As a forty-five year officer of the court and defense attorney, I am a frontline witness to effects of the racist "War on Drugs" and the transformation of our prison system into a for-profit growth industry. I am grateful and emphatically supportive of congressional candidate Marianne Williamson for bringing the dark atrocity that has befallen our justice system into the light.
It is well ascertained that a child who cannot read by the third grade is almost entirely guaranteed to end up sleeping in a prison bed by the time they reach maturity. Marianne Williamson addresses this fact at every opportunity, and has made her political crusade for universally available preschool a center point of her campaign for U.S. Congress.
2.4 million souls locked behind bars does not come cheap, and it is making the for-profit prison corporations in this country very profitable indeed. Siphoning off of our public coffers for education, the redirection of our resources from schools to prisons is a vicious cycle, as lack of education in turn leads to increased probability of incarceration.
Marianne points out that we are in the midst of a crises, created by lobbyist led polices, with more than three decades of bi-partisan support. The result is an ever-growing Prison Industrial Complex that has put a blight, as ugly as any we have ever seen, on the pages of American history.
It is almost difficult to wrap your mind around the vast nature of the engorged for-profit prison system in our nation, and the many components that keep it on it's continued trajectory of growth.
Their insidious efforts to insure that future prison beds are filled with today's toddlers start with lobbying against Head Start programs, and continue with efforts to defund education at every turn.
With a lobby that seeks to increase profits by any means, their actions have succeeded in affecting everything from drug policy reform, immigration reform, sentencing policies, to education funding and school discipline policies.
The prison lobby has even created what has come to be known as the School-to-Prison pipeline. In many districts across America, No Tolerance policies and infractions of school policy that once got a child detention, or suspension, now result in child incarceration. Youth correctional institutions, despite a big drop in violent crime by youth, have become a large component in the for-profit prison growth industry.
Childhood incarceration is a web from which many can never escape that continues through adulthood.
As was pointed out during a Williamson campaign event with Drug Policy Alliance director Lynne Lyman, the lobby also works to maintain drug policies that prevent students from getting federal funding for higher education. This is counter-intuitive and devastating.
Among the contenders for U.S. Congress in CA-33, there is only one who is addressing these issues that affect us all. Independent candidate Marianne Williamson is a clear and passionate voice and she has been loudly speaking out, against the horrifying reality of America's Mass Incarceration state for years.
I believe it is time for a new course of action. It is going to take someone who is willing to address this problem honestly and with real solutions. I believe that Marianne is that person, and that she will bring the type of inspirational leadership needed to create the sea change.