Prisons – We can do better

The future of crimeI read this piece by my friend Anthony Peyton Porter and was reminded how much better life will be for everyone, particularly the unfortunate souls caught in the “justice” system, when Copiosis becomes the dominant socioeconomic system worldwide.

What caught my attention, besides the obvious, of Anthony’s post, was this Texas-based company called Securus and how they’re earning profits in an arguably immoral way.  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 too.  A whistle-whetter:

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’m following up my last post with this one, wherein I explain how Copiosis puts “justice” back into the justice system.


Eliminating Criminal Justice

When they get to understand Copiosis, many left-leaning individuals realize the boon our innovation represents for some of our most disempowered people.  In Copiosis, the story described in Anthony’s post simply doesn’t happen after the transition period.

Over time, though very quickly, what we see happen is a huge and positive upheaval of the criminal justice system, one among many  social embarrassments our government has created.

After the near-term, post transition Copiosis economy, “criminal justice” as practiced in a nation transforms radically.  For one thing, many of the socioeconomic challenges driving most people to commit crimes, go away.  With food, clothing, shelter, education, and healthcare provided at no cost and at ultra-high levels of quality, there is no need to steal things or commit most other crimes.  Drug use, for example, becomes legal, but the profits which come from the drug trade drop to near zero as the net benefit of the most socially harmful drugs is intensely negative—no one earns NBR providing these drugs to users.  That’s the supply side of the drug trade.

On the demand side, users begin to evaporate as pressures and stresses which lead to drug use (often the same pressures causing people to resort to crime generally) go away. So, while there may be a market for drugs, the absolute size of such a market would be significantly smaller than it is today, especially if people are free to pursue their passions, their self-actualization, and their freedom.  It is often the restriction of these three pursuits that eventually leads to drug use in the first place.

Drugs are a common way that people get caught in the criminal justice system, and other examples are dealt with similarly.  It’s a great area to explore more deeply, and I’ll write more about it in a future post.

Tapping human (com)passion

Anthony’s son lives with mental illness and that is the reason for his run-ins with the law.  I read somewhere that there are so many laws in America, nearly every one of us makes a decision that is criminal nearly every day.  For those who suffer from mental illness, the situation is much worse, because they may not be aware of what they’re doing and are oblivious of the consequences.  The criminal justice system is unprepared to help the mentally ill, and the mental health system isn’t much better.  In a Copiosis economy, that all changes.

In Copiosis there are few, if any, “institutions”.  Rather, groups of individuals who are passionate about helping people who have mental problems cope with life step in willingly, gladly, to assist the mentally ill.  Of course, many criminals will no longer be criminals once their basic needs are met, and the same goes for the mentally ill.  In the minds of those who care, mental illness becomes just another human condition that warrants compassion and attention.

If you have a mentally ill family member, you know the compassion and empathy that comes from being intimately involved, as well as the frustration and sense of powerlessness—even hopelessness—that comes with that involvement.  Much of that powerlessness feeling comes from a severe lack of social and financial resources available to deal with the issue.

With a plethora of individuals working together to provide solutions and care for the mentally ill, including family members who no longer have to earn a living, the chances mentally ill people will run afoul of the law drop dramatically (There are few laws in a Copiosis society, but that’s another matter.).  If they do run into trouble, rather than being thrown in jail, they will be provided for humanely by people who care, not people just trying to make a living or “maintaining the peace”.

For the mentally ill and for people who commit crimes as an expression of their nature, people who are strongly motivated to solve these problems will stand up and create extraordinary methods to help.  Why would they do that?  Because doing this work is the best expression of their passion.  It’s the best way for them to contribute to society and therefore the best way to earn Net-Benefit Reward.

Who would do it? I don’t know, but I do know they are out there.  For example, while creating a promo film about Copiosis I met a guy who works for the city of Portland driving around the city to find graffiti and paint it over, making the site graffiti-free.  I was overwhelmed at how passionate he was about his job.  He said he had made a personal oath to himself to not allow taggers to overwhelm the city.  He talked smack about other cities in the local area who had graffiti teams  that accomplished half of what he accomplishes in a single day.

If there are people as passionate about graffiti as this guy, how many people are there out there who are as passionate about other issues, including mental illness?

What kind of solutions would these passionate people offer?  I don’t know, but I do know that people focused on their passions are amazingly creative.  I see that creativity all around me in the startup world and working with my team on Copiosis.  We have yet to see how powerfully capable humanity will become because we haven’t yet harnessed the total capability of human passion on this planet.

There are all kinds of people who will stand up to create solutions way better than the existing criminal justice and mental health systems.  Doctors, psychologists, researchers, lawyers, and law enforcement officials who became peace officers intending to do good will come forward once they understand Copiosis.  There are even people who work for institutions such as the American Civil Liberties Union and The Freedom Project who would likely continue their great work.  Freed from the Catch-22s, loopholes, unjust politically-motivated laws, and corporate profiteering that make our justice system a bad joke in many ways, will create new ways to help victims of the system.

I need to stop here and affirm that our current systems for dealing with crime and the mentally ill are not in total shambles, and there are bright spots.  Although many people get through these systems successfully, we can do much better, and so we should.

Next up: good riddance, Securus

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