Land of the Free

Marlan Barrington

Heard/Arlington County Detention Facility writing contest, August 2019

How can we call this the land of the free? When we have a major human rights issue, we have more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. How was this nation ever great or ever will be great? The honest answer to that is, it never was great and maybe in due time this nation can become great, this nation treats its people like numbers more than they are treated like actual human beings and that just isn’t humane. I believe it’s time for a change from these outdated laws and lawmakers whose mind states are in an outdated time period, things in this era change fast and I believe certain things such as laws and people should change just as fast to keep up with the climate, as they say in Jamaica “Ah young people time now”.

I believe drug abusers should receive more mental health care, not jail time. Jail doesn’t provide the right means to rehabilitation for an abuser, it adds pressure and stress that builds up in a person. This causes them to relapse when they are released from incarceration, the War on Drugs was a failure considering drug use was on the decline before the “war” was declared, and the drug that boosted the “war” was “Crack”, which didn’t mysteriously hit the streets till sometime after the “War on Drugs” was declared, there were two “wars” that was declared but the one involving the Contras is the one that turned its people into monsters.

If we put the same amount of energy into helping those who need it mentally, that we put into trying to arrest them and properly rehabilitate them, we would have a much better society, I believe honestly feel that the jail/prison system should be for violent offenders, such as murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. As a capitalistic nation there’s other ways to make money besides Mass Incarceration, which is hurting us, putting out a bad image of us to the rest of the world, making our nation look just as some of the same nation we look down on such as those in the Middle East.

How can we say we want world peace when we don’t even have peace within our own nation? Once we as a nation find our sense of community things can start to improve and problems will begin to find the best humane solutions. Some issues shouldn’t be issues in this nation, such as the sickening issue of homelessness. Those in need of assistance can be placed in facilities with or provide them with social work programs, to which they can complete and get on their feet. America is a capitalistic nation, we would want people to spend money, so why not give them what we want them to spend, at the same time boosting the economy, reducing the homeless numbers and also reducing unemployment rate.

The education system needs some improvement also, instead of when our youths grow up and enter the real world running into stressful situation, schools should start from Junior High School teaching kids about taxes, interest, mortgage, investments, debt, credit, and trades, so we can properly prepare them for the future. The money spent on the “Space Force” is insane. If aliens are real, how are we so sure they are a threat when history says our nation is usually the threat, or how do we know there will be some sort of galactic battle? Even the extreme amount of money we put into our military can be used for better things and the betterment of America’s social climate, Also since this is a capitalist nation, putting money to the society will increase education and jobs encouraging more workers, which would result in more money for the nation. Equality can’t be a quality without unity in the community!!