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Incarceration In America

             Is not an essential part of the American Dream the freedom from fear? When our children are afraid to walk to school, when women are afraid to walk to the local grocery, or when our society is being threatened as a whole, is it not time for the government to take responsibility for the lack of our security? The federal government during the 1950's and 60's allowed bleeding-heart liberals to pass legislation, and a liberal Supreme Court to interpret constitutional law to protect the criminal with little or no consideration for the victims of crime. This change in attitude towards the rights of the accused seemed to perpetuate an increasing crime rate. Crime rates go up and down from year to year for reasons that seem to escape the sociologists except to say that when men are young they have a greater propensity to commit crime than do older men. Thus, one of the motives to incarcerate men for longer periods of time. The race riots and Vietnam War protestors of the 60's threatened, or otherwise upset, the presumed security of the working middle class. This fear of blatant violence and civil unrest set the stage for one of the most expensive and errant political issues to take hold in American history. Today we are trading higher education and essential community services for the security of knowing that we have incarcerated millions of those who break our laws; mostly non-violent drug laws.
             In 1968, to answer the public's outcry to stem the "drug problem", Congress responded with a major anti-crime bill that provided millions of dollars to states for local law enforcement which increased the federal government's involvement in local law enforcement. Since then this country has ignored intellectual models of criminal behavior rehabilitation and has taken the wide, crooked path to violating human rights. With ever increasing policing and more prisons, the "Land of the Free" has become the "Land of the Imprisoned".

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