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Liberty and justice for all?

This article is written by a Portland Youth Builders student as a project based learning assignment
"Liberty and Justice for all"... ... ... ... ... Haywood Jublomi

Why have we as a country been building prisons at a phenomenal rate?
We lock up peaceful, nonviolent offenders for lesser and lesser offenses.
Ask anyone who has spent time in prison, and ask them if they have been rehabilitated, in most cases their answer would be "no"
Prisons for a large part of the inmates have acted as crime schools. These non-violent, petty criminals have been locked up with more serious career minded criminals and been exposed to the methods of more devious ways of committing crime.
When the inmates are released, more times than not they return to prison on more serious charges.
What positive effect does this have on the community?
I see now that politicians are creating a population of legal slaves through manipulation of the voters.
In the constitution, slavery is illegal, unless the slave is incarcerated.
Fear of crime is driving our political climate.
More and more these days, you see these TV and news programs filling our heads with sensationalized mental junk food, depicting "true stories"
Of "actual events" which are supposedly based on reality, and are tailored to fit a tidy 30 minute time slot.
People see these this, and levels of paranoia rise. Pepper mace and handgun sales grow.
These days, _Police officers are more likely in the line of duty to fire their weapon at a paper target than at an actual violent criminal.
It is actually more dangerous to be a farmer.
The general public believes otherwise.
Politicians watch TV like many of us do every night.
As part of their job they are supposed to know what the views and opinions of John and Jane Q. Public are.
They know the average American's fear of the streets, and use it as a powerful tool on election day.
These politicians with their "tough on crime" platforms use our fear to win more votes.
The fact of the matter is, Crime rates have fallen, or remained stable, a fact conveniently hidden from us by our "tough on crime" politicians.

Again I ask... ... ... "why do we need more prisons?"
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that Prisons make money. We can even buy stocks in Prison corporations these days.
An amendment in the constitution prohibits slavery with the exception of those who are incarcerated.
I find it very disturbing that our government is taking money out of schools and building more prisons with the funds.
I find it even more disturbing that our government is under educating young people, making it increasingly more difficult for them to find a decent, good-paying job in which to make a decent life.
Uneducated people are more likely to turn to crime.
Criminals get thrown in jail for longer periods, for lesser and lesser offenses... slavery is legal in jail.
More and more prisons are being built with Corporate money... .For me this paints a very unsettling picture.
Our freedoms are seemingly looked at as a kind of currency to be spent by the corporate machine.

Frankly I am angered and disgusted by the way things are being run in this country today.
It seems as though Liberty and Justice in this country are available only to the people who can afford to buy it.