Originally Posted by Alecto
The FBI does keep statistics for sexual orientation: I'm not sure where those stats come from (maybe state wide hate crimes laws?), but they do exist. (I remember checking them out).
That sounds familiar to me, too. I've seen such statistics reported before.
If we're acknowledging the bias inherent in the justice system, I don't think it's so much of a stretch to suggest that hate crimes legislation that empowers the prison end of that justice system will end up being used against people in positions without power.
How is this any different from abuse of fire (arson) or abuse of drugs? It's not the fault of having protections in place, it's the fault of human/bureaucratic corruption. We could make this case against any legislation (and it often IS made.)
And Zerbie: YES. One of the MAJOR major problems here is in fact the prison system. So if we acknowledge that that's heartily heartily flawed, I think it's worth asking: Is this the system we want to use as a community to try to protect ourselves? Will this even WORK to protect ourselves?
Of course not (speaking for myself anyway), and of course not.
, but We the Big community should totally be having this conversation).
Problems with the prison system is an ENORMOUS subject. They will also not be fixed unless a huge majority of our society gets involved in major change, probably from the social end, not the political. I can't even picture what positive change in this regard would look like.
Among only a few things that would need to happen are:
1. be sure we're jailing the right person. (there are some Americans out there who think you wouldn't be arrested unless you 'did it.')
2. It bears repeating: prevent child abuse. If we stopped teaching children that violence gets them what they want, we'd be halfway to reform already.
3. Fix economic problems/injustice. If you work full time and still can't afford rent and food, let alone to pay for doctor's visits or to feed a child, how long before desperation turns to robbery, child neglect, suicide, or taking options like selling drugs/prostitution?
I know this is barely the tip of the iceberg. Our prisons seem cut out to create repeat offenders. They are not conducive to mental OR physical health, and people who are unwell are less capable than healthy people of making beneficial choices. I'm sure there are many other problems with the system beside that.
Unless a majority of people in our society are actively engaged in creating a better world economically, mentally, emotionally, socially, etc, I have no idea how to imagine something as problem-ridden as the prison system improving.