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September 2009
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Changing views on incarceration?

So Governor Quinn has decided to release 1,000 nonviolent prisoners in the State of Illinois.

The Chicago Sun-Times, in an editorial, slammed him… but not for releasing the prisoners.

Quinn was right to take the first long-overdue step in Illinois to reduce the state’s massive prison population. Thousands of inmates are no more than drug addicts who could be better rehabilitated in their communities, saving the state millions of dollars.

But he was wrong to slip his announcement into the bottom of a press release late on a Friday afternoon, as the sun was setting and reporters were calling it a day — that twilight time in the weekly news cycle when politicians try to bury their worst potential headlines.

On the contrary, Quinn’s decision to begin releasing some nonviolent offenders is nothing he needs to soft-peddle…

Refreshing.

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7 comments to Changing views on incarceration?

  • kant

    This is very refreshing. When Governor Quinn voiced his tentative support for cook county’s pseudo decriminalization. I was excited.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/24/quinn-not-opposed-to-mari_n_244327.html

    Now this stunning show of rationality really has my hopes up.

    As of May the senate passed a MMJ bill and the house version has been passed out of committee and is awaiting a floor vote. If it passes the house, I have high hopes that Quinn will sign it. Could it be that by the beginning of next year we’ll be the 14th state with a mmj law? let’s hope.

  • claygooding

    One American in three will contract some form of cancer in their lifetime.
    The citizens of India,where hemp has continuously been used as medicine,food and recreational,are at a one in ten chance of contracting cancer.
    While numbers don’t lie,they can be interpreted in many ways,but it seems very important to find out why such a large discrepancy exists.
    History may well prove that were our own worst enemy when we started marijuana prohibition in 1937,and could be the reason
    our society is fighting cancer at epidemic proportions.

  • R.O.E.

    I hope Illinois passes MMJ. I for one will be moving across the river. I will finally be able to treat a condition without putting Big pharma poisons in my body.

  • DdC

    On the contrary,
    Quinn’s decision to begin releasing some nonviolent offenders
    is nothing he needs to soft-peddle…

    When it was tried in Cali it was ripped apart by 5 governors elected by the Prison and Paraphernalia Complex including the FOoP’s. These mirror images of people only see perpetuating the status quo or improving it for more investment opportunities. The answer my friends is blowing in ze vind… building more prisons. Aunuld threatens to release non violent non criminals with non victims. Especially ones who are sick. ooooo….

    The founding fathers discovered humans can not be trusted, ever. They must have checks and balances and a Free Press to report the status, not make shit up. Not “trust me” or lies to protect the message to the kiddies. Profit selling humans because we the people let them the untrustworthy humans strip the checks and balances and sell the Free Press to the advertisers and corporations. Our taxes pay for our own censorship and distortions and mostly the red herring diversions. Watch the birdie… We choose to pay more attention and spend more time on unrealistic fantasies and not enough demanding reality.

    Prison Industrial Complex Attacks Prop. 5

    Any tax paid organization or department has to be neutral. Not elected, tax paid lobbyists against certain tax payers. DEA propagandists in a Free Society? Who are they protecting? If the majority want them to stop “protecting” some citizens they UnConstitutionally deem fit to persecute. Land of the Judge Jury and Executioner saving us from a young mother holding her baby. Or a 92 year old desperado in her bed. 12,000 in Mexico, 6000 in thailand and thousands as slave labor for US business. Caging seniors for growing pot.

    When the Police disregard the medicinal, hemp and lowest priority laws that curtail their confiscations, forfeitures, cash, and cars for the picking. It should red flag an alert to stop it from wasting any more time and taxes. What is the point of any law if cops arbitrarily enforce what they want or are told. The private prisons, construction and the materials, mostly synthetic alternatives to Hemp that are sold. Youbetchya its Big Biz selling the drugs war.

    Obama said we need one big thing to put people back to work… and we know what the hell it is. We need healthy people as well as health care and we know what is spewed from stacks and reactors and OPEC crude isn’t healthy, and we know of a perfectly safe vegetable every town could grow and produce and manufacture into thousands of products. What is the problem? Paraphrasing FDR, if you want this your going to have to make me do it. Too many vested ignorant to take it on by myself. This Ganjawar band aid portrayed as stopping further infection is really just hiding festered pustules rot.

    Over Grow the Government! We already pay for 2.2 million Americans in cages, must we import nonviolent Canadian offenders?

    Marc Emery: Political Prisoner U2b

  • Refreshing… until the press has their morning coffee and realizes it can sell more news by reporting that “Governor Releases Over 1,000 Convicted Felons from State Prison Directly into Local Neighborhoods – Are Your Children Safe?”

    And then the weasel phrase “Some experts are saying the Governor should be impeached” will appear in every story covering this de minimis general amnesty of nonviolent citizens. That’s because the press can sell even MORE news covering an impeachment trial. Impeachment for ENDANGERING THE CHILDREN!!! THE CHILDREN! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! THE PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!!!!

    I sincerely wish that every time a politician or member of the press uttered the words child or children, a thousand random children would scream in agony before they each instantly dropped dead, evacuated their bowels, melted into a pool of bloody guts, brain matter and bones, and then spontaneously combusted and burned uncontrollably for ten years under a plume of thick, black smoke. And I’m talking about cute, puffy-cheeked smiling American kids, not starving, naked African children with distended stomachs covered in feces and tsetse flies… over 1,000 of them just died in the time in took for me to write this – unfortunately nobody gives a crap (these are not “the children” about which politicians and media talking heads constantly speak).

    So… who wants to take bets on when Governor Quinn’s impeachment trial begins?

  • PMP

    I used to be a big fan of simply releasing non-violent offenders.

    I’ve reconsidered. The way our fucked-up “justice” system works, after you plea bargain, you can technically be sentenced to something VERY different from what you did.

    Suppose you’re a local ruffian who has turned to dealing pot on the side. Maybe you got pulled in for slanging an eighth to one of your customers and then beating the snot out of him later on when you heard a rumor that he was trying to get fresh with your lady.

    Now suppose the local DA let you plead “down” from Possession with intent to distribute plus assault and battery to “simple possession.”

    Could you now be let off as a “non-violent offender?”

    We have to be careful that our well-intended reforms don’t have unintended consequences…

  • PMP: That’s a lame reason for keeping people locked up. There is always a risk that a released criminal will commit another crime, violent or not. I’d rather have the rate of violent crime increase 10% than live in a country that locks up a greater percentage of its citizens than any other country in the history of our species.

    You say you’ve “reconsidered” releasing nonviolent offenders and give a hypothetical, slippery-slope rationale in support of your reconsideration. I’d suggest you reconsider your reconsideration. Even if it means a few kids end up getting raped, murdered, and chopped up into little bloody kiddie-bits, the greater evil is keeping millions of nonviolent offenders locked up.

    As a side note, it’s quite rare that a prosecutor would drop the charges of a violent crime to get a plea for a nonviolent crime. It’s usually the other way around. In the few cases where the charge of a violent crime is dropped in a plea deal, 99% of the time it is because the state’s case is extremely weak and lacks sufficient evidence. In other words, the defendant is most likely not guilty of the violent crime he’s charged with. Your logic upon which you base your “reconsideration” of releasing nonviolent offenders is severely misguided.