Remember when America was the Land of the Free?
Before the American landscape became peppered with prisons, dotting across the continental horizon? Before America committed to locking up more people than any industralized nation on earth, including China, Russia and other nations we’ve criticized for their treatment of prisoners.
Now, we, Americans, imprison some 1.6 million fellow citizens, scores for non-violent offenses; thousands under Three Strikes laws, for little more than misdemeanors. Yet we charge Cuba for locking up non-violent dissidents.
With a record number of citizens forced to endure this new, brutal brand of American criminal justice, one must ask: Are we any better off? Do you fear released parolees or embrace them? Does this God-loving country prefer to punish prisoners in the vein of revenge, or rehabilitate them in the name of humanity? Do we simply want to warehouse human beings for a profitable time, or truly offer those who were most often disadvantaged from the get-go a real shot at living healthy, harmonious, productive lives?
At $80 billion a year, there’s just got to be a better way!