What is the US justice system based on?

I heard it had something to do with Christianity and how that’s where we got this obsession with punishment from. But is that really the right way to go about things? I mean I’m not sure about a system without consequences. I mean otherwise what would be the point of rules and regulations? But then I think that robbing someone of years of their life seems…wrong. Like how I though external punishment in hell in Christianity is wrong.

Mr. and Mrs. America--you are wrong. I am what you have made of me and the mad dog devil killer fiend leper is a reflection of your society... Whatever the outcome of this madness that you call a fair trial or Christian justice, you can know this: in my mind's eye my thoughts light fires in your cities.
Something I saw that started this.

 

Did you try googling it?

I did but it just showed me how it works, not really what it’s based on.

https://ffrf.org/component/k2/item/23731-is-america-a-christian-nation

That quote is from Charles Manson.

Did the justice system turn him into what he was? Probably not. He had the deck stacked against him genetically and environmentally, and most people who spend their lives in and out of prisons like Manson do not become insane psychopaths. But the justice system did him no favors either.

The US justice system is based on common law. The moral dimensions of the law are impossible to define (though people never stop trying) but I think it leans near the sense of personal responsibility and basically what are called “middle class values”. Personal responsibility is a middle class value now that I think about it.

As far as Christianity promoting punishment in law – maybe a little, society in general promotes punishment far more. If anything, Christianity promotes a sense of redemption in law, which is probably unrealistic.

Humans use punishment because, when it is used with sufficient intensity, soon enough after an unwanted behavior, that behavior will be effectively suppressed, for a while.

Punishment, generally speaking is an insufficient tactic for regulating the behavior of others. But the suppression of unwanted behavior by others is generally immediately effective. Hence, humans have always used punishment, and likely always will.

But as a sole tool, punishment is dysfunctional, problematic, and causes more problems than it helps, in the long run.

From the Declaration of Independence:

to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them

all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights


On the other hand: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/national-capital/

The sculpture [on the eastern pediment, the back of the Supreme Court building] was intended to be a symbolic representation of three of the Eastern civilizations from which our laws were derived, personified by the figures of three great lawgivers: Moses, Confucius, and Solon (surrounded by several allegorical figures representing a variety of legal themes)

or you could google: “evolution of the united states’ justice system”

https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-history-development-of-the-us-criminal-justice-system.html

among others.

 

Then came corporations that were more powerful than our government . . .

But as a sole tool, punishment is dysfunctional, problematic, and causes more problems than it helps, in the long run.
True enough. Probably the biggest problem with punishment and the law is a person can get used to being punished to the point where it simply doesn't bother them anymore. Lock up is only scary the first time; but if that first time is your only time it will have a better chance of deterrence.

The US justice system is based on profit, plain and simple. An effective legal system does one of two things; punishment or rehabilitation. The US justice system is a strange mashup of both together, causing it to fail miserably at both. Our prison system is designed to bleed every dollar possible out of the states, the prisoners and their families and recidivism is baked into the system as an intentional feature.

There are so many ways that the prison system essentially steals money from us all, including the prisoners. States have contracts with private prisons, often guaranteeing that a prison will be at a certain capacity all the time. If the prison falls below that capacity the state is “fined”. The next year they make sure that they keep the levels of incarceration high enough to avoid this. And prisoners get phone privileges. They get to call their family on a regular schedule. The family member answering the phone just has to be willing to accept a collect call, charged several dollars a minute, to talk to their loved ones. Prisons usually have complete autonomy to enforce rules and dole out punishment, which can include time added to a sentence for even minor infractions. Have you ever noticed when someone says, “Time is money” they’re usually talking about your time and their money? Nowhere is this more true than in a for-profit prison system. When prisoners are released the prison must return to them any money which they have on their accounts. One prison decided that the best way to do this would be in the form of the prison’s own prepaid credit card. This card charged massive fees in every conceivable way. Checking the balance cost a few bucks. Using the card cost a percentage. Getting cash cost a percentage. And there was a monthly fee. They finally had to be banned from outright robbing the people who had paid their debt to society. And, of course, work programs earn prisoners a few cents, up to a couple of dollars a day and earn the prison the lion share of the wage.

Have you ever heard a story of a prisoner breaking the law to get thrown back into prison because they couldn’t handle life on the “outside”? That is because prison life is strictly regulated to be extremely different from regular life. The adjustment is very difficult, almost certainly by design. When you’re going in you don’t have a choice but to adjust. But when you’re put out on the street with years of your life wasted, next to no money, greatly diminished employment prospects and years of the only education available in many prisons, how to commit crimes, there’s always a way back to the only life you now know. If the exit is a revolving door, profits are ensured for many years to come.

The US justice system is based on profit, plain and simple. An effective legal system does one of two things; punishment or rehabilitation. The US justice system is a strange mashup of both together, causing it to fail miserably at both. Our prison system is designed to bleed every dollar possible out of the states, the prisoners and their families and recidivism is baked into the system as an intentional feature. There are so many ways that the prison system essentially steals money from us all, including the prisoners. States have contracts with private prisons, often guaranteeing that a prison will be at a certain capacity all the time. If the prison falls below that capacity the state is “fined”. The next year they make sure that they keep the levels of incarceration high enough to avoid this. And prisoners get phone privileges. They get to call their family on a regular schedule. The family member answering the phone just has to be willing to accept a collect call, charged several dollars a minute, to talk to their loved ones. Prisons usually have complete autonomy to enforce rules and dole out punishment, which can include time added to a sentence for even minor infractions. Have you ever noticed when someone says, “Time is money” they’re usually talking about your time and their money? Nowhere is this more true than in a for-profit prison system. When prisoners are released the prison must return to them any money which they have on their accounts. One prison decided that the best way to do this would be in the form of the prison’s own prepaid credit card. This card charged massive fees in every conceivable way. Checking the balance cost a few bucks. Using the card cost a percentage. Getting cash cost a percentage. And there was a monthly fee. They finally had to be banned from outright robbing the people who had paid their debt to society. And, of course, work programs earn prisoners a few cents, up to a couple of dollars a day and earn the prison the lion share of the wage. Have you ever heard a story of a prisoner breaking the law to get thrown back into prison because they couldn’t handle life on the “outside”? That is because prison life is strictly regulated to be extremely different from regular life. The adjustment is very difficult, almost certainly by design. When you’re going in you don’t have a choice but to adjust. But when you’re put out on the street with years of your life wasted, next to no money, greatly diminished employment prospects and years of the only education available in many prisons, how to commit crimes, there’s always a way back to the only life you now know. If the exit is a revolving door, profits are ensured for many years to come.
Is this a rant or are we supposed to take it seriously with zero evidence?

It seems so dastardly, that the messed up criminal justice system, including the penal system, could be a product of a purposely designed plan to establish and maintain a profitized prison system.

You really think that is so? Idk. Sad if true. Clearly it is true if you think about it. However, I still recoil from the thought that someone is purposefully helping carry out the continuing exploitation. Perhaps it is just a probable outcome of profitizing from how people are treated when imprisoned.

Anyway, there are other nations/cultures who have actual imprisonment/rehabilitation systems that work. We could learn from them, and just abandon our current dastardly exploitative practices.

The idea that the justice system exists for profit only falls apart when you look at the extremely low percentage of private prison incarceration.

Outside of the for-profit prison industry there isn’t any way to make big money unless corrections officials are in bed with drug cartels.

And so the best way to stay out of jail is - could it be that easy - by staying away from crime.

And whatever you do, don’t be a black male.

Outside of the for-profit prison industry there isn’t any way to make big money unless corrections officials are in bed with drug cartels.
Although Widder did focus on that issue, it's not the only one, and I don't think he said it was about individuals getting rich. The profit is indirect, by keeping people in debt and out of functioning society, like not being able to vote, it's easier to sell cheap crap and keep people stupid so they don't know how to spell "regulations" let alone advocate for them.

There is a modern day system in place that is functionally equivalent to debtor’s prison of bygone centuries.

I got some noise cancelling headphones for Christmas. OMG are they nice in my noisy office. So I listened to the first two episode of 2019 for Hi-Phi nation (Jan and Feb). They talk about these very problems, like why people plead guilty, so they can get OUT of jail, and how a fair trail might get you vindicated, but very few people can afford to get through the system to get a fair trail, so it’s not really fair at all.

https://hiphination.org/season-3-episodes/

 

Although Widder did focus on that issue, it’s not the only one, and I don’t think he said it was about individuals getting rich. The profit is indirect, by keeping people in debt and out of functioning society, like not being able to vote, it’s easier to sell cheap crap and keep people stupid so they don’t know how to spell “regulations” let alone advocate for them. There is a modern day system in place that is functionally equivalent to debtor’s prison of bygone centuries.
Interesting -- although it doesn't claim anyone is making much profit off outstanding fees. The jurisdictions are loosing money and the private collectors aren't being given expensive contracts by poor jurisdictions, though I guess you could make the argument that they should not be used at all.

I also don’t see how profit is made by keeping these individuals in a hole; no doubt they’re being kept down by inability to pay-- but nobody is getting rich off it either.

And so the best way to stay out of jail is – could it be that easy – by staying away from crime.
Easier said than done for some people.