Monday, April 10, 2017

Crime and Punishment And Punishment And Punishment

Keep in mind that the goal of "criminal justice reform" to the Trump regime and AG Jeff Sessions is not reversing Obama-era improvements or even going back to the bad old days of the Clinton crime bill, but to fully profitize the prison industry and create a permanent criminal underclass source for forced labor for local and state governments out of poor black and Hispanic kids destined to be stuffed into the prison pipeline from day one.   And the man you want to look to for this is Jeff Sessions's new point man on criminal justice, Steven Cook.

When the Obama administration launched a sweeping policy to reduce harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, rave reviews came from across the political spectrum. Civil rights groups and the Koch brothers praised Obama for his efforts, saying he was making the criminal justice system more humane.

But there was one person who watched these developments with some horror. Steven H. Cook, a former street cop who became a federal prosecutor based in Knoxville, Tenn., saw nothing wrong with how the system worked — not the life sentences for drug charges, not the huge growth of the prison population. And he went everywhere — Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, congressional hearings, public panels — to spread a different gospel.

“The federal criminal justice system simply is not broken. In fact, it’s working exactly as designed,” Cook said at a criminal justice panel at The Washington Post last year.

The Obama administration largely ignored Cook, who was then president of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys. But he won’t be overlooked anymore.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has brought Cook into his inner circle at the Justice Department, appointing him to be one of his top lieutenants to help undo the criminal justice policies of Obama and former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. As Sessions has traveled to different cities to preach his tough-on-crime philosophy, Cook has been at his side.

Sessions has yet to announce specific policy changes, but Cook’s new perch speaks volumes about where the Justice Department is headed.

Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.

Crime is near historic lows in the United States, but Sessions says that the spike in homicides in several cities, including Chicago, is a harbinger of a “dangerous new trend” in America that requires a tough response.

If you want to know what's coming to America's cities in the next few years, think a Ferguson, Missouri in every state and you're starting to get the picture.  Turning drug possession crimes into felonies makes it easier to disenfranchise them, as well as control them.  This "dangerous new trend" is something Trump has been pushing for years, the idea that urban centers full of blue voters are somehow lawless hellholes that need massive police presences.

It's an old story, but the stakes are much higher now.

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