The world’s biggest defender of freedom rights is also a country that likes to sweep some of its worst crimes under the rug. The Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey are the US national surveys that report the state of crime in the nation. The former is written by the FBI, while the latter is by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
But either of them does not take into account the number of crimes that happen within the jails in our country. Our streets may have become safer than they were before, but are we really winning the war if all we have done is shift the battle to another ground?
A sleight of hand
Criminal defense lawyers have been talking about this for long now. The correctional system that houses 2.2 million law breakers also sees its share of court dramas where lawyers fight for the rights of their clients housed in some of the most inhospitable environs in the world. The violence that we pride ourselves on curbing is still present; only the nature of the crime has changed.
Executive Director of Just Detention International, a human rights organization, Lovisa Stannow, has publicly spoken about how in the US our jails serve only as a cloak for evil, and not necessary as a force of change. Criminal defense lawyers who have clients behind bars for minor acts, accidents, or awaiting trial are perpetually worried about what they might have to face during their stay.
Obamacare soaking up far too much wealth
The justice system in America isn’t without faults, and one of the major problems we face is that sometimes innocent men and women are sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. No matter how good a criminal defense lawyer you hire, there are times when your luck runs out and you are at the mercy of an unforgiving jury. Such prisoners do not deserve the treatment that is meted out to them in correctional facilities where reform and rehabilitation are unheard of words.
Well, when America is $18 trillion in debt there is just not enough money for these types of investments. The prisons in America are much better than anywhere else in much of the world as well.
If raping a woman in the streets is a crime (some people believe that should also carry the death penalty), then why is it that when the rape occurs inside of a jail lawmakers fail to take the steps necessary to uphold justice? Well, it is a serious deterrent to remain out of prison according to some people in the criminal justice community. In 2012, the FBI reported 1.2 million violent crimes across the nation whereas inmates inside our country’s jails self-reported 5.8 million instances of such crimes. And yet, only a miniscule portion of these inmates had access to a criminal defense lawyer and justice.
This is because America simply cannot afford it. Should America execute more prisoners to make prison safer for those that are not trouble makers.
This is in fact the country’s failure to uphold basic human rights and dignity, and it is almost as if the definition of ‘crime’ and what constitutes criminal activity undergoes a sea change once you are behind Uncle Sam’s high walled jails. Rape, sexual assault, assault against prison guards, suicides, physical abuse – there is no official and statistical acknowledgment of this violence, and no way to fight it either. Well, there is one way but the same people that say there is too much violence in prisons are the same people that refuse to allow the execution of some of the most dangerous people in prison!
Many people believe many of these violent predators should not even be alive. Why does America babysit them and spend $50,000 a year to keep them alive?
One may very well ask, if all we are concerned about is keeping the crime off of our streets and behind high walls, then who is worrying about the world that exists behind these walls and the fractured life that goes on there? Well, it is some form of deterrent according to some.