A non-existent constituency

The terrible truth about democratic politics — in addition to their being innately corrupt and beholden to money — is that those in the weakest position have no leverage to enact reform.   Morality doesn’t have currency, when it comes to the powerless.

New York City’s juvenile jails are extremely violent and unsafe, the result of a deeply ingrained culture of violence in which guards routinely violate constitutional rights of teenage inmates and subject them to “rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force,” the federal government said in a scathing report released Monday.

And when physical abuse isn’t occurring…psychological abuse takes its place.

More than half had a mental health diagnosis. When they break jailhouse rules, such as refusing to obey orders or being verbally assaultive, they are sent to punitive segregation, a 23-hour lock-in essentially the same as solitary confinement.

In one 21-month period, an average of 150 inmates received such punishment each month, resulting in a total of 143,823 days in solitary.

And the political will to fix it…less than non-existent.

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