When I was sent to prison, the judge mentioned just the length of my sentence. Had he included the entire scope of my punishment, he may have said it differently:
"Mr. Goodman, I sentence you to take responsibility for every social ill --past, present and future. Each time America runs out of foreign enemies, itapparently turns on itself to find more. By way of media, politics and indifference, people who break the law, good law or bad, become those enemies and are then responsible for every social malady. Whether this is logical, you are the culprit.
"You are sentenced to live in a maladaptive, alien environment that defies description. You'll be stripped of your work skills, your self-worth and your humanity while at the same time face the daily threat of assault, rape, false accusations and unjustified punishment. You will live like this for seven years. If you manage to reenter society as a productive person, some will say prison was just what you needed. If not, others will say, 'I told you so.'
"Because of counterproductive prison policies, you are sentenced to live in a world of cruelty and indifference that engenders the very behavior it purports to alleviate. If you share this with those outside of the prison system, you will be called a liar; most won't believe that millions are spent on the proliferation of facilities that perpetuate harm, not repair it.
"You are sentenced to consume $150,000 in taxpayer dollars for your prison stay. While lawmakers cite the ever-growing cost of incarceration as a public necessity, you will learn that 10 percent of that amount goes towards your daily needs, while the other 90 percent pays for a bloated prison bureaucracy immune from any cost-benefit analysis. These tax dollars will be siphoned from school programs, child care and job training, all of which do make our communities healthy and safe and save millions in the process. Despite the media frenzy that portrays society as seething with crime, you'll learn that relatively few prisoners represent a danger to our communities; we're mad at most felons, not scared of them. So you'll wonder why the majority of prisoners aren't on home arrest, a logical move that would save millions of dollars and obviate the need for more prisons.
"Practical education programs, universally proven to drastically reduce recidivism, will be almost nonexistent. In fact, you will be disciplined for possessing more than 10 books. Therefore, you will live in an environment where recidivism it tacitly encouraged, a fact not lost on those who want to run prisons for profit.
"It is true that there are some counseling programs in prison and some people will benefit from them. Yet, if you attempt to describe the futility of a therapeutic environment placed within an atmosphere replete with dehumanizing policies, you will be told that your intentions are distorted and without merit.
P.S. HYP is in the middle of a transferable rights offering. The Arbs have gotten the price down to $7.375(goes ex-rights tomorrow of $.375)from $8.50 or a 10-15% premium. A good buying time is coming up, they pay $.87/shr. dividend. I'm hoping to average a 11-12% dividend yield when it's through. If you want to chat about it e-mail at the adress in my profile.