History UsefulNotes / AmericanPrisons

10th May '16 3:33:22 PM nightkiller
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* As mentioned above, there is the potential for a last-minute pardon.

to:

* As mentioned above, there is the potential for a last-minute pardon.commutation.
15th Nov '15 8:40:13 AM nightkiller
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "lock 'em up and throw away the key" sentence (more typically referred to as "life without parole"). In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.

to:

The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "lock 'em up and throw away the key" sentence (more typically referred to as "life without parole"). In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced convicted for offenses committed after 1984, November 1, 1987, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.
25th Sep '15 7:47:04 AM FuzzyBoots
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

!!! Prison Debt
A more recent development is that [[http://nation.time.com/2013/08/21/welcome-to-prison-will-you-be-paying-cash-or-credit/ prison is often not free anymore]] with inmates being charged for amenities and lodging, and sometimes being put back into prison for failure to pay those debts.

!!! Common stand-up jokes
15th Apr '15 1:55:21 AM NemuruMaeNi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Prisons other than minimum security (and sometimes even those) are notorious for PrisonRape. The actual prevalence of it is subject to debate, with many prison officials claiming [[BlatantLies that it either does not exist or is very rare]]. As a result, inmates attempting to report rape are usually not believed or just get NoSympathy. Often, word of reporting it gets back to the rapist, who then punishes the victim further. A surprisingly high amount of prison rape is perpetuated by staff, and an unsurprisingly high amount of it occurs in juvenile facilities. Much actual prison rape tends to use coercion, psychological pressure, or veiled threats rather than actual violence. For a very depressing look at the subject, go [[http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/prison/ here]]. The federal government passed a law, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Rape_Elimination_Act_of_2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003]], that sought to provide significant resources to study and help fight the problem on a national level.

to:

Prisons other than minimum security (and sometimes even those) are notorious for PrisonRape. The actual prevalence of it is subject to debate, with many prison officials claiming [[BlatantLies that it either does not exist or is very rare]].rare. As a result, inmates attempting to report rape are usually not believed or just get NoSympathy. Often, word of reporting it gets back to the rapist, who then punishes the victim further. A surprisingly high amount of prison rape is perpetuated by staff, and an unsurprisingly high amount of it occurs in juvenile facilities. Much actual prison rape tends to use coercion, psychological pressure, or veiled threats rather than actual violence. For a very depressing look at the subject, go [[http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/prison/ here]]. The federal government passed a law, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Rape_Elimination_Act_of_2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003]], that sought to provide significant resources to study and help fight the problem on a national level.



The topic of the death penalty is controversial in the US, to put it bluntly. No other Western, developed country uses the death penalty (a few developed Eastern countries do, though). The pro side says it deters crime and prevents repeat offenses, while the con side says it is discriminatory, barbaric, an overreach of government authority, and irreversible in case of error. And that it doesn't deter crime, though [[CaptainObvious repeat offenses ARE infrequent]]. Also, because of appeals, it can be shown that the total cost to incarcerate someone for 40 years (because of, say, life without parole) is less than the total cost of a successful capital case. One city had to raise taxes to handle the cost of a crime which was prosecuted as a capital case, and in the end the guy still only got life. It took four years to pay off the bill. All in all, the debate may give you a headache.

to:

The topic of the death penalty is controversial in the US, to put it bluntly. No other Western, developed country uses the death penalty (a few developed Eastern countries do, though). The pro side says it deters crime and prevents repeat offenses, while the con side says it is discriminatory, barbaric, an overreach of government authority, and irreversible in case of error. And that it doesn't deter crime, though [[CaptainObvious repeat offenses ARE infrequent]].infrequent. Also, because of appeals, it can be shown that the total cost to incarcerate someone for 40 years (because of, say, life without parole) is less than the total cost of a successful capital case. One city had to raise taxes to handle the cost of a crime which was prosecuted as a capital case, and in the end the guy still only got life. It took four years to pay off the bill. All in all, the debate may give you a headache.



Lethal injection is the normal method of execution. Some states still allow hanging, firing squads, or gas chamber executions, but these are rare. For over one year, Nebraska had the death sentence with [[OfferVoidInNebraska no way to implement it]]. Electrocution had been the only approved execution method since 1913, but was banned as cruel and unusual punishment by the state Supreme Court in February 2008. A law approving lethal injection made it through the Unicameral in May 2009. The state of Florida kept the electric chair even after condemned were [[CruelAndUnusualDeath catching on fire]] in it in the late 1990s, considering it to be a deterrent, but eventually switched to lethal injection, though still allows condemned to [[WhoWouldBeStupidEnough choose the chair]] if they want.

to:

Lethal injection is the normal method of execution. Some states still allow hanging, firing squads, or gas chamber executions, but these are rare. For over one year, Nebraska had the death sentence with [[OfferVoidInNebraska no way to implement it]]. Electrocution had been the only approved execution method since 1913, but was banned as cruel and unusual punishment by the state Supreme Court in February 2008. A law approving lethal injection made it through the Unicameral in May 2009. The state of Florida kept the electric chair even after condemned were [[CruelAndUnusualDeath catching on fire]] in it in the late 1990s, considering it to be a deterrent, but eventually switched to lethal injection, though still allows condemned to [[WhoWouldBeStupidEnough choose the chair]] chair if they want.
15th Apr '15 1:51:44 AM NemuruMaeNi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" sentence (more typically referred to as "life without parole"). In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.

to:

The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock "lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" key" sentence (more typically referred to as "life without parole"). In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.
8th Feb '15 2:50:24 PM Specialist290
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" sentence. In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.

to:

The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" sentence.sentence (more typically referred to as "life without parole"). In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.
2nd Sep '14 4:43:29 PM lcmortensen
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* The needles are pre-sterilized anyway by the manufacturer.
18th Apr '14 10:22:12 PM darkrage6
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Thirty-six US states have statutes allowing capital punishment. Some states use this more than others. For instance, Texas has executed 449 inmates since 1976, while Virginia, with the second highest number of executions, had only 105. (Partly justified as Texas's total population is about 3 times that of Virginia's. Ironically, the definition of what constitutes a "capital murder" in Texas is one of the strictest standards in the country[[note]]though it's been argued it's ''because'' of such, giving Texas an objective basis to decide if someone should be executed[[/note]].) Also, the federal government and the US military can use capital punishment, although the former hasn't used it since 2003 and the latter since 1961 (there is someone on death row though).

to:

Thirty-six US states have statutes allowing capital punishment. Some states use this more than others. For instance, Texas has executed 449 inmates since 1976, while Virginia, with the second highest number of executions, had only 105. (Partly justified as Texas's total population is about 3 times that of Virginia's. Ironically, the definition of what constitutes a "capital murder" in Texas is one of the strictest standards in the country[[note]]though it's been argued it's ''because'' of such, giving Texas an objective basis to decide if someone should be executed[[/note]].) Also, the federal government and the US military can use capital punishment, although the former hasn't used it since 2003 and the latter since 1961 (there is someone are six people on death row though).
18th Apr '14 10:15:46 PM darkrage6
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are not for rehabilitation, but for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" sentence. In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.

to:

The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. One person in a hundred people are in prison, and one person out of thirty-one people are in prison, probation or on parole. (Note that a ''very'' large percentage of this is argued to be due to the "[[DrugsAreBad War on Drugs]]" by opponents of said movement.) The rate is especially high among black men. Important to note is the American philosophy that prisons are not for rehabilitation, but more for punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation.incapacitation then they are for rehabilitation. Whether or not it works (which is quite debatable), rehabilitation is low on the prison system's list of priorities, as many Americans are skeptical that it's even possible. This skepticism results in longer sentencing as well. For example, in much of Europe, "life" is 20 years, with about seven to ten years off that for good behavior. In the US, this varies from 25 years (with parole hearings possible after half that time) to a very literal "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lock 'em up and throw away the key]]" sentence. In the federal system, early release on parole is even forbidden for prisoners sentenced after 1984, but time off for good behavior remains. In the 1980s, there was a trend towards determinate sentencing (a fixed sentence with a certain number of years, as opposed to "10 to life"), statutory sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums that made sentencing relatively predictable (and harsh, especially for drug offenses), but the trend in the 21st century has perhaps been slowly moving away from that.
1st Jan '14 5:41:54 AM TheOneWhoTropes
Is there an issue? Send a Message


An unfortunate side effect of this was that until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, particularly in [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar the former Confederacy]], young able-bodied black men (and occasionally women) were arrested on trumped-up or fabricated charges, then sentenced to [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything hard labor on local plantations]], mines, or manufacturing concerns. Once in the system, prisoners would often be accused of additional crimes to lengthen their sentence, or their paperwork would simply get lost in the shuffle.

to:

An unfortunate side effect of this was that until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, particularly in [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the former Confederacy]], young able-bodied black men (and occasionally women) were arrested on trumped-up or fabricated charges, then sentenced to [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything hard labor on local plantations]], mines, or manufacturing concerns. Once in the system, prisoners would often be accused of additional crimes to lengthen their sentence, or their paperwork would simply get lost in the shuffle.
This list shows the last 10 events of 24. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.AmericanPrisons