Prison time served is not always prison time sentenced.
Prison inmates trapped in Trump’s “Prison Dead Times” world.
Many of the inmates currently being held in Trump’s corrupt private prisons have already completed their prison sentences but they are not being released because they have nowhere to go. The private prison industry calls these extra years behind bars “dead time” and the private prisons see this as welcomed “free money.” While Trump scores political points with voters he has created a host of policies that make it almost impossible for minor felons to leave the prison system. Policies that are deliberately intended to keep inmates locked up long after they’ve served their time while allowing the private prison industry to hold these inmates for as long as they see fit. These policies are intended to purposely set people up to be violated to go back to jail or to be keep them there indefinitely. A prime example of how Trump’s corrupt private prison industry profits from “prison dead time” can be seen in examining the policy changes he has implemented in the area of sentencing, imprisoning and paroling minor sex offenders.
Trump redefines the definition of a “sex crime”
A minor sex offender can be sentenced to five years in prison and end up serving more than a decade. The “dead time” they spend in prison is independent of their sentence. Because of Trump’s new strict policies surrounding the release of minor sex offenders, many in the private prison system find themselves staying there indefinitely with nowhere to go, long after their time has been served, with Trump and the private prison industry profiting. When people talk about the minor sex offenders, most believe they are speaking exclusively of rapists, child molesters, and people guilty of similarly serious crimes. What the majority doesn’t realize is that Trump’s new policies have redefined the definition of a “sex crime” to include many more behaviors than many are aware of – or would condone. Trump’s new policies of sex crimes includes public urination, consensual sex between teenagers, teenagers “sexting” photos to each other, streaking at a sporting event, and much more. With such a broad definition and lifelong consequences, Trump hopes to keep his private prisons full to capacity.
Trapped behind bars, serving an indefinite sentence of “dead time.”
As a criminal offense, many believe only adults could be charged as sex offenders, however this isn’t the case. According to Trump’s policies there is no age limit governing these charges. The same applies to teenagers who engage in the popular practice of “sexting” – sending sexually explicit photos to each other via text message. According to Trump’s policies this is circulating explicit images of individuals under the age of 18 which is considered to be distribution of child pornography, a very serious crime. Many of Trump’s new policies conflict with each other. They’re cumbersome and almost impossible for someone who has been charged with a minor sex offense to avoid imprisonment. Those inmates who have been convicted of a minor sex crime who wish to get out of prison on parole have to meet Trump’s new rigid parole requirements. Under current policies, parole for minor sex offenders doesn’t start until they find adequate housing to gain their release. Trump’s policies define adequate housing to mean the parolee must not live where, among other things, they are near elementary and high schools, registered day care centers, public parks, pools, libraries, malls where minors could congregate, while restricting living places with access to the internet or internet-accessible devices like smart phones and smart TVs. The policies even prohibit halfway houses from taking in minor sex offenders. This leaves them trapped in the private prison system behind bars, searching for a home, serving an indefinite sentence of “dead time.” This places them in the position of revolving door visits to the parole board and an extension of their dead time sentence by indefinite increments of six months at a time.
Forced to violate parole.
For those lucky enough to actually get paroled Trump’s policies are constructed to actually force minor sex offenders to violate their parole. People convicted as minor sex offenders have to register once a year. They have to go to a police department registration office and show proof of their current address. If they move, enroll in school, change jobs, they have re-register within three days. There are a lot of policies that are nearly impossible to meet, not because the offenders don’t want to meet them but because Trump wants them to fail and return to prison for violating registration requirements. Without question prison “dead time” is unconstitutional and should be deemed by the judicial system as being “cruel and unusual punishment” because its use gives the public the ability to further punish offenders beyond the orders of the court. The use of dead time does not contribute to lowering the recidivism rate among minor sex offenders. In fact current research has found a recidivism rate of just 3.5%, for this group of inmates.
Induced political sex-offender panic.
Currently, minor sex offenders are caught in the midst of what can best be described as a Trump induced political sex-offender panic, similar to so many other moments in the US of culturally created chaos, from the Salem witch trials to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. In Trump’s corrupt justice system and his use of inhumane private prisons minor sex offenses are a life sentence, regardless of what punishment the court hands down. A use of dead time does not take into account a defendant’s innocence or attempts to reduce their sentences but instead sells cruel and unusual punishment for profit. The innocent shouldn’t be punished and the rehabilitated needn’t accept punishment beyond the courtroom – and that’s what “prison dead time” is.
Punishment beyond the courtroom is punishment for profit.
(This is Article #8 in our America’s Incarceration Nation series reporting on Prison Reforms in the US.)
OTHER PRISON REFORM ARTICLES OF INTEREST BY THIS AUTHOR:
– Prison Reform Verses Prison Chain Gangs.
– Prison Reform Verses Trump.
– Prison Reform Verses Immigration Prisons.
– Prison Reform Verses Private Prisons
– Prison Reform Verses Debtors Prisons
– Prison Reform Verses Youth Prisons
Paul Cogan is a writer for the republicandirtytricks.com and is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He specializes in coverage of justice, political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him by following him on Facebook.
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