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DISCOVER

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Nicki's Journey

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Just Us

We get taxed, fined, harassed, followed, lied to, searched, seized, stalked, spied on, threatened, terry stopped, detained, kidnapped, assaulted, violated...

...abused, tasered, handcuffed, caged, targeted, shot at, presumed guilty, terrorized, battered, gaslighted, robbed, extorted, punched, beat, tackled, chased, intimidated, mocked.

There are currently about half a million drug offenders in prison or jail, an increase of 1,100 percent since 1980.

Approximately 13 million people are introduced to American jails in any given year. 

Out of the 847,863 arrests for marijuana in 2008, 754,224 were for possession alone.

 “Young black men are nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers,” the Guardian reported

One in fifty Americans are working their way through the prison system, either as inmates, or while on parole or probation.

In 2011, over 62.9 million U.S. residents age 16 or older, or 26% of the population, had one or more contacts with police during the prior 12 months

Despite the fact that violent crime in America has been on the decline, the nation’s incarceration rate has tripled since 1980.

The state’s war on drugs, like its war on poverty and its war on terrorism, is a failure, unless you consider turning hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding people into criminals a success. 

 

According to the Sentencing Project, over half of the federal prison population is the result of drug charges. Twenty percent of the state prison population and 25 percent of the local jail population is due to drug charges. There are currently about half a million drug offenders in prison or jail, an increase of 1,100 percent since 1980. Not only has the drug war had virtually no impact on the use or availability of most drugs in the United States, it has destroyed civil liberties.

Morality Schmality

Americans bet a hundred million dollars every day, and that’s just at legal places like Las Vegas and Indian reservations. Much more is bet illegally. No one should be deceived into thinking that the state is really concerned about the immorality of gambling. It is only illegal gambling — gambling in which the government does not get a cut of the action — that the government is concerned about. State lotteries, which have odds worse than any casino, are marketed to the poor with tax dollars. If an individual is genuinely concerned about the negatives associated with gambling, then the answer is personal persuasion, not government prosecution.

Judges win elections by being tough on crime.

Don't take my word for it, just watch their campaign ads!

You better believe that sitting up on that bench is a politician, and your life has become a campaign issue. Think about it! They're not touting being impartial or having the best knowledge of the law. They're literally promising to be friendly to the prosecution, because that's what the voters want. So, right away the accused -- guilty or innocent -- has no one who sympathizes with them. Even after reading this, most of you will still assume an accused person must have done something, otherwise why would they have gotten arrested?

which brings me to...

Cops (Everything about them is rigged)

When the magic costumes and badges come out, individual human beings with decency and compassion lose themselves in a role. They become the part they are playing. Not just for themselves, but for their supporters as well. And as if it is not bad enough that the individual wearing those magical implements is lost to the character they are playing, training often removes them even further from their humanity.To save lives, cops must be taught to think beyond the gun belt ...and their ego.

From their training...

Training is conditioning. It is conditioning a set of responses based on specific observations. The conditioned officer no longer sees a scared dog or human in distress, they see a problem which they have specific methods of handling. And when those specific methods end up in police committing acts of violence, the human being takes no responsible for a human tragedy, but rather passes the problem onto the character who was just complying with their training. And so training becomes a method not only by which people are taught to kill, but by which they later justify it and refuse to take responsibility for the inhumanity of their acts.

The training given to police causes them to see the public as dangerous enemy combatants. While they are playing their role as robotic enforcers, they see us belonging to another category of beings. The Us-vs-Them mentality becomes the dominant cultural paradigm and the thin blue line becomes a demarcation of group supremacy where police see themselves as superior.

The training we are giving cops as a society and professionally has created a machine which chews up human beings and spits them back out either broken or dead.

All police and military training conditions the individual and the conditioning dehumanizes them. When you tell people what they should and can do, you take from them the responsibility of considering for themselves what the right thing to do is. Absent this responsibility for one's own actions, individuals become capable of acts they would otherwise never consider.

In most police shootings, officers don’t shoot out of anger or frustration or hatred. They shoot because they are afraid. And they are afraid because they are constantly barraged with the message that that they should be afraid, that their survival depends on it. Not only do officers hear it in formal training, they also hear it informally from supervisors and older officers. 

...to the standards they are held...

There is a double standard for charging citizens and police. Everybody knows that police are authorized to use force in ways civilians are not. But if a civilian shoots a person outside his car window you can bet that shooter would be arrested, charged and have to defend his actions in court.That is not the case when cops are the shooters, because “police are investigating their own.”  

The system is substantially rigged in favor of letting officers off the hook for using excessive force in the line of duty—especially if they say they needed to protect themselves. On the complex side are how the various stages of the process tilt toward covering up what abusive police have done, as well as biases built into the legal system that shield police from prosecution.

Then there is the fact that the get paid leave and are almost always exonerated for killing a person during an "investigation" which is often more favorable then the suspension they may earn from just injuring someone "in the line of duty".

Policing is not an individual sport, it is a team endeavor. Police are part of a grand network of other police whose support they can rely upon. An officer’s individual risk is mitigated by the group, and they are less likely to have to face consequences for any actions.

...to the tickets they write...

 

Propaganda

In the line of duty? Is it really your duty to extort hundreds of dollars out of me for not wearing my seatbelt?

Cops being consistently labeled as "Hero's"

 

Heroism Is Not A Job & Heroes Do Not Seek Payment
Heroes Do Not Hurt Others Only To Protect Themselves
Remember that the next time you hear a cop being labeled a "Hero" 

The most heroic thing a police officer can do is fight against the corruption, abuse and violence of other police. Only then are they acting as individuals, and not cogs in a machine that is far less than heroic.

Prisons

The passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865 formally abolished slavery, but with a stipulation that enabled plantation owners to use prisoners as a replacement for the lost labor. In recent decades, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Revlon, AT&T, Target and many other major corporations have made use of prison labor that pays between .12 and .40 cents, a business plan enabled by the Amendment’s exception. Prisoner duties can also include cleaning laundry, serving food and producing license plates, which reduce government cost.

despite the fact that violent crime in America has been on the decline, the nation’s incarceration rate has tripled since 1980. The reason for this stems from financially motivated corporations who are profiting off of the prison population in more ways than one. They have no interest in allowing their slave style work force to decline in numbers. 

In an age when freedom is fast becoming the exception rather than the rule, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business.

CCA has floated a proposal to prison officials in 48 states offering to buy and manage public prisons at a substantial cost savings to the states. In exchange, and here’s the kicker, the prisons would have to contain at least 1,000 beds and states would have agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for up to 20 years.

Prisoners under state or federal correctional authorities, 1978-2015

Prison is rigged. Everything from the corrupt court system that puts you there, to the use of cheap and free labor while you're there. To the state making federal dollars for even having you there. Jails need prisoners. Prisoners are Big Business. The spreadsheet data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows the rapid increase in the amount of people in the prison system over the last 37 years. They have turned prison into a cheap labor workforce, where everyone profits except the prisoners themselves.

Kids for Cash

Doubtless, a system already riddled by corruption will inevitably become more corrupt, as well. For example, consider the “kids for cash” scandal which rocked Luzerne County, Penn., in 2009. For ten years, the Mid Atlantic Youth Service Corporation, which specializes in private prisons for juvenile offenders, paid two judges to jail youths and send them to private prison facilities. The judges, who made over $2.6 million in the scam, had more than 5,000 kids come through their courtrooms and sent many of them to prison for petty crimes such as stealing DVDs from Wal-Mart and trespassing in vacant buildings. When the scheme finally came to light, one judge was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison and the other received 28 years, but not before thousands of young lives had been ruined.

Next: Politicked