Mississippi's prison town are in danger of collapse, thanks to tiny reforms in the War on Drugs


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/17/mississippis-prison-town-are.html

What if all drugs were totally legal?

Late stage assholism


Oh man, there’s so many things to be upset about here, and it’s like a game of “that’s good/that’s bad.”
“Needy towns are having their public labor forces slashed!”
“That’s bad!”
“But it was slave prison labor that’s no longer available due to reforms!”
“That’s… good?”
“But the number of prisoners is the same, the reforms just meant that they didn’t have the money to exploit them in this particular way!”

Also, yet again I feel like the Tea Party are the punchline to a very sick joke:
The Aristocrats! The Tea Party!


I dunno, it could also be that the whole “debtor prison” thing is either not working out, or it’s aggregating prisoners in regions with slightly better human rights protections and these forced labour facilities are losing out.


“Cutting taxes spurs economic growth”. I’ve heard this repeated as undeniable fact for decades. I think it’s more myth than fact.

Private prisons need to be abolished. Privatizing prisons is dangerous. The prison becomes a business, and of course business needs customers (in this case; inmates) to survive and thrive. So what happens? The “business” finds a way to expand. Gotta satisfy the stockholders…right?

Prisons should have their priorities centered on serving a vital function for the public - not increasing their profit by 10% over last year.


If you’re looking for an explanation of Trump, this is part of it.

Folks in these places often accept conservative policy as a matter of faith, so when it doesn’t pan out, they need to find some reason it doesn’t pan out. The first people they point at are the Others living among them.


The legal system is the customer, the inmates are the product.




They go hand in hand. My point remains the same. But yes, you’re right.


Like Mississippi, neighboring Louisiana, as well as Kansas, have recently become laboratories for conservative policy, with hard-line Republicans slashing taxes and dramatically cutting spending. The argument was that the tax cuts would fuel growth…

…And the actual reason is that it funnels money into the pockets of a few already-wealthy individuals.

The US economy in general is undergoing the same kind of vulture-like dismantling for profit that made Mitt Romney rich.


It looks like the state needs Reconstruction. Only 150 years late.


I’m glad these states are providing a laboratory for conservative fiscal policy, unfortunately I know a lot of other governors (including in blue states) won’t heed the lessons here, and will still push to cut taxes, cut spending, and privatize state services. They can get away with it because voters don’t always pay attention to how these things actually work in the real world.

Politicians who offer the pipe-dream of “I can make things better, plus you will pay less in taxes!” are like phony Nigerian princes playing on people’s desires, or perhaps more accurately Ponzi schemers, since there will be a payout to those at the top, paid for by those at the bottom.


Just like we stopped needing so many carriage makers and horse breakers when society evolved to make use of the automobile, we can let go of prison administrators and enforcement agents as we evolve again (hopefully).



…are three states in which I could never live.



Is it terrible i want to buy a prison/prison town and like… gut th e place of bars and kinda rebuild it as the center to a settlement/group community house or something?


They bet on the crime rate remaining stable or even increasing and are now suffering because it’s going down. I have really mixed feelings about this. Mainly I know it’s incredibly naïve to hope that some of the prisons could be emptied and put to new purposes. Even if they were willing to pay for that I know the prisons are usually in remote, rural areas.


Never say never. I’ve now spent more than half my life in the Deep South trying to change things from the inside out in whatever small ways I can. Also, I think this line of reasoning, while funny (well, not that funny to me, per se), is dangerous. It somehow implies that what is going on in our own US Third World doesn’t impact the other more enlightened states, wherever those may be. What happens in one part affects the whole.