than any nation in the world. Hardly surprising that over 75% of inmates are jailed on drug charges.
So what do for profit prisons do with contractually guaranteed inmates? Rehabilitation, education? Hell no. Try forced labour under contract with Federal Prison Industries ( aka UNICOR ), a government owned corporation who in 2015 reported total salaries paid to all inmates combined $33,538 , and annual profits from textile, agriculture and manufacturing $558 million, up $90 million from the previous year. Check out this link – http://all-that-is-interesting.com/private-prisons-us-stats
Make no mistake, American profiteers demand an uninterrupted supply of marijuana possession felons to satisfy their bottom line. Legalization of pot threatens to decimate profitable chain gangs. America is anything but a great nation.
“Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend–pass it over to me….”
I think it’s also complicated by the GOP obsession with changing anything Obama put in place. It’s a shitstorm.
Great post. Other factors are that felons in most states automatically lose the right to vote, and in some states can never get it back. SO want to take out a possible low income Dem voter, jail them on a drug possession charge. Alao it is now proven that Nixon started the drug war to have a reason to arrest more black people. Yes it was a bigoted attack on a segment of the population. Jeff Sessions really believes it is only bad people do weed. He is so deep into the whole reefer madness junk he grew up with. Again I think it is far past time to get these out of touch seriously too old people out of government and let younger people who are more in touch with the society and culture of modern America take charge. Hugs
Land of the brave, home of the free, huh? A nation of slaves, mind slaves, religious slaves, economic slaves.
There’s a lot of money to be made in private prisons — and we here in the U.S. put more people (per capita) in jail than any other country. There’s a lot of folks making a bundle of money on keeping blacks, other minorities, and anyone else they can round up incarcerated for as long as possible. I may be a proud american, but I’m ashamed of our government.
Did you know that since 2009 there has been a Federal law in place guaranteeing a minimum of 34,000 immigration detainees in federal custody? Pardon me while I gather brain matter off the wall! America has a quota on incarcerated immigrants! Guess what? Half of all detained immigrants are held in private for profit prisons. Yikes.
Yup. Those private contractors have to have some sense of certainty if they are going to spend the money to build prisons. It’s appalling, but it’s the end result of Capitalism: everything is for sale. And it’s sickening.
Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
This is a great post that deserves to be read and then reread. When will the US reign in corporations that use humans as just about slave labor to increase their profits. Capitalism unchecked will destroy anything the US could have been. Hugs