Over the past thirty (30) years of practicing law in Jackson, HInds County, Ridgeland, The Ciry of Madison, Clinton, and all over the State of Mississippi I have watched the legal system go from one that focused on rehabilitation to a system focused on punishment. Since the 1990’s in my opinion the criminal justice system has been primarily concerned with punishment. Punishment is a necessary part of the criminal justice system, but a system without a heart is nothing less then cruel.
Another bad trend in the 1990’s was private business getting into the criminal justice/correction system. I ask you what on earth do we need private corporations involved in corrections when we all know that private corrections/jails just want to make money. There is nothing wrong with making money but private businesses do not need to do it from the criminal justice system. The rush to throw people in jail without first using alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders has resulted in almost every state having financial problems. And once you develop a huge corrections business then you get the prison lobby involved and they pressure Congress and States for more business-which means more people in jail! It is absurd.
There are other problelms with private jails and correction facilities. I believe there is less accountability in these facilities, and like nursing homes, they make more profit by having less staff. There was a radio program on Public Radio this morning talking about this very issue. Private prisons can also lead to other problems as evidenced from this article.
I am not arguing against the criminal justice system or punishment. I am saying that as a society we need to use as many alternatives to incarceration as we can before we put a man, woman, or child in jail. I make exception with violent crimes, sex crimes, and crimes against children, but I stick to my opinion for many nonviolent crimes.
At Coxwell & Associates we are currently reviewing up to 20 cases for people who have been harmed in the private prison system. Some of these harms were totally preventable and unexcusable.
Merrida Coxwell has practiced law for over thirty (30) years. He is a veteran of hundreds of criminal cases. Helping people charged with criminal offenses has beeen a big part of his legal career leading him all over the State of Mississippi and into Texas, Chicago, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and California.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.