Only in America…

By Tony Casson

Only in America would the constitution require us to take better care of our prisoners than our children.

I am fed three meals a day, and while I would rather go to Wild About Harry’s in Dallas (Texas) for a chili dog (JUMBO) and some frozen custard, no one in federal custody—and there are nearly 300,000 members—is going to starve. We also have clothing provided, and a bed to sleep in which is more than can be said for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of America’s poor.

Within the Bureau of Prisons are different security levels. None of what I’m going to talk about is “top secret”, it just isn’t known, because let’s face it, the only people concerned with prisons are those who have to go to one, right? Well, a lot can be learned browsing the B.O.P. websites and other inmate-related sites.

There are some very bad, very evil individuals incarcerated throughout this country on both state and federal levels—this is true. There are some very high security, very bad prisons where the unspeakable happens because the individuals in them don’t care—they have nothing to lose, so violence against another inmate and/or correctional officer means nothing.

I am no expert on the different levels, nor do I intend to ever become professionally experienced with the topic. I hope to just do my own time and salvage what remains of the rest of my life. Oakdale is classified as a low security institution and individuals are placed in a certain level initially based on a ‘point’ system, which the B.O.P. website discusses. Points are accumulated based on age, criminal history, violence history, and other factors. The lower your points, the lower your security institution. My points are probably low enough to qualify for camp status, but sex offenders do not qualify for camp due to our public safety factor. Drug dealers, bank robbers and the like can work their way down to camp. No public safety factor there. In addition, at the end of your sentence, an inmate can qualify for up to 12 months in a halfway house, unless they are a sex offender, and then the maximum HH is 30 days.

Oakdale is divided into 3 parts: The FCI, the FDC (Federal Detention Center), and the Camp. Together they make up the entire FCC (Federal Correctional Complex).

Several high profile inmates have come through the FCI or Camp, including some who still remain. I am told that several Enron (or former Enron) executives came through. The former WorldCom executive is serving part of his 24 ½-year sentence at FCI. The former governor of Louisiana also served time at the Camp, I’m told.

All in all, there are approximately 2 ½ million people incarcerated in America.

The prison business is BIG business, and over time I’ll explain that further. Some or what I have read and heard is pretty amazing. This is not all about keeping society safe, or rehabilitation, or doing anything that actually benefits society.

But a lot of it IS about big business and keeping more people incarcerated for longer periods of time and the many public, and private, individuals who benefit financially from theses incarcerations.

For many of the people incarcerated, there are many more effective methods of punishment that are not only less costly to the public, but actually could benefit society as a whole.

In the meantime, drop me a line and say hello!

One thought on “Only in America…

  1. katiemac

    Absolutely agree about “Big Business!” Even Pat Robertson, the king of the Religious Right,” has talked about it! The politicians use the drafting and passing of draconian laws as a platform to get votes and then they make money owning stock in the “prison industry.” What a racket!!!


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