No, they are life-saving for those who want to change. As a nurse, I
worked in a detox/treatment center, back in the day when small towns'
worst drug was marijuana. Had one patient that I recall used coke, and
was a dealer. Had a local judge who gave folks with DUI's the choice
between jail and rehab...there wasn't a heck of a lot of difference,
other than the jail cell being locked. I'm sure there were loads of
people who relapsed, but there were those who woke up and took the
chance to change before they lost everything.
Most of the staff were recovering people, so it was pretty hard to BS
them. One old Marine explained why so many people are on skid row, his
theory being that they had nothing (more) to lose and knew what to
expect each day.
The amazing discovery made by a lot of folks in recovery was that their
troubles were not much different than those of other people drinking to
cover up whatever. I guesstimate that 90% had history of pretty serious
abuse as children and the other 10% probably couldn't bring themselves
to speak of it yet. Pretty horrific experiences for many, and some
started drinking/using at about age 8, although 12-14 was most common.
Lots of folks become institutionalized...can't/won't function where they
must take some responsibility for themselves. Unfortunately, they
Virtually all? You have got to be kidding...changed drugs, maybe.
I went out googling to show Heybub how wrong he was-- and damned if he
aint right again.<g>
I was a Marine in VN in 1969 & 70 and never saw heroin or opium. Saw
lots of kick-ass pot and an amphetamine called 'Obesital'.
But I guess I wasn't far enough in the rear- or far enough south- or
was the wrong color green;
[regarding a study of soldiers returning from VN in 1971]
"Almost half (43%) of the army enlisted men had used heroin or opium
in Vietnam, and 20 percent had been addicted to narcotics there.
Second, only a tiny proportion (12%) of those addicted in Vietnam
became readdicted in the year after return (Robins et al., 1974).
Follow-up again two years later showed that this low rate of
readdiction continued (Robins et al., 1980)."
I don't think many programs can boast an 88% success rate long term.
2.6 million served there, so, using your numbers, about 1,118,000 used
heroin or opium. If 20% of those were addicted, the number is 223,000
or thereabouts. I don't for a minute believe that only 20% of
heroin/opiate users became addicted OR that only 12% were "readdicted"
(whatever that is) in the year after their return. Half probably lied
to whomever did the study, and most addicts don't even admit addiction
to themselves. Then one considers the addicts who merely change
chemicals when supplies aren't available. Amazing numbers of bad backs
are cured when addicts are in recovery; a few discover when they are
sober that they have a bad back, not noticed prior because they
Wonder how drug use affects PTSD rates...either more mellow or dead?
Iraq is not Viet Nam, but a heck of a lot of vets are coming back with
loads of trouble.
Note that these were all Army- and in 1971. a skewed sample during
the height of drug use- and when troop levels were 1/2 of what they
were a couple years before.
The' readdicted' thing is because they wouldn't let you leave if you
tested positive for opiates. So presumably when you left, you were
I don't doubt that--but I'd be interested in seeing another study.
Idle speculation has its place, but I like a fact or two thrown in now
Depends on the drug of choice. Sometimes it is just working 100
hours a week- so a heart attack gets you early.
I think that we'll see 10 times the amount of PTSD in Iraq vets over
the next decade. We served a year, sometimes 2, and rarely 3 in
Vietnam. [3rd tours were only on approval of a shrink when I was
there] We were younger and less likely to be wanting to make the
military a career. Some of these *moms* and *dads* have served 4
tours- with just enough time between to get them 1/2way back to
When they've been back in country for a couple years is when they'll
relax enough to get bit in the ass by PTSD. I recommend that every
vet and spouse of a vet, and anyone who cares about them read Patience
Mason's 'Recovering From the War'. The Vietnam references might be
dated- but the principles of the disorder & its treatment don't
All federal prisons have voluntary AA & NA Programs. Outside
volunteers manage the meetings. There is also random urine testing.
Years ago the "Furlough" policy was changed. The inmate signed to
"rules". One rule was not to eat poppy seeds. Seems they gave a false
positive. Even staff are subject to drug testing...
On extended parole supervision (for years) they are subject to urine
Well, yeah, not sending as many crooks to prison might lower the cost per
inmate, but don't forget the economies of scale!
If we got down to, say, only ONE inmate in prison, the cost per inmate would
be astronomical. For example, you'd need, say, five full-time guards (at,
oh, $60,000 each per year), a building, utilities, food, etc. The cost per
inmate could easily reach a half-million per year.
On the other hand, if you have 200,000 prisoners already, adding one more
can be had for pennies.
In other words, to lower the cost per inmate, we need to INCREASE the number
of prisoners, not reduce it.
_National Institute of Corrections_ has for many years (decades) been
ran and managed by top officials, federal and state retirees /
consultants. All with a Corrections background.
More on the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)*
And. Remember many TX state prisoners are held (contract) by the
Tax dollars at work.
Weekly Population Report
Total Federal Inmates: 211,253 (Last updated on April 22, 2010 )
The weekly population report is generated every Thursday at 12:00 a.m.
The fed population, 30 years ago was 50,000
For some reason, that statement made me think of that Prison Warden in
the movie "Shawshank Redemption". I wonder how many prison wardens in
Texas are making a few extra bucks off the free labor of their
Could be. But prisoners don't work outside the prison. For example, the
Little Rabbit School District sends a school bus to Texas Correctional
Industries (TCI) to be refurbished. TCI puts in a new engine, rebuilds the
cab, straightens the frame, and so on, then sends the bus back. The school
district is charged the cost of refurbishment.
Some inmates buy craft materials and produce things from pot holders to
hand-crafted boots which are sold at the prison store to visitors. The money
goes into the prisoner's account (there may be a small commission).
I don't think prison labor is hired out. And even if it were, the prisoners
would much rather be winnowing someone's wheat than sitting in a cell all
Sounds like maybe they have cleaned up their act a little. First half of
20th century or so, and probably back in the 19th as well, it was
routine to rent out prisoners as field labor. Some counties were known
to arrest transients on trumped-up charges and have a make-believe
trial, when they were short a few bodies. The plantation mentality died
real hard in some places. If you were poor and barely literate (and
usually black), in those pre-Miranda day, if you got busted, well, not a
whole lot you could do about it.
Don't get me wrong, I think prisoner work programs can be a Real Good
Thing, if everything is done on the up-and-up, and the prisoner gets
some OJT in salable skills, and maybe a better attitude. But from what I
have read over the years, some of the programs in the old days were
little more than thinly-disguised slavery.
I agree but it did tick me off a bit when I lost a good contract with
the local city to a prison labor program from a neighboring county. I
had the contract for years and they made damn sure I didn't hire any
ex-cons to work in the police department and then they let me go and
I doubt it, actually. The majority of the road signs in the United States
consist of English text only, without the international pictorial symbols.
Drivers who can't read English text are sure to be confused when driving in
most parts of the U.S.
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