The world is focused on Paris Hilton’s incarceration. The circus even triggered a campaign to remove Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca from office for granting Hilton an early release.Sheriff Baca is not the culprit; the real perpetrator is the malfunctioning criminal justice system. Thanks to overzealous prosecutors and the failed war on drugs, jails and prisons are filled dangerously beyond capacity. Some jails – especially in California – are releasing inmates after serving only ten percent of their time.Minorities and the poor have suffered the wrath of an unjust system for years. Recently our prison-addicted society has inconvenienced a few wealthy white American’s like Hilton and the Duke La Crosse players. Their celebrity status should be used to draw attention to broader issues like the fact that the Dept. of Justice reported that over 7 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend 2005.Rather than complaining about Hilton’s release, activists would accomplish more by protesting the biased laws that result in long sentences for petty drug criminals and cause such overcrowding in prisons that officials are forced to release inmates early. In 2000 the mean sentence imposed on federal prisoners for violent felonies was… Read full this story
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