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June 14 Call uploaded – Conference Call Recordings Online
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Q3: 7/15 in Berkeley [details]

California

At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard

The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase.

The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest — and $2,000 above tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses to attend Harvard. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. mike r

    good this is what the country gets for focusing on retribution and cruel and unusual punishment that takes place in our jails and prisons where prisoners really run the places and demand strict criminal and physical training and completely segregate under ruthless leaders while the guards look the other way. Then the guards look the other way and let em tatoo up all over their faces necks and everywhere else with gang crap then send out into the communities with absolutely nothing to help them reintegrate in society and actually do everything they can to thwart rehabilitation. collective karma…75000 shit thats almost double the salaries of most Americans I could live good off 40000 grand …

  2. AlexO

    And we wonder why judges and advocates hate mandatory minimums? For all our chest-beating of how wonderfully progressive America when it comes to, well, everything, we sure as hell are actually terrible at just about everything. Our laws are constantly being driven by emotion (the public) and self-serving politicians who’d rather win the election than observe actual empirical evidence. It’s why we have the highest prison population in the world, the RSO registry, favor companies making billions in profits at literally the cost of peoples lives (healthcare), the biggest polluter per capita, and an insane amount of poverty for a nation with GDP that’s almost as much as the rest of the world combined. America, as a country, does not give a crap about its people.

    • living the lie

      I think mandatory sentencing was a small part of a larger plan to turn our jail and prison systems into the industry they now are.

      • Timmr

        Possibly also a slave factory. It would gain support no doubt from the stupidites all around us. Read the comments under the article. Let’s just lock them up forever, give them below bare minimum to live and make them work for their room and board. This country is filled with amorals. I second AlexO. This country is no longer a moral leader in the world. It survives like Sparta did, with weapons, war and glorification of the powerful.

        • David Kennerly, Thought Criminal

          The haters are their own kind of pathology, Timmr. This is an area of research that is simply screaming out for funding and analysis. I strongly suspect that we would find out some very dark truths about the hysterics given such a close examination.

          In analyzing people who hate or even attack gays it was found that the overwhelming majority had same-sex attractions. This pathological dissonance has been referred to as “reaction formation.”

          • Timmr

            Reactive formation. Sounds like vilification of others so you can bury whatever it is that you fear about yourself. I’ll look that term up. Thank you.

          • FRegistryTerrorists

            I have long wondered exactly what types of people support the Registries. Personally, my feeling is that the less intelligent, educated, or successful that a person is, the more likely it is that the person supports the Registries. That seems to me to be the case. If someone is a scumbag, I feel it is extremely likely that the person supports the Registries. I would love to see a scientific study of who supports the Registries. Please don’t misconstrue what I said to mean that “less intelligent, educated, or successful” are not good people.

            Timmr said, “This country is no longer a moral leader in the world.” I’m not sure this country has ever been a moral leader. It certainly wasn’t when it was practicing segregation not very long ago. How disgusting is that? Frankly, most people in the U.S. make me sick. And I find people who zealously support the Registries and witch hunt to be ignorant, unintelligent, low self-esteem, self-entitled, self-righteous, disgusting pukes. The only time that they are decent people is if it is convenient for them or makes them feel good. I would rather live next door to a person listed on the Registries than next door to those pukes.

            • Timmr

              Thank you for the correction. America has never been that consistently good. It is pretty common for people to look back with nastalgia to a time when people were supposedly better, and when you think about it that time never was.
              Thing is we haven’t learned too much from our last mistakes, ie. racism, sexism, involvement in quagmire wars, before we slide into a new ill — mass incarceration/mass surveillance. I think the county has gotten too conservative, which is not surprising due to the large bubble of baby boomers who are still in power. Their pensions depend on the military/police industrial complex and things to stay as they are. Older more conservative voters tend to be more suseptable, though not solely to blame, for fear politics, which is the basis for this registry.

          • Timmr

            Hypocritical lawmakers, like Foley belong to social groups that are usually religious fundamentalists. There is no option for being gay, so I think it is less a subconscious mental trick that makes them take anti-gay positions, but their extreme anti gay position is camoflaging for what they really want to do, while still avoiding exclusion from the group. Who would suspect a guy who is so obviously anti gay? I think this is also true of Weiner, who decieved the public less than he deceived himself. He seemed to disassociate what he was doing with his formal position as lawmaker, or believed his camoflage made him invisible. So he still sent his pics as if he didn’t see the conflict there. There is a very dissonance between what society has zero tolerance for, sometimes with good reason, and what the ego tells you is ok and natural for you. We have no better way of resolving these conflicts than locking people up? What has all the years of psychological research been good for. Selling stuff I guess

  3. cool CA RC

    Might as well send them to college.

    • Timmr

      Well yeah. I think the general return to society for a college education is $1.12 for every dollar spent. It is probably higher for Harvard graduates. Then you have degree from Prison U, which causes your earning potential to plumet and any return on public investment to be negative. But it gifts the politician many happy returns to keep people locked up. They are not paying for it.

  4. Harry

    JB and his union thugs got California taxpayers in a choke hold with their hands cuffed to a fence post and I do not see any rescue.

  5. living the lie

    I have to wonder about the statement in the article that says the prison population is declining. I suspect someone is playing with the numbers. I also believe the prison unions love this. Working under that union is a very lucrative job. This is old news. Apparently the inmate numbers are going down, but the costs keep rising. What a scam.

    “Their numbers go up, not down. There is no way that could be justified,” state Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber). “It was a deceit and a fraud to everybody that we were going to save money in corrections. We have not.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-prison-budget-insight-idUSKBN0UK0J520160106

  6. MichaelRS

    I will make the state a deal. If they will pay me just $50,000 a year I promise not to commit any violent felonies for the next 20 years to life.
    That will save the state over $25,000 a year. Sounds like a bargain to me

    • New Person

      Wasn’t there a program like that for former gang members to be paid not be gang members by the state?

  7. USA

    This is terrible! The funds certainly don’t go towards rehabilitation/prison guards/overtime etc.

    So, the passage of HR1761 means that it would cost over 1 million dollars to hold the person for 15 years? I just think the money could be used more effectively!

    • AlexO

      Have you heard of the Coalinga facility in California? It’s used to hold what is deemed the most violent and repeat sex offenders. They’re sent there AFTER they’ve completed their prison term and are not allowed to leave until they’ve passed a series of tests and sometimes even chemical/physical castration. I believe the cost of this program is about $160k per person, per year. It’s more lax than being in a prison but you’re still not allowed to leave. BBC did a great documentary on it called “A Place for Pedophiles”. I’d recommend watching it, if you can.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalinga_State_Hospital

      I’d also recommend watching “Pervert Park” (I think its on Netflix now). It’s an excellent short documentary on a Florida sex offender community. It shows an incredible side of a sex offender in that they’re human like everyone else and often victims of a serious crime themselves. The stories are heart wrenching. We watched this in rehab and program director passed the film down to our local law enforcement (probation and parole) as a teaching tool. The response from them has been excellent. Many of the people had very fixed views about the people they were supervising and this film put cracks in their views and humanized the people they were working with. Apparently the video is now being passed down throughout various California agencies as a teaching tool.

  8. kat

    Saying it costs $75,000 per year to house a prisoner leaves the general public thinking that prisoners are acutally “receiving” $75,000 per year’s worth of services. Simply not true.
    One look at the children’s size portions of poor quality food that prisoners receive is an indication that the state or federal money prisons get certainly doesn’t trickle down to the inmates. Many prisons are in disrepair with crumbling infrastructures. Prisoners wait “years” for an eye exam when their eyesight is failing. Prisoners have prison jobs that pay them less, much, much less than minimum wage.
    Comparing the Cost for one year of housing a prisoner to one year of a Harvard education is nuts, it’s like apples and oranges. After a year at Harvard, one has something, part of an education. After one year in prison, one loses something, themselves.

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