Saturday, August 17, 2013

17 August 2013 Just send our mail…

Cassi Creek:  A form letter arrived this morning from the Nashville Regional office of the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs.  Dated 13, August 2013, it assured me that my claim is being considered and apologized for the delay to date. 
          I’ve made several requests for updates beginning at 6 months after filing my claim.  There is no indication as to which request for status is being answered.  Still, this is the first formal acknowledgement I’ve received about this claim in 11 months.  I guess this is progress.  I hope so.
Bits and pieces:
The U.S, leads the world in the number of people imprisoned.  Many of the total are locked away for non-violent offenses.  There has been a tremendous growth in the private prison industry.  Rather than build new state prisons, the various states have found it cheaper to commit the convicted to private lockups that exist ton warehouse prisoners at the lowest possible cost/day. 
California’s prisons are so overcrowded that they have been ordered to release non-violent offenders rather than keep them in inhumane conditions.  Private prisons seem to be somewhat more exempt from the requirement to provide safe, humane conditions to the inmates they confine 
          Along with the judicial notice of overcrowding and dangerous conditions within state prisons, the realization that non-violent drug offenders might better be dealt with in a non-jail manner.  As the drive to legalize marijuana increases, so too does the call to release prisoners whose only crime was ingestion of an illegal substance. 
          Currently, our long war on drugs is a failure.  It neither prevents importation nor does it prevent users.  We have enriched numerous drug cartels when we could have generated a profitable agricultural industry. 
          We used to make jokes about Mexican prisons – truly nothing to joke about.  Now ours are crowded, ruled by gangs, and filled with people who can’t afford to pay the high prices required to purchase one’s release from or evasion of privatized jails.  If you are old enough to recall, sing along.
“ So here we’ll stay, cause we can’t pay.
Just send our mail, to the Tijuana jail.”

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