AI urges US to end child life sentences

By | December 1, 2011

There are more than 2500 inmates currently serving life sentences in the US prisons for crimes committed as a child. (file photo)

Amnesty International has called on the United States authorities to stop sentencing young offenders to life in prison without a possibility of parole.

According to the new report, “This is where I’m going to be when I die,†published on Wednesday, United States is the only country in the world that imposes life sentence on children as young as 11 years old without possibility of release.

The international rights group also urged authorities in the US to review the cases of more than 2500 inmates currently serving in country’s prisons for crimes committed as a child, which under current rules they will never be freed.

“In the USA, people under 18 years old cannot vote, buy alcohol, lottery tickets or consent to most forms of medical treatment but they can be sentenced to die in prison for their actions. This needs to change,†Campaigner on the USA at Amnesty International, Natacha Mension said.

The organization also called on the Washington to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force more than two decades ago.

Life sentences without parole can be imposed on young offenders as a mandatory punishment in the US, without consideration of justifying factors such as history of abuse or trauma, degree of involvement in the crime, mental health status or amenability to rehabilitation.

via PressTV – AI urges US to end child life sentences.

Prison slave labor is big business.

The road to riches is paved with cheap labor. (See: China) And you don’t get much cheaper than prisoners. Recently, the state of Georgia announced a plan to use prisoners to harvest crops. Why? A new law pretty much ran off Hispanic field hands.

As federal employees celebrate Columbus, perhaps history’s most famous and geographically confused immigrant, the lack of onion pickers in Vidalia brings crocodile tears to the eyes. The prisoner farm plan comes after a failed scheme to seduce probationers into doing the dirty work. Now, a Georgia county is planning to use inmates to man fire stations. A properly trained firefighter costs upwards of $30,000 a year. An inmate will work a lot cheaper – Camden County hopes to save $500,000 a year. Of course, when my flaming roof is about to collapse, I’d prefer a guy to show up with an ax that knows how to use it for its law-abiding purpose. Georgia isn’t the only place giving jobs to the undeserving: Indiana’s War Memorial saves $400,000 a year since using inmates ($1.50 per hour) instead of a landscaping company. With a seemingly limitless number of criminals to employ, the jobless rate may not go down anytime soon.] –

via AJC

Screw up, get caught, (or get framed) and you too can become a slave for life. This article is a few years old:

File:US incarceration timeline-clean.svg… Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry”…

via GlobalResearch

Where are we today? Holding steady at just under 1 in 100 Americans in prison, and roughly 1 in 10 black men according to an article in the Boston Globe.

Overcrowding in California State Prison (July 19, 2006)

1,613,740 prisoners at yearend 2009. –

The estimated rated capacity for all jail jurisdictions at midyear 2010 reached 866,782 beds, an increase of 2.0% (16,887 beds) from midyear 2009. –

At yearend 2010, America’s prison population topped 2.4 million, including federal and state facilities, local jails, Indian, juvenile, and military ones, U.S. territories, and numbers held by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).In addition, over seven million more are under correctional supervision, and over 13 million pass through U.S. prisons and jails annually. About 70% are for nonviolent offenses.

The Civil War, FYI, was fought not over slavery, but over the free white man’s ability to compete with cheap slave labor.

3 thoughts on “AI urges US to end child life sentences

  1. just being Karas

    Great post! I write about crimes (I’m a Crime Examiner) and I love reading articles others write about crimes. I actually have never come across an article talking about children and the sentences they are given, so I really enjoyed your post. I liked it so much that I’m going to follow your site now!!! Again, great post!

  2. Ann

    Isn’t it weird? Americans, according to the graph, were sort of descent folk until the mid-1970s and then BOOM! Wow! ….. Suddenly a bunch, I mean a lot of them became awful. They started committing crimes and being thrown in prison. …. But, …. Wait, you don’t suppose the criminal court system has gotten meaner and uglier, do you? …. Naaah! No, not in the good o’l democracy- people-loving USA. … People in mass just turned bad. Amazing isn’t it?

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