40 Bad Reasons for Prison Statistics Pt. 2

Why are so many black and poor people in prison?

Yesterday I started looking at 40 reasons why there are so many black and poor people in prison, proposed by Bill Quigley of Loyola University New Orleans. So far, these have been ridiculous claims and absurd padding that really ignore the simple facts.  Can he do any better today?  Let’s find out.

Eleven. Many people in jail and prison because the U.S. has much tougher drug laws and much longer sentences for drug offenses than most other countries.

And that has what to do with the price of tea in China?  It doesn’t matter, the law is the law and you stay out of prison by not breaking the law.  That ought to be pretty obvious.  Whether you like the laws or not is really irrelevant, so long as they are in force, so long as everyone is held equally accountable, there’s no real cause to complain, or at least no real legitimate cause to complain.  Liberals are good at complaining, just because.

Twelve. The bail system penalizes poor people.

Those that don’t break the law don’t go to jail and hence, don’t need bail.  You wouldn’t think this would be that hard to understand, would you?

Thirteen. Jails and prisons provide a lot of jobs to local, state and federal officials.

As I said in my last post, this might be the case but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the issues being raised here. How does this fact have anything to do with blacks and the poor landing behind bars?  How is it any different than saying the Post Office employs a lot of people?

Fourteen. The people in local jails are not there because they are a threat to the rest of us.

No, they are there because they broke the law.  Is this somehow news?

Fifteen. Criminal bonds are big business.

Again, so what?  What does it have to do with anything?  Lots of flowers are blue.  So what?  This is just more padding.

Sixteen. A very high percentage of people in local jails are people with diagnosed mental illnesses.


Seventeen. Lots of people in jail need treatment.

See, sixteen and seventeen could have been easily combined but no, he’s padding out what should be a very short list if he just got rid of the irrelevancies and the worthless points.  But let’s look at this.  A lot of people would never get any treatment for their mental illnesses unless they got arrested and could be put into treatment.  Being arrested is probably the best thing for a lot of people.  You can’t just scoop these people up off the streets and shove them into a sanitarium anymore.  And, of course, that still doesn’t change the fact that these people, regardless of their mental conditions, still committed a crime, perhaps a serious crime.

Eighteen. Those who are too poor, too mentally ill or too chemically dependent, though still presumed innocent, are kept in cages until their trial dates.

And that’s easy to take care of, don’t commit crimes.  This keeps coming back to this simple fact and I don’t think it’ll ever  be anything Quigley wants to address.  It is a simple, elegant solution.  I’ve never seen the inside of a jail cell in my life.  Nobody I know has ever seen the inside of a jail cell.  I didn’t have to struggle to stay out of jail.  Why do they?  Why should they be given special treatment because they can’t manage it?

Nineteen. Poor people have to rely on public defenders.

Okay?  When you can’t afford something, you have to rely on what is provided for you for free.  Again, if you don’t want to rely on public defenders, stay the hell out of jail!

Twenty. When poor people face felony charges they often find the public defenders overworked and underfunded and thus not fully available to provide adequate help in their case.

Do I really have to repeat myself again so soon?  Okay.  Yes.  You’re not going to get the same kind of legal defense for free that you could get if you had a million dollars.  Welcome to reality.  You’re not going to get the same quality of food at McDonalds as you are at a 5-star French restaurant.  Big deal.

This is all turning into a big excuse session.  The simple fact is, if you don’t commit any crimes, if you stay on the straight and narrow, you will never get yourself into prison, or at least it’s extremely unlikely.  Quigley pretends that this is a list of reasons why so many black people and poor people are in prison, he’s just ignoring the only real reason that matters, because they commit crimes.  They deserve to go to prison because they violate the law.  Is this supposed to be a surprise?  Apparently to Quigley and a lot of liberals, it is.  But 10 more “reasons” tomorrow.

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