Ali Velshi Profile picture
30 Jan, 13 tweets, 5 min read
President Biden signed an executive order phasing out the federal govt's use of privatized prisons. It instructs the Justice dept. NOT to renew contracts with privately-operated prisons; a policy that was first implemented under Obama, then reversed in 2017 by Trump. #velshi
Private prisons are a stupid, amoral idea. So how did we end up with them in the first place? For starters, the U.S. is the most prolific incarcerator on the planet. That is a fact & it is not new. #velshi
2018 figures show the U.S. ranks number one when it comes to the total number of incarcerated people. It has roughly 300,000 more people that have been sentenced to prison than China does... which has literally one billion more in population. #velshi
What about prisoners as a percentage of the population? America for the win, again, with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, a great deal higher than the next country on the list, El Salvador. #velshi
Our prison system became so overwhelmed, partly due to misguided federal initiatives like The War on Drugs in the 80s and the 1994 Crime Bill, that it was forced to outsource help. #velshi
Former Obama deputy Attorney General Sally Yates wrote in 2016: "The federal prison population increased by almost 800 percent between 1980 and 2013, often at a far faster rate than the Bureau of Prisons could accommodate in their own facilities.“ #velshi
“… In an effort to manage the rising prison population, around 2006, the bureau (of Prisons) began contracting with privately operated correctional institutions to confine some federal inmates." #velshi
In 2017, U.S. private prisons incarcerated nearly 122,000 people, representing 8.2% of the total state and federal prison population. And private doesn’t mean cheaper or better. In fact, private prisons are more dangerous than government run prisons. #velshi
A damning report from the Justice Department's Inspector General released in 2016 found that federal private prisons were much more violent and a lot less secure than public, federally run facilities. #velshi
Last week I noted that there aren't two sides to some issues. This is one of them. Private prisons should not exist. In economics it's what we call a “perverse incentive.” #velshi
Private prisons thrive when there are lots of people incarcerated, which is the opposite of what society’s goals are. Some conservatives argue that anything the government can do, the private sector can do better. #velshi
We can and should do better with healthcare, mental health and true rehabilitation in prisons. But we don’t have to sustain a profit motive with private shareholders making money off of imprisoned Americans to achieve that. #velshi
America, as we have seen in the last eight months, needs a complete overhaul of its justice system, from policing... to the judicial system... to sentencing and rehabilitation. Ending private prisons won’t solve the problem, but it’s a start. #velshi

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More from @AliVelshi

31 Jan
Last week General Motors announced plans to be carbon neutral in its global operations by 2040 & to offer only zero-emissions vehicles even by 2035. #velshi
I’ve had my share of things to say about GM's poor corporate responsibility & leadership for years but now, it seems, even GM sees the writing on the wall: the future is about cutting emissions, transitioning to electric vehicles or other zero-emissions technologies #velshi
America is less than 5% of the world’s population, but uses 20% of all the oil produced in the world every day. Gasoline for driving accounts for half of that. #velshi
Read 11 tweets
30 Jan
By now you have undoubtedly seen the craziness going on in the stock market, with a selection of stocks surging hundreds if not thousands of percent in a matter of days or even hours, along with a whole bunch of financial jargon. So what exactly is going on? #velshi
One major term you have heard is "shorting" - which is just placing a bet that a stock will go down in price. #velshi
An investor can make money on this type of gamble by borrowing shares from a broker, w/o initially paying for them, selling them immediately & then later buying the shares at a lower price & returning them to the broker, keeping the difference in price as profit. #velshi
Read 15 tweets
30 Jan
This past week, before he did an interview with a top-rated AM radio station in St. Louis, and THEN being interviewed on CNN, Senator @HawleyMO wrote an Op-Ed for the fourth highest circulated newspaper in America. #velshi
In all of those extremely high-profile appearances, he repeated his grievance that he is being quote "cancelled" and quote "muzzled." That's rich. #velshi
Hawley freely discussing his being "muzzled" seems lost on him as he writes about how "corporate monopolies and the left team up to shut down speech they don't like and force their political agenda on America…” #velshi
Read 13 tweets
24 Jan
It may sound counterintuitive to be having a conversation but there are some issues that just don’t have two sides. Nobody is in favor of tornadoes, or cancer, or against pizza – maybe pineapple on pizza, but not pizza itself. #velshi
There are, in fact, things that we can all agree upon. Unanimously. Or at least within a very VERY small margin of error. What led to the second impeachment of the former president is one of those things that doesn’t have two sides. #velshi
There are many who claim to be against the 2nd impeachment but, when you examine those claims, they are political, or maybe even constitutional when considering impeaching a president whose no longer in office. #velshi
Read 11 tweets
23 Jan
I have watched every presidential inauguration that I can remember, since I was a little boy, and long before I ever imagined I would live in America. But I had never watched one the way I watched the inauguration of Joe Biden. #velshi
I’d never considered the details leading up to an inauguration. I watched this one like a nervous parent, making sure everything went as planned. #velshi
Thanks to the last four years, everything is different, now. Our demons are on full display, our Union is certifiably imperfect. Our nation is divided. #velshi
Read 13 tweets
17 Jan
Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr day and, in a year marked by constant and tremendous racial strife, the meaning of a day honoring a man who was committed to PEACEFULLY fighting for civil rights is even more poignant. #velshi
Signed into law in 1983 by Ronald Reagan, #MLK day has become a national day of service during which people volunteer to help others in their community, which is fitting because it took a community to make #MLK day happen in the first place. #velshi
The campaign to create a federal holiday in his name began just 4 days after Dr. King’s assassination in 1968 when Michigan Congressman John Conyers introduced a resolution to make it happen. It failed. #velshi
Read 9 tweets

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