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WWL>Topics>>7-8 11am Garland, Prison Capitol and capital

7-8 11am Garland, Prison Capitol and capital

Jul 8, 2014|

If we want to reduce crime…can we afford to? We know prisons are BIG business in America…but now the lucrative prison system is growing new limbs of money. Who are the big new benefactors? Garland talks to Marjorie Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU, Michael Cowan, Chair of the Crime Coalition and Kevin Kane President of the Pelican Institute & Coordinator of the Smart of Crime Campaign to reduce the number of unnecessarily incarcerated persons and invest some of the savings in community-based probation, parole and re-entry.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We have done a lot of Astros on our prison population in this state in this country. -- super parliament leaders. Minimum. United States is imprisoned more citizens than in a society in human history. China which has a population five times greater than in the United States. Says sister revealed the United States holds 25%. Of the world's prison population. But only 5% of world people here's part of Poland and pursuing. We talked a lot. About corporations. That own state prison -- them with the private corporation in the country. Wii's I guess it just assumed that I thought prisoners. Rough period ovaries and the -- crops to feed themselves making the license plates that kind of thing but listen this. 37 states have legal. Become contracting the prison labor instability of their two major corporations. One's called G Euro in the shrew would come and money of them making off -- office. The CEO. Of NG fuel -- broke four year period it made 22 million. But back to -- 37 states have legalized the contradicting the prison labor by private corporations. And as I said and I just assumed that was four in the hopes. A new experiences -- -- to build with crops and cattle and in the license plates. But here is who benefits. In they did early Lorch -- All their bottom line from our corporate prisons. I begin boarding. Motorola Microsoft. AT&T -- wire. Texas Instruments -- compact under. You'll darker Nortel and Lucent Technologies 3COM Inco. Northern Telecom TW a Nordstrom's. Revlon and Macy's peer card. Target stores. And it goes on and all -- and all. Between 19801994. Profit went from 390. Million for the private prisons. 22 point -- and 3.3. Billion. Dollars. So. -- whole war. Putting prisoners in prison is not just about stopping. Him. This is big business there's a big profit motive. And ribbon on talking about this again. Not just because I'm parents by and we have I got I got this is in the U Mayo based based group to address mass incarceration. Crisis. The veterans in that what to do we have Michael Colin what is -- removed the crime -- from Michael welcome to the show. And we're also. Who have. Marjorie as soon -- -- you know you. Margaret welcome to show you -- And also Kevin -- president of pelican institute coordinator. Of the Smart and fraud and campaign to reduce -- group. And that's true in court three people. Kevin welcome the show and give me an idea what you're trying to do. What take all of thanks for having console on. Yeah I mean what we do what we're working it is -- this issue -- of Louisiana's. A tremendous growth and incarceration that we've seen. -- from about 1992. To about 2010 about a about a twenty year period. Our -- our population our prison population basically doubled from about 20000 to 40000. At a large number of those people. Are not violent criminals most of our drug related many of them kind of lower level drug offenders who. Who have done something roll in and need to pay a price for that but it we're just we we all of the world agreement that we're locking up. More people that we need to for a longer period of time and so we think it can be addressed with good public policy at other states have been doing in recent years. And and which of the 30 knows about displayed -- each group and what they're doing. -- -- -- -- -- In my practice. -- -- can speak for somebody else but this project is an organization and of faith based groups in your -- Dedicated to social change and they had taken on. The -- incarceration problem as a as a priority for them and they've put together a panel discussion at. You know one of many that we can't we have all participated in. And in -- -- I'm always proud to to work with them on the issue. Beat -- but I'm not. I can't collaborate with him I'm not working for them -- Moved him in Michael proceed two we practice. With the call -- -- panel discussion. Coming up Thursday July the tenth 7 PM 3:30 PM. So you're on that panel so what what -- the discussion what's the point. -- the subject matter. Of that panel discussion is this issue. -- incarceration. In the state of Louisiana. In what can be done about it. We're thinking again about math some courts rationed in particular Louisiana. Think per -- Rebuild the highest rate of incarceration. In the world. And it did not and World Cup league in the country the United States. Per capita the largest in the world. And and we're talking about that because paid based group. Is gonna have a panel discussion this Thursday July and that you hit seven. In community 30 PM. And they're gonna have good to have. Bullets and select group the sacrament -- Joan -- count league church. Along with the because project. And where it and Butte. 8321. -- street in New Orleans will give them before they go work. -- we have three people -- this thank goodness that knew something about the Michael alone. Chairman of the crime coalition Marge real human executive director of Louisiana is field -- And Kevin -- president of the pelican and sued Michael -- short Bure who scored on the line. The -- from Wall Street Journal. The multi billion dollar. Prison industry. Corporations. Have its own triggered to have its convention's web sites and mail order Internet couple -- And has advertising companies architecture companies construction companies. Big investment houses on Wall Street plumbing supply companies. Food supply companies or security. And headed cells in the arrive to callers. However we reduced prison population. The president's. A lot of shareholders. A lot of headphones. A lot of money that's not going to be in their pocket. Will -- what what. Those of us have been working on this according all three of us on the call this morning. I. I think what we've learned that triggered is that in order to change that is. In Louisiana which is which is our agenda. We -- to get legislation passed and so far. Welcome departure isn't governments parliaments but so far. It seems to me that the people who have been resisting our effort are primarily. The sheriffs in north Louisiana who are getting paid by the state. To house prisoners and the district attorneys also have some problems what we're trying to do. -- I completely agree with Michael. And and a large part of the problem is that everybody used it yet. People understand the problem but elected officials are afraid to be perceived as beans. Soft on crime even though that's not politicians about and of course is also big money I am behind. All of these organizations Egypt decided Garland -- profit off the backs of of prisoner. And though it's very difficult to break through. Triple a few elected officials that they'll lose their jobs and secondly the money he gets banned. On the industry and that's what it is an industry. That profits off of the pack of human beings. Cooler incarcerated when they don't need to do in camp and said these many of these people are not violent day. Has made mistakes they have done wrong and need to pay a price but did not dangers to society indeed don't need to be locked up such a long period of time. It and -- like that pick a couple of things that are important to understand that I mean there's a lot of interest and a lot of emphasis on this issue of a private prisons in their role in the middle of this. They're actually relatively. Small player in Louisiana. Are being that that's it's not a private prisons that -- -- are. Prison population grew up two to go up I mean are. The kind of unique driver of the one of the challenges we face here in Louisiana is the fact that. About half of -- state prisoners are held in local prisoners or prisons around the state -- that the sheriff's Roland. And of course this year get per Diem money. With these. People will be incarcerate so basically we've incentivizing them to keep as many people incarcerated as possible. And they actually we've got. Sheriffs around the state who basically built their budgets upon the expectation that they'll be receiving certain revenues streams from the state law that the goal it. Possible private prisons or not. You know. Did not do that that's actually a case of purely public. You know government run for president so it's really more question of incentives to how we incentivized the participants that is the question of whether their public for products. I understand the Louisiana but I haven't ruled that -- -- -- information. Into the two largest private organizations CCA in G ego. I discovered -- their members what's called the American legislative. Exchange cultural. And Michael was I think queues have one of the losses -- sub reverses some changes -- go to the legislature. Well the American legislative exchange council. Is part of a very lord Washington DC -- public pol -- policy organization. What they do they develop model legislation. That advances three free market principles. Such as privatization but not necessarily. Corporate privatization. And what they've done CCA Ngo. We're then we're American legislative exchange council and development model bill. By which from museum legislatures. And a tool that other legislators. And didn't consult. When proposing to be tough on crime and including in the two of them in the -- just like this truth in sentencing. In three strikes laws. And they're funded and participated. In it and by the money. They want to offer longer sentences and so forth and so on so they may not be labeled pride that he year. But they certainly are still working. On exactly where you gods say you wanna go and make changes -- labels like. Actually I could jump in on this because I take special interest in this but I actually involved with Alec is the acronym for. That it did. So Alec is actually. Very much on the cutting edge. Of this issue. Criminal justice reform. And in fact I mean if you attend yeah I've I've attended their annual meeting last year and went to discussion on the session on criminal justice reform. I mean that the that he. In fact I would say a couple of the bills that we supported in. The -- to Louisiana legislative session is here or Alec model bills that were specifically targeted to make it easier for ex offenders to rejoin the work. -- who'd -- so this is wrong sees Hyun she Euro. I'm not saying they're not involved there a lot of different people involved but I think the book if you look at the people. And Alex we're focusing on this if you -- very much oriented to. Reducing. Prison population that alternatives to incarceration. I think it's there it's a real it's an oversimplification. To say that. Prodded into companies all want more people incarcerated I mean look you can change the incentives what you paid companies more. To reduce the recidivism rates but the people that they -- incarcerate. In the past. Column but again I think it's really a question of how we incentivized. The participant whether they're public -- and did -- give people more money to incarcerate more people of course are gonna -- incarcerate more people it's up to the policy makers to changing incentives. To take people to do things that we want them to do like to correct people. All right you were you racism where Michael -- with the chairman of the prime pollution -- Korea as an executive director of the year of Louisiana he's COU. Kevin -- news president of pelican institute. Kevin you mentioned some that I never heard been and -- seemed to make just common sense if we've paid these prison corporations -- We've paid the sheriff's department. To increase the recidivism. Rate -- make a profit and we -- have a better product. For the public why hasn't that been done. Well I think it. And I think there's a chance that that we are gonna move in the direction. It hasn't happened yet because I think this is really -- relatively. By using new trend in policymaking. And and for possibly one of the things we look at. Is our states like Texas. In particular who. About 56 years ago they were on the cost of building two or three more prisons. And they just sat there and try to take a closer look at that they realize that so many of the people that were incarcerating. We're nonviolent offenders who didn't really needed to go to jail. Who were better dealt with with treatment and other options. And that they started investing more money in those alternatives to incarceration what they found is that. They're reducing their incarceration rate they don't have to build more prisons -- and the crime rate is going there at the same time. Turnout Georgia has followed texas' lead just do a couple months ago life in Mississippi they signs on to a broad. Certain reforms. And collecting more more states are starting to take this path of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. And I think that's you know that's what we need to do here and we easier. And David for the north or occurs does that thing David -- plex shall La Louisiana news David Gordon that are -- Chicago. Gregory -- -- art show. You don't put it -- -- panel members while ago it was kind of like any structural and you know what what I want to talk about my question is. -- commented do you wanna do you wanna. Are you out Ottawa so all in all. Popularly prison population on the back side on. What I mean by that is -- The column discussing it occurs as a result of incorporation which -- gone back. And keep that in incorporation. And magnate has ironed out and we can make money on it. Let's let let let you know. Expound on that in that increase our profits on that. But what poignant to eliminate the problem aren't. -- -- problem back. I. Yeah I mean I. See that comment because that's something that's really critical clue what could be here he was involved in became absolutely right. The issue is cooler we sending into our prison system and why are we sending them there and for howl because. After all you know you can today you know yes he unity do the crime he had his time in it and they have to pay a price to breaking the rule all that kind of stuff. And all that may be true but at the end of the day we as a society get to decide exactly what the price it. For a particular infractions and the practice that in Louisiana. The penalties the sentences that we've imposed. Have gone up dramatically over the past twenty years into the penalty for the same offense is not the same now at -- could be. And those -- actually think that we made and they have not produced the results says that we thought they would produce. If the intent was that if we have cup for sentences that would decrease the crime rate has done. And really easy to say well he had to pay a price that's true. We have to decide what the appropriate price to pay and do we really need and people in for what could be life sentences. Ford on violent offenses Anthony yeah absolutely right we need to look at who is going. We dealing on the front end and if we reduce the numbers of people going into prison system in the first place animation the amount of time that they and there. That we don't have to worry so much about what do when they get out if they even get out at all. That we'll be right and we need to be looking at. Both sides of the equation it's not I'm not just say we need to make sure that people can we had just society successfully which of course is very important part. We need to look at why they're going in in the first place for how law and do they need to actually be incarcerated or their other things that we can do for people. -- just need help the banks society's rules. Reducing managers say that don't to run into the problem all. Sure ropes now boarding changes some DA is not a marine and legislative or corporate -- being seen Newsweek. The political problem and and what we need to do to create. As social climate in which it is no longer -- political problem. Did I here's somebody else. But just governors consider. That's again. That that the reality. Situation here's exactly as you describe -- And what we're trying to figure -- it is. And when we worked we were permissible level that it social that would -- we're trying to figure out. What package of legislation and move the ball furthest forward tremendous hand. You know that'll include an effort to figure out how to -- a picture of concerns in the district attorney is concerned that sometimes and require that we just. You know developed via the power and the argument. To what to take them on. Kevin. I've been told that 20 law enforcement agencies all over the country. When the big drug bust and seized property that's a very large piece of their budget. Number one do you think that true and number -- -- it is quade convinced sheriff's department. To put fewer people imprisoned. Of putting him in prison in its evening property. Makes up a large part of their budget. Yeah I mean I can't really. Speak greatly to the specifics of how much money. Do different agencies that that federal state and local levels may get it from that but. The home but but I think what's important is that you know we need to. -- -- demonstrate evidence that top alternative approaches actually work. And the good thing is that we are getting more and more evidence from other states. That they're treating non violent offenders. -- would alternatives to incarceration. Not only cost less money but it deep in -- it brings down a primary. So. You know as far as the dollars and cents and it go I mean I think one of the things we can do it should do. Is invest more money in some of these alternatives to incarceration. Which can be -- by insurance. You know for example in point compete parish. There is a pilot program that we supported in this legislative session that will little they expand their reentry. Program there and give prisoners they're more counseling training education needed help prepare them to get jobs when they get out. And I think those sorts of things. You know that that gives us an opportunity to invest in these programs and kind of soften the blow so sheriff's you know. Maybe eight or incarcerating fewer people what they're getting more money to do more things with the people they have. And I've got 101000 more portions of Michael Kellen Moore Andrea -- And you're giving you a lot of time do but talked Michael when windows store and you get -- thought. I would say that term. That the -- coalition has been working around the local criminal justice system since the year after the hurricane. And we've literally looked at and been involved with every aspect of which -- -- the -- the public defender of the district attorney and so on betrayal. And as -- as we've looked typical complicated system. But significant clear to me is that on every one of these issues -- issues related criminal justice. There are three things that that matter and really the only exception of matter. One is -- one is just the administration of justice. Another is public safety in the third is on August. And so now we should shift our attention to include the larger estate project. Of reducing mass incarceration. And -- look at it I think it's very strongly meets all three of those criteria. It's it's a public safety issue for two reasons one is that we got people in prison that don't need to be clear as long as they are. And when they come back now most of them are back in jail within five years and so were making people more dangerous. And harming public safety by a -- certain people -- people. Certainly there's question of Justice Department wanted to have been hospitalized and Charlie are priority right -- practical reasons. This is the -- This is costing us some money. And in a very which -- wasteful way one of the things that inspired me about the work in Texas Tech -- refers to. Is that they realize. That nobody questioned whether texas' Smart on crime but they began to say which -- which can be Smart. We can be tough on crime without being -- -- soon to -- -- the -- -- -- he doubled. Do. To Pennsylvania. And who's the guy that helped him. Cut their expenses. And use cutting one point 86. Billion in and -- cost in Pennsylvania. Marjorie you're talk. On it yeah hi I think that. We need to look at this. From absolutely every angle and Kevin and Michael has pretty much. Can edit. Did the cost issue and particularly given the fact that we are now spending huge amount of money and and getting not only not get better results beginning -- results showed that if the money's being literally -- We're spending huge amounts of money I think people and and have. Color the result we have increasingly high crime rates. After all -- incarcerating more people per capita than any -- felt from the world made -- safer. Then maybe it might be worth it but we ultimately in a hot climate and we're not getting paid for and and the reason. And that we need to -- warehouse people and don't give them services so that when they are release date and reenter society. Would we have this mentality that. -- -- Incarceration. Is the solution to absolutely every infraction. I'll -- don't end up with people who cannot function in society and and it it doesn't. -- anybody's interest that we really need to go back. And I think very hard as I said before about. What the appropriate penalty for. Individual. That -- do we really want if they can beat up to twenty years or even life force simple possession of marijuana because that's a loss Louisiana. Most people in the state don't really think that people ought to be locked up forever. Simply because they've been in convention now -- but that is a possible outcome. -- the outcome but it is possible for that happened in Louisiana know what this statement penalties like that and we need to really think about. What are we doing to people how Halloween make the punishment fit the crime. In away and a little. Correct people who need correction. You know leave irritate people need -- Asian. And say the severe penalties for people who actually pose a risk of harm -- -- Ladies and gentlemen to and we're all agreed that some of the puck moves important. So when did you dude to -- committed to 600 hours of my true. -- No takers and of while the cause you all again and good we're gonna do more shows and then as. They do so much were an -- -- time. Trying to.

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