Good Riddance, Securus

The future of crime

I read this piece by my friend Anthony Peyton Porter some time ago about his son getting arrested. At the time it reminded me how way better life will be for everyone, particularly the unfortunate souls caught in the “justice” system, when Copiosis becomes the worldwide socioeconomic system.

What caught my attention in Anthony’s post was how private, for-profit companies, companies legally compelled to minimize cost and maximize profits, now run some prisons.

Case in point: the Texas-based company, called Securus. Arguably, they’re earning profits immorally, in a manner impossible in Copiosis.

Yes, immoral.  Unless you think fleecing poor, unfortunate, mentally ill, and desperate people is a moral way to earn a living. You can read my previous post that gives the background. Anthony’s post is excellent as well. Here’s what he said about what’s happening:

You’ll be pleased to learn that should you find yourself a guest of the Butte County Jail, you will be allowed that precious call at no cost to you.  You might want to think carefully before you make it, because not only can it make all the difference to your personal experience, it’s gonna cost whomever you call $14.99.  Right.  One phone call, fifteen minutes, fourteen ninety-nine.

Why would a single 20-mile phone call cost that much money?  Because the Butte County Board of Ignoramuses gave a monopoly on calls from the jail.  Any new inmate has to go through for $14.99, a sweet deal for the corporation, not so much for the poor boob who just landed in the slammer, and who now has to remember the number of somebody willing to spend $14.99 to hear what he has to say this time.

I’ve written before how people will address “criminals” in Copiosis, including acknowledging that many criminal activities will likely be impossible, not worth doing, or unprofitable. I then explained how human compassion and ingenuity would radically transform all our cultural and social institutions including the criminal justice system. In this post, I want to revisit a company I wrote about before, Securus, as an example of companies thriving by providing morally questionable services for profit.

Unleashing human innovation

People will find proactive ways to solve issues such as mental illness, crime, drug abuse etc., ways that don’t include locking people up. Some will argue that there are no better ways to address these issues. A short search on the internet will reveal a robust community of people already wanting to implement proactive “out of the box” measures, measures that offer better solutions, solutions that intervene well before someone commits a crime.

There are even unorthodox solutions brought into prisons producing impressive results. This is an excellent example.

Why would people step forward to do this work? Besides expressing their passions, doing such work has huge NBR earning potential: it’s expensive locking people up; socially destructive too. Plenty of existing research proves these claims. Eliminating these expenses, eliminating the social destruction is a huge potential positive benefit of their work. More about that shortly.

Good riddance Securus

Companies such as Securus no longer need to earn a profit in a post-transition Copiosis economy. What’s more, leaders of such organizations are no longer burdened by expenses, regulation, and competitive pressures, causing them to make decisions counter to social progress. (If you think charging the poorest, most vulnerable people $15 for a 15 minute phone call, and replacing human connection with electronic ones “progress,” perhaps you’re reading the wrong blog.)

Speaking of those who think everything is a-ok about the prison system, I read a few of the comments on the news articles while researching Securus. People who believe people in prison get what they deserve, who believe they are “dregs of society” and are “douchebags” get a huge benefit in Copiosis: the opportunity to mind their own business.

There are no taxes at all in Copiosis, so these people’s taxes, the money propping up the criminal justice system, would no longer be needed. The good people helping their fellow humans reintegrate need no money at all. Turning formerly incarcerated people into productive citizens no longer cost people complaining about and condemning inmates a dime. So they can go about their business with no worries. Or at least worrying about other things.

Meanwhile, people helping fellow humans recover from prison PTSD have nearly all the resources they need. How?

Rehabilitating formerly incarcerated humans is a Net Benefit Value double-whammy: it not only eliminates the prison costs, it also creates huge benefit in educating them, re-integrating them and making them productive people once again. Not to mention reintegrating their families: fathers with sons and daughters, husbands with wives, etc.

Besides, many people currently in prison are in there mainly because they can’t cope with society as it is. That’s not the same as being dumb. Some of these people are really smart. But their circumstances – economic and otherwise – contributed to the choices that got them where they are. Put them in a different context and they may flourish.

Imagine the vast majority of the prison population being released, rehabilitated and becoming productive citizens again. Lots of Net Benefit Value gets created by those doing that work. Lots more NBV being created by those released and re-integreated.

OK, back to Securus.

I don’t know how many people work there. I’m sure there are people who work there who’d rather do something else. With all their necessities provided at no cost, they will likely follow their bliss and quit. Those who remain will face having to retool the organization. For one, bosses will no longer exist. The employee-boss relationship evaporates because bosses no longer control the income-earning capability of employees, the Net Benefit Algorithm does. So bosses/managers no longer have the ability to coerce others with threats of being fired, demoted or sent out on unpaid leave. Nor can the company make people do things they don’t want to do. Suddenly, Securus as an organization is far less secure.

Freed from the need for profit, Securus could become an amazing organization. Their technology could be beneficially employed, improved and, since expenses no longer dictate what’s possible copied everywhere. My guess is their technology applications, like taxes, would become useless though because other technology companies do so much better with similar applications.

So the remaining people working at Securus, freed from having to earn a living, freed from doing what may even be bullshit jobs would leave the company causing it to naturally dismantle.

Good riddance Securus.

Investors in that company, assuming it’s publicly-traded, would be compensated in-full during the near-term transition period. Duly compensated, what do they care if the company dissolves? No harm, no foul from that perspective.

The assets? I’m sure the buildings, vehicles and other non-human factors of production could be used by new organizations doing good work. Humans are amazingly creative.

The future of protecting ourselves

Of course, there will likely be people who need to be kept from the rest of us. That number is way, way smaller than current prison populations. Incarceration costs would plummet.

The conclusion of all this is, we have some ways to go before Copiosis becomes a serious national discussion topic. That day is coming though. More people realize we can do way better than we do now. If we can do better, then we should.

So long as Copiosis the organization continues moving forward, Copiosis the idea becoming a national discussion topic is a foregone conclusion.

I for one look forward to that day. I know it will happen in my lifetime.

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