Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"...female, non-violent prisoners will do about 25-percent of their sentence.."

Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab:

According to Steve Whitmore, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department, Lohan will serve her time at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California and will be segregated from the general jail population.

Lohan may only end up serving a few weeks of her 90 day jail sentence -- Whitmore noted that "female, non-violent prisoners will do about 25-percent of their sentence" because L.A. jails suffer from "an overcrowding situation."


According to this article, "non-violent" male prisoners serve more time:

The Los Angeles Times reports that most women only serve 20 percent of their jail sentence. Up until last week, male inmates were serving at least 80 percent of their jail time, but recently the sheriff's department began freeing men who were sentenced for non-violent offenses after they served only 50 percent of their time.


I don't think letting people off early is such a good idea but shouldn't the time served be uniform across the board regardless of sex? Isn't this blatant discrimination?

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37 Comments:

Blogger Novaseeker said...

Women are simply seen as less of a threat than men are. There's some rationality there, but it does very much depend on the case. If two prisoners have the same offense, having a disparate sentencing release scheme is certainly problematic.

Of course, in the UK they are proposing getting rid of jails for women and replacing them with community center type work where women need to check in and remain during the day -- to free up more space for male prisoners.

8:41 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

Novaseeker,

By that logic, we should be sentencing by race since some commit more crimes than others.

8:58 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Women are simply seen as less of a threat than men are. There's some rationality there, but it does very much depend on the case.

How is a woman who is in jail for larceny, using, producing, or selling drugs (we can ignore the whole issue about whether people should be in jail for using, producing, or selling drugs), fraud, drunk driving, or any other crime for that matter, less of a threat than any man who is in jail for the same reason? Are female burglars less of a threat than male burglars because they can steal less because of their smaller size? Are female drug users less of a threat because they can consume less drugs than a male? Are females who write bad checks less of a threat than males who write bad checks because the females...well, I rarely ever hear of men writing bad checks so you'll have to figure that one out.

Pick your non-violent crime and you'll have a hard time figuring out how a female offender is less of a threat than a male offender. Heck, pick a violent crime and you'll have a hard time figuring out how a female offender is less of a threat than a male offender.

What LA County is doing is blatant discrimination. If I were a man or woman given to finding myself behind bars and knew about this, I might try to make a few bucks by filing a class-action lawsuit against LA County on behalf of the women who are being discriminated against by not being made to serve as much time as their male counterparts (nobody's going to take seriously a man who says he's being discriminated against by being forced to serve more time than a woman).

9:02 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Demonspawn said...

By that logic, we should be sentencing by race since some commit more crimes than others.

Strangely enough, we do.... kinda.

There is a very odd/interesting thing in sentencing. Men, of course, are more likely to get incarcerated than women and more likely to get longer sentences. The strange thing is race. Minority men are more likely to be jailed/get longer jail terms, but minority women are less likely to go to jail/get longer jail terms.

Black women have it the best, and Mexican men have it the worst (of course, this is all controlled for criminal background, crime committed, and the like).

9:03 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Debbie said...

And my first thought, after reading this was, "Does she actually learn anything by not serving her entire sentence or close to it." I don't pay much attention the the hijinks of Ms. Lohan but it does seem that she is singularly uncaring of what the legal system is telling her that she needs to do.

9:18 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

No matter what the definitions of the law are, Lohan is not a "non-violent" offender. She's a multiple drunk driver, a danger to herself and others on the road.

Why this case was plastered all over the local (!) news last night I do not know. It is a sign we have already crossed the Rubicon that we propagate these sorts of events as general cultural/news knowledge.

9:27 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

J Bowen,

The human brain and its instinctual perceptions has simply not caught up to the ways life has changed since we were living in caves. Back in the H-G days, when physical might and toolmaking was key to controlling your world, larger stronger men were more dangerous.

Now that we live in a highly structured society with myriad laws, machines, and institutions, anyone can wreak financial, emotional or physical havoc no matter their gender. Unfortunately some interested parties such as the Duluth model are lobbying to convince people otherwise.

9:31 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

This is yet another example that America falls far short of our claim of "Equal justice under the law."

10:23 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

Lindsay Lohan isn't nonviolent. Just a few days ago there was some sort of news item about a punch. Then there is her drunk driving where she hits people with her car. Smoking pot is nonviolent. Writing bad checks is nonviolent. Selling a bag of crack is nonviolent. Having a fist fight in a bar is violent.

Lohan is headed down a bad path. If she gets sprung after 2 weeks there will be outrage.

10:26 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

By that logic, we should be sentencing by race since some commit more crimes than others.

We kind of do, in some ways.

What I am saying is that there is inherent bias in sentencing and parole precisely because of the discretion involved -- unless the legislature handcuffs the judge in the statute, which they have done in some cases (e.g., drug offenses). In most cases, the judge or the parole board are making a discretionary decision about the risk to the public of releasing prisoner A or prisoner B, given that one needs to be released to free up space. All kinds of biased assumptions can and will find their way into that determination, and some of those biases may have rational bases.

10:41 AM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Blatant discrimination. But who cares, it's just men.

As for Ms. Lohan, I printed out this "don't do drugs" poster and put it on my wall at home for my kids to see. I put it there as a joke but it's very telling.

1:25 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Nick said...

If the reason really is over-crowding than the difference is probably the number of prisons they have for men vs women.

1:35 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi, I wanted to send this because I thought you would find it interesting...but didn't know where to email you. Sorry it isn't relevant to this thread.

http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/isotopes-in-beer-and-other-beverages-could-help-liquid-sleuths-solve-cold-cases/19543645

1:39 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger TAS said...

And people wonder why young American women act like spoiled princesses.

3:43 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

"...shouldn't the time served be uniform across the board regardless of sex?"

Well, I would say that if she gets sex while in jail, her sentence should be lengthened. You know, to compensate.

4:29 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger PolticalJunkie2008 said...

This is the rebuttal to Chris Matthews ridiculous predictions from this video.

What is MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Thinking? http://mittromneycentral.com/2010/07/07/what-is-msnbcs-chris-matthew-thinking/

Once you watch this video, you’ll be wondering the same thing. It’s baffling.

9:31 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Think Extraordinary said...

Are female burglars less of a threat than male burglars because they can steal less because of their smaller size?

5:59 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger kmg said...

The official ideology of the United States is misandry.

This is the new Jim Crow.

This is the first society ever where men have been turned into second class citizens. Of course, such a society cannot last more than 1 generation (nor does it deserve to).

6:02 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Think Extraordinary said...

13 Most harshest people in World recorded history Apparently there are many cruel people in this world, including 13 people most of the world's harshest the entry in the history list. 2 They are the ones who may not have pity, too concerned with politics and personal ambition. Their actions are necessary in scorch the earth, Do so until his successor well of you.

6:02 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger DJ said...

The problem is larger than the percentage of time served by the sexes. Men and women are also sentenced differently for their crimes. Judges are much less likely to sentence women to prison terms, specifically long prison terms. More lenient sentencing only compounds the issue of parole leniency.

7:27 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger SWWBO said...

This would be a much more interesting statistic if it was a nationwide fact. If this only happens in LA County, well, it is not an indictment of unfairness to men nationwide. I mean, California is not exactly a microcosm of American Society.

Or, does this happen across the whole country? Then, the headline to this post would be a heckuva lot more reasonable.

7:47 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger cathyf said...

Well the time actually served of a sentence is highly dependent upon behavior in prison. So if bad-check-passer Jack gets in fights in jail, violates rules, etc., while bad-check-passer Jacqueline is quiet and perfectly behaved, Jackie SHOULD be getting out first.

As to why males in general have poorer impulse control and higher levels of violent behavior than females in general, this is fairly well-understood as a biological difference.

8:16 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

I don't know, cathyf, here are 200 peer-reviewed studies (with commentary) that show that women can hold their own with regard to poor impulse control (at least on the domestic front):

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

Frankly, women in situations in which they are ABLE to bully others seem to do so at a higher rate in my experience. Look at how some women in SUVs drive. Look at the statistics on which biological parent is much more likely to kill their child (poor impulse control - when the brat starts screaming).

At least back up your man-hating with some stats or objective information.

8:45 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

Women are given what is called the "Pussy Pass" to get out of jail free.

8:47 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

JG: You have to admit, women excel at good behavior better than men especially if there is something in it for them. IMHO, we sometimes confuse good compliant behavior with ethical behavior. There is a difference.

8:54 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

"You have to admit, women excel at good behavior better than men especially if there is something in it for them."

--

Like table manners - putting your napkin in your lap and putting a frilly doily under your beer bottle - stuff like that?

Probably.

But they make up for it be being unnecessarily catty.

8:58 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

Here's something odd about women and violence:

In the 1980s - before I ever heard about "men's rights" or anything like that - I just assumed that women were non-violent.

In fact, I assumed it so heavily that I didn't see things right before my eyes. I had a cute girlfriend who liked to drink a bit too much occasionally. One time she slammed a glass against my head in a bar (breaking it), another time she broke my nose. On really minor issues.

Here's the kicker: If you would have asked me if there was violence in my relationship, I would have said no, and I would have absolutely believed it. Because I only thought that "violence" meant ME hitting HER.

I didn't even see something that was right before my very eyes. That's the power of this social structure fantasy that feminists have set up in the last 30-40 years. But it's beginning to crumble.

9:04 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

Note to the above:

"(breaking it)" refers back to the glass, not my head.

9:05 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

She was a meek, mild-mannered, 125-lb. girl.

But when she passed 5 gin and tonics, she would turn into Super Karate Fighter, kind of a female Bruce Lee.

9:06 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

JG: What you experienced during your girlfriend's 5 gin and tonics phase was all that anger and rage built up during the meek mild-mannered sober phase. It all has to come out somewhere. Mel Gibson does the same thing.

There was an article in the news last week about alcoholism and dichotomy between sober and drunk behavior. Alcoholics are prone to be better behaved while sober.

9:38 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger EDH said...

Well, I for one have noticed that most breast-bearing, chained to the wall "prison chick flicks" are less than 90 minutes.

Shawshank Redemption: 142 minutes.

I rest my case.

9:42 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

"Here's the kicker: If you would have asked me if there was violence in my relationship, I would have said no, and I would have absolutely believed it."

That's really interesting, it sounds like a mirror parallel to the tactics of women's centers at American colleges - bring all the women in and tell them abuse and rape are epidemic. Pretty soon the power of suggestion kicks in and they start viewing everything, including the most innocuous of their man's disagreements with them, as symptomatic of an abuser. "I had no idea I was so oppressed!"

Then we get white-knighting judges handing out judicial restrangement orders on the grounds of "she feels afraid of you" because everybody has been brainwashed by these activists.

9:46 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

EDH -

Hilarious comment!

10:03 AM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

She was a meek, mild-mannered, 125-lb. girl.

But when she passed 5 gin and tonics, she would turn into Super Karate Fighter, kind of a female Bruce Lee.


I had a girlfriend like that once, but she wasn't meek or mild-mannered and when she drank she wanted to have very, very, VERY rough sex. It got to the point that I had to break up with her out of fear that I'd be severely injured (the scratches, bruising, and bleeding didn't bother me so much) or that we'd both end up falling through a window (one whole side of my home is covered in windows). When she was sober, she didn't enjoy sex as much...and frankly, neither did I. I just couldn't deal with the risk anymore.

1:23 PM, July 09, 2010  
Blogger kmg said...

SWWBO,

I mean, California is not exactly a microcosm of American Society.

What? It is the biggest state, and quite diverse.

Remember that SWWBO is herself a female supremacist, and has a shameful track record. Her name stands for 'She Who Will Be Obeyed'. Nope, no supremacist, misandrist issues there.

12:46 AM, July 10, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

"I mean, California is not exactly a microcosm of American Society."

SWWBO has trolled the blog on more than one occasion, but I do agree with her here. What the rest of the country thinks of as "California" - coastal sprawls of the Bay and the LA blast radius - is weird. They live in a different reality. Twisted and hypocritical. I lived there for four years, hated it and was thrilled when I got the opportunity to get back to the East Coast where people would drop all the passive aggressive behavior.

10:07 AM, July 10, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

JG, sorry that happened, glad you left her, and damn big of you to discuss it in public.

Trey

5:25 PM, July 12, 2010  

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