Country Club Prison

Something has been on my mind lately and I am unsure how to express it without pissing some people off.  It is not my intention and I have a hard time trying to always think under the umbrella of being politically correct.  So here’s to not giving a crap today.

How the hell have we come to a point in time in which Armstrong, Simpson, Trump and Clinton can be given a free ride while the rest of us who tote the line and live paycheck to paycheck and by societal norms have to worry about the consequences of our actions.  It’s a shit system.

A crime against humanity should hold a more severe consequence than a dope dealer or petty thief.  But again, ease of life comes down to one thing only, money. There are those with and those without.  If you are without, beware.

Think about what the prison system represents to a poor person.  For them it is the closest thing they have to being connected to a working society.  They have room and board, access to healthcare, free education if they choose, and three square meals a day.  

My students in Denver would be excited for Monday morning because of breakfast.  For a lot of them Friday lunch was their last complete meal. This was at a K-8. 99% of our students were high needs and on a free or reduced lunch plan.  This lifestyle doesn’t get easier as one gets older. It gets harder.

Suddenly these kids are adults and society is blaming them for making poor choices in the view of the society.  The difference between the poor and the middle class and the rich is the difference between an apple, a baseball and the moon.  Only similarity is that they are all round.

So for many poor people, the living conditions of prisons are not a deterrent.  The prisons are cleaner and in better condition than where they live in the real world.  The first order of business to change who is in prison is to bring the quality of life for the poor to a higher standard of living than those incarcerated.  Make it feel like a consequence for the action as opposed to being dealt just another crappy hand.

This brings me to the rich who become incarcerated.  In many cases these are people who have ripped off society as a whole .  Bernie Madoof, Charles Kushner and Harvey Weinstein come to mind. The fact that they land in prisons that are at a standard of living higher than most people globally is wrong.  They should serve in the same prisons as all others if not, the prisoners that they serve at should be worse.  

Remember, these are people who did not commit crime out of necessity or passion. Their crimes were all well planned and undermined the very fabric of society in which they were able to succeed in the first place.  Their crimes are more horrendous than the others.

Crimes of passion and necessity are just humans being humans.  White collar crimes are crimes by humans against humanity. A petty thief, who is stealing to provide food or money for his or family, is just trying to survive.  A wife, who murders her husband and his lover, is just having an irrational emotional response. But the criminal who embezzled millions of dollars from a hedge fund or lies their kids way into Harvard go against society as a whole.  They undermine a system that is supposed to be fair.

But somehow our society is based solely on those who have vs those who have not.  The outcome in time will not be good. It’s happened before. When a society becomes unjust for the masses, then that moment in time becomes the catalyst for a change between those who have and those who have not.  In simple terms, it becomes time for a Revolution.

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