Jail and prison are very different things, in theory. Jail is where someone is held temporarily as they await trial. The people in jail are not guilty, as defined by our judicial system, they are innocent until they are proven guilty. This “temporary” setting is for people that are either unable to post bail due to lack of funds, or have not been offered bail due to the nature of the crime committed.
No innocent person is going to spend years in jail, right? Our system is flawed, but everyone has a right to a fair trial and will at least have the opportunity to prove that they are innocent in a court of law, right? Nope, wrong.
Our prison system is a mess. An aggravating, infuriating, mess that no one seems to talk about because these people are criminals, so, fuck ’em.
Aside from the fact that we have non violent offenders serving 20 year prison sentences, aside from the fact that in California the state spends over $50,000/year/per prisoner and $8500/year/per student, aside from the fact that we have over 7 times the incarceration rate of most European countries, and aside from the fact that we have private FOR PROFIT prisons housing almost half of our prisoners, private facilities where it is in their best interest to keep inmates longer so they can pay dividends to their SHAREHOLDERS and continue to financially support POLITICIANS that will be tougher on crime in order to keep their fucking FOR PROFIT facility open and full….fuuuucccccckkkkkkkk…..aside from all of this, which is a fucking fuck lot, we still have at best a flawed system, and at worst a complete piece of shit corrupt system.
Kalief Browder, a 16 year old kid arrested for stealing another kids backpack, got the worst of everything.
Browder was a black high school sophomore charged with no evidence and put in jail with bail set at $3,500. $3,500 his family didn’t have. So, Browder had to sit in jail and wait for the chance to prove his innocence in court. So he waited, for 3 years, in Rikers Island. 3 fucking years he spent as a scared, innocent teenager in a hardcore jail. Browder spent 800 days in solitary confinement, he was beaten by guards, he was beaten by other inmates. Keep in mind, this is not only an innocent person by fact, this is also still an innocent person in the eyes of our justice system. Browder was in jail, not prison, he had not been found guilty of anything.
So many wrongs.
1. Browder was arrested even though he was searched and did not have a backpack or any contents of said backpack with him.
2. Bail was set at $3500. Bail varies, but it is generally based on factors such as:
-Seriousness of the crime
-Accused’s criminal record
-Likelihood the accused will leave or flee the area to avoid trial
-Accused’s financial resources
Browder had no record, it was a backpack, A BACKPACK. There was 0 reason for him to flee, and he obviously had no financial resources. $3500 is an absurd amount of money in this situation.
3. Browder spent 3 years waiting for his trial. We have a backed up system, but you would think that a 17 year old pleading innocence for a petty theft while surrounded by older people charged with much harsher crimes might take precedence.
After 33 months Browder was told he would be set free if he took a plea deal, if he said he was guilty. Fuck. Off. Browder stood his ground, he was innocent.
After his release Browder tried to go back to school, he tried to live his life, but he couldn’t. Kalief Browder took his own life last month. Please watch and read this heartbreaking article/video.
Nothing about this is anything other than insane. We are the home of the free and we have citizens getting arrested without evidence, held without trail, and beaten by those employed to keep peace. This is here, this is our country and these are our citizens.
We need prison reform. Prison is for rehabilitating an individual, not for lining pockets. We have allowed big money into every crevice of our society, and guess what? It’s not working anywhere. Not in schools, not in defense, not in politics, and not in prisons.
We need to stop holding people for minor drug offenses. We need to not spend $2 trillion dollars on overseas wars that benefit only a few that already have fat pockets. Its been said that the measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members. Well then, our civilization a real piece of shit. We step on and take advantage of our weakest members, then blame it on someone else.
Kalief Browder is the unfortunate example of a corrupt and unaccountable society doing what it does.
This is an excellent documentary exposing a horribly corrupt “corrections” operation in Pennsylvania. Definitely worth the watch.