dinsdag 8 oktober 2013

The Prison Industrial Complex


War on Drugs

The war on drugs has been going on for more than three decades. Today, nearly 500,000 Americans are imprisoned on drug charges. In 1980 the number was 50,000. Last year $40 billion in taxpayer dollars were spent in fighting the war on drugs. As a result of the incarceration obsession, the United States operates the largest prison system on the planet. Today, 89 percent of police departments have paramilitary units, and 46 percent have been trained by active duty armed forces. The most common use of paramilitary units is serving drug-related search warrants, which usually involve no-knock entries into private homes.




American Drug War: The Last White Hope

35 years after Nixon started the war on drugs, we have over one million non-violent drug offenders living behind bars. The War on Drugs has become the longest and most costly war in American history, the question has become, how much more can the country endure? Inspired by the death of four family members from “legal drugs” Texas filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the Drug War has become such a big failure. Three and a half years in the making, the film follows gang members, former DEA agents, CIA officers, narcotics officers, judges, politicians, prisoners and celebrities. Most notably the film befriends Freeway Ricky Ross; the man many accuse for starting the Crack epidemic, who after being arrested discovered that his cocaine source had been working for the CIA.
American Drug War shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just drug pushers and dope fiends, but an entire government. More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some ‘pro-drug’ stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are fighting it and the ones who are living it.
After 4 years of production including several sold out test screenings in New York, Austin & Los Angeles, the final version of American Drug War: The Last White Hope is locked and loaded.


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The House I Live In Official Trailer #1 (2012) Drugs Documentary Movie HD



This film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012 for Documentary.
It will have a Limited Release on October 5, 2012.

An investigative look at America's war on drugs and its impact on the criminal justice system, with a focus on the experiences of Nannie Jeter, a former employee of filmmaker Eugene Jarecki's family.


Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted from August 14 to 20, 1971 by a team of researchers led by Psychology professor Philip Zimbardo (Also the host of the documentary series Discovering Psychology) at Stanford University. It was funded by a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and was of interest to both the US Navy and Marine Corps in order to determine the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners.

Twenty-four students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Roles were assigned randomly. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected, leading the "Officers" to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture. In turn, many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse, and, at the request of the guards, readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his capacity as "Prison Superintendent," lost sight of his role as psychologist and permitted the abuse to continue as though it were a real prison. Five of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days. The experimental process and the results remain controversial.

The results of the experiment are said to support situational attribution of behavior rather than dispositional attribution. In other words, it seemed the situation caused the participants' behavior, rather than anything inherent in their individual personalities. In this way, it is compatible with the results of the also-famous Milgram experiment, in which ordinary people fulfilled orders to administer what appeared to be agonizing and dangerous electric shocks to a confederate of the experimenter.




PUNISHMENT: A FAILED SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

Punishment: A Failed Social Experiment provides a detailed, critical analysis of the current legal and justice system generally in operation across the planet whilst also providing potential solutions which work on preventing crime and creating a much more socially sustainable society.

The documentary film consists of interviews with various individuals; all of whom provide information on where we are going wrong when we treat offenders, and what we could head towards in regards to the solutions available.

It must be recognised that in order for change to occur in the system of punishment and 'justice', wider societal and cultural issues need to be addressed, as this documentary film recognises that there are inherent flaws in our current social system.

Although most sources of information originate from the United Kingdom, it is reasonable to state that the topics examined will apply to many other nations.

  
Angela Davis discusses Prison Industrial Complex



Our Drugs War

Episode 1 - Everyone's at It

One in six British citizens have used class-A drugs. Focusing on Scotland - named by the UN as Europe's drug capital - the first episode shows the stark contrast between Edinburgh's rich city centre and its underprivileged estates, where up to 60-70% of the residents can be drug users.

Film-maker Angus Macqueen visits one such estate with two volunteers for drugs charity Crew. They show him how the drug trade operates on a day-to-day basis in front of - and often with the participation of - children, some as young as eight. While all social classes use drugs equally, 70% of addicts have left school by the age of 16 and 85% are unemployed.

The police fail to control supply - in Scotland seizing just one per cent of the heroin consumed - criminals make money, and demand only increases. With the advent of synthetic drugs like GBL, which itself was until recently quite legal and easily available online, banning and policing are becoming ever more random and ineffectual.

Angus meets parents whose children have died as a result of drug abuse. Suzanne Dyer's son Chris died from an addiction to GBL, a compound found in some industrial cleaners and widely used by clubbers. GBL became a popular 'dance' drug when GHB, another similar, and less potent, substance was banned.

John Arthur from Crew, which supported Suzanne Dyer and her son, sees the obsession with the banning and classification of drugs as increasingly irrelevant to what is happening on the streets. John's not alone. Angus speaks to former government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt, who was famously sacked when he began to say in public that present policy is not based on scientific evidence.


Episode 2 - The Life and Death of a Dealer

The Queensbridge Estate in New York lies within sight of the Manhattan skyscrapers, but is seemingly a world away. The largest housing complex in Queens, it is regularly raided by police to break up massive drug operations.

Here, award-winning filmmaker Angus Macqueen looks at the social cost of America's war on drugs through the life of 28-year-old Thomas Winston: a small-time drug dealer struggling to stay out of prison and away from the lure of easy money that illegal drugs offer. As his probation officer says, here is a man who can earn $15,000 a week in the drugs world or $200 before taxes working in McDonald's.

Thomas is first seen campaigning against the 'Rockefeller' drugs laws in New York State, where sale or possession of small amounts of drugs are given a mandatory sentence equivalent to second degree murder, and have long been seen to be both discriminatory and draconian.

Human Rights Watch have published a series of reports making clear that Whites, Black and Hispanics sell and consume narcotics in equal numbers, yet over 80% of the prisoners in New York State are Black or Latino. Inside a prison, barely a white face can be seen.

The film tracks Thomas's moving story over a number of months, as he interacts with the legal system and as his probation officer and lawyer attempt to help him; but gradually he is drawn back to his old life. By the end of the film, Thomas has been stabbed to death.

Thomas's story illustrates the failure of America's zero tolerance drug laws, which don't stop supply or address addiction, but rather consign whole groups of society to a tragic cycle, undermining the very fabric of whole communities: be it here in Britain or in the US


Episode 3 - Birth of a Narco-State

The third and final part of Angus Macqueen's exploration of the failure of present drugs polices takes the viewer to the frontline. Birth of a Narco-State shows how the war on drugs is actually fuelling the long-term civil war in Afghanistan, possibly creating what he calls a 'Narco-Theocracy': a toxic mixture of drugs money and religious extremism.

Meanwhile, western demand for heroin generates huge profits that finances both sides in the civil war, corrupting the very government that British soldiers are fighting to protect.

This film gets under the skin of the drug trade in Afghanistan, from the deserts of the Afghanistan-Iran border to the smuggling centre of Herat and the courts in Kabul, engaging with those working to establish some sort of order in the face of overwhelming odds; all the time questioning whether it is our drug laws or our drug demand that is causing the problems in the first place.

Macqueen meets General Aminullah - former head of security at Kabul International Airport - who was sacked after exposing widespread corruption and then placed under investigation himself. We see shocking footage he took of a young, female Afghan burqa-clad drug smuggler demonstrating brazen disregard for the law, who then got off scot-free. Rarely has such an open example of what 'corruption' means been caught on camera.

Filming in the newly-opened - US and UK-financed - drugs courts, it becomes clear that many of the traffickers who are arrested are still 'small fish'. The big players always seem to get off; even the judges admit that they are too well-connected, often high up in the government, to the very people the British troops are fighting for and dying to protect. Afghanistan's president himself, Hamid Karzai, pardoned five convicted drug traffickers connected to his election campaign.

Allied policy to the drugs issue has been in confusion since the invasion of 2001: our troops have been told in some years to eradicate all poppies, and in others to leave them so as to win hearts and minds of the peasants. Sometimes different policies are carried out in different areas.

And all the time around 60 to 70% of the Taliban's funding comes from the heroin trade. The profits are staggering, with 10 kilos of opium - valued at around £400 in Afghanistan - making one kilo of heroin worth £40,000 by the time it reaches Europe.
 

DRUG SMUGGLiNG

The CIA & the US GOVT's old secret business

Meet the biggest and most powerful illegal drug running organization on the planet: the US government. Yes, the North American government with the CIA's logistic and operational support.

The Mena Connection, one of Bill "brainwashed paedophile" Clinton's nastiest legacy together with the ATF atrocity and news fabrication in the Waco (Texas,1993) massacre. Most major networks and news organizations, as unbelievable as it may seem, have prepared thorough pieces on Mena (Arkansas), but NONE has ever aired. WHY IS THAT?

This video will take you on a very dark journey of corruption and illegal drug smuggling which started back in the early 80's when Barry Seal (aircraft pilot) was bringing drugs into the US on behalf of the Medellin Cartel. Seal had to move his base of operations from Louisiana and needed a safe doorway for cocaine into the United States. He had crucial help from the Arkansas governor back then Bill Clinton and also from George Bush.
You are in for some very nasty surprises as you watch this documentary. Go get a bucket before clicking the play button. Trust me!


The Velvet Underground - Heroin 



6 Ways Private Prisons Make Money

Private prison companies are striking deals with states that contain clauses to guarantee high prison occupancy rates.
magine living in a country where prisons are private corporations that profit from keeping their beds stocked at, or near, capacity and the governing officials scramble to meet contractual "lockup quotas." Imagine that taxpayers would have to pay for any empty beds should crime rates fall below that quota. Surprise! You already live there.
A new report from In the Public Interest (ITPI) revealed last week that private prison companies are striking deals with states that contain clauses guaranteeing high prison occupancy rates. The report, "Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and 'Low-Crime Taxes' Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations," documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates (essentially creating inmate lockup quotas) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors (essentially creating low-crime taxes).
Some of these contracts require 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy.
In a letter to 48 state governors in 2012, the largest for-profit private prison company in the US, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), offered to buy up and operate public state prisons. In exchange, states would have to sign a 20-year contract guaranteeing a 90 percent occupancy rate throughout the term.
While no state accepted CCA's offer, a number of private prison companies have been inserting similar occupancy guarantee provisions into prison privatization contracts and requiring states to maintain high occupancy rates within their privately owned prisons. Three privately run prisons in Arizona have contracts that require 100 percent inmate occupancy, so the state is obligated to keep its prisons filled to capacity. Otherwise it has to pay the private company for any unused beds.
The report notes that contract clauses like this incentivize criminilization, and do nothing to promote rehabilitation, crime reduction or community building.
"[These contracts run] counter to many states' public policy goals of reducing the prison population and increasing
efforts for inmate rehabilitation," the report states. "When policymakers received the 2012 CCA letter, some worried the terms of CCA's offer would encourage criminal justice officials to seek harsher sentences to maintain the occupancy rates required by a contract. Policy decisions should be based on creating and maintaining a just criminal justice system that protects the public interest, not ensuring corporate profits."
In a press teleconference about the report, Reverend Michael McBride, director of Urban Strategies and Lifelines to Healing at PICO National Network said the real human impact of having lockup quotas was unjustifiable.
"It's important for us to step back and look at this from a moral perspective; all people of any faith or no faith at all can claim it's reprehensible to imprison someone for making money or financial motives," he said. "It's important to always remember every single person is a human being ... even if they have done something we may find problematic or illegal. They are not profit incentives."
Here are six of the most shocking facts about prison privatization and corporatization, from the report.
    • 65 percent of the private prison contracts ITPI received and analyzed included occupancy guarantees in the form of quotas or required payments for empty prison cells (a "low-crime tax"). These quotas and low-crime taxes put taxpayers on the hook for guaranteeing profits for private prison corporations.
    • Occupancy guarantee clauses in private prison contracts range between 80% and 100%, with 90% as the most frequent occupancy guarantee requirement.
    • Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Virginia are locked in contracts with the highest occupancy guarantee requirements, with all quotas requiring between 95% and 100% occupancy.
    • Though crime has dropped by a third in the past decade, an occupancy requirement covering three for-profit prisons has forced taxpayers in Colorado to pay an additional $2 million.
    • Three Arizona for-profit prison contracts have a staggering 100% quota, even though a 2012 analysis from Tucson Citizen shows that the company's per-day charge for each prisoner has increased an average of 13.9% over the life of the contracts.
    • A 20-year deal to privately operate the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Ohio includes a 90% quota, and has contributed to cutting corners on safety, including overcrowding, areas without secure doors and an increase in crime both inside the prison and in the surrounding community. 

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