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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
November 4, 2010     The Perkins Journal
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November 4, 2010

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A4 - THE PERKINS JOURNAL, Thursday, November 4, 2010 Opinions O The Editor Thank you, Bandits The Perkins-Tryon girls and boys basketball teams would like to thank the Bandit organization for allowing us to sell food items during the Bandit home games. The $1150 raised will go toward the purchase of a "The Gun" basketball shooting aid. About $3500 is needed to reach our goal. If you would like to help pur- chase "The Gun" for the P-T basketball program, please send you 100% tax deductible donation to the Perkins community Foun- dation, P. O. Box 667, Perkins, 74059. Thank you very much. Your friend, Sam Kinzie iiiiiiiii iii i! ......... , ....... By Governor Brad Celebrating Native American culture November is American Indian Heritage Month in Okla- homa and across the nation. The observation has special relevance here, as the culture and history of Oklahoma is interwoven with that of the American Indian. Our state's name, the symbols on our flag and landmarks across Oklahoma are a testament to our Native American heritage and its continuing influence in our daily lives. Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized Indian tribes. Across this state, Native American tribes and nations are valued partners with state, county and municipal gov- ernments in a wide range of projects ~ from transportation and economic development to healthcare and education. In Oklahoma City, construction of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum promises to create an incred- ible resource for learning about the history, culture and heri- tage of American Indians from across North America. The AICCM will not only offer Smithsonian-quality exhibits, but will have space for films, lectures, the per- forming acts and other cultural and community events. Outdoors, along the banks of the Oklahoma River, the facility will offer a landscaped park, trail system, athletic fields and more. Once completed, the AICCM will enrich the lives of Oklahomans. Situated at the junction of two major inter- states and close to downtown, it will no doubt become a major attraction, offering one more reason for guests from across the world to visit our great state. All across Oklahoma, museums, festivals and events cel- ebrate the proud traditions of American Indian heritage-- a heritage that is an indelible part of our state' s unique history and culture. More than that, the American Indian community is a vital part of Oklahoma's present and future. With the partner- ship of tribes in every comer of the state, Oklahoma is growing, prospering, and moving forward into its second century of statehood. If you have questions or comments, please write me at the Office of the Governor, Room 212, Oklahoma City OK 73105 or visit the "Contact the Governor" section of my website, www.govemor.ok.gov. Delaware county (Okla- homa) voters have rejected a half-cent sales tax proposal for county jail improvement for the fourth time. 35% of the county's voters defeated the proposal, 3,982 nay - 2,569 aye - to add 100 beds to the 10-year-old jail. Reporter Graeme Wood of The Atlantic magazine wrote, "Prisons Without Walls," about a tracking device, BiExacuTrackAt. It's designed to be tamper resistant, broadcasting the wearer's location to a monitoring company's GPS. The device is com- monly associated with sex offenders. Wood decided to wear the device at a family restaurant to see if Morns, Dads, and sharp-eyed chil- dren would identify him as a predator, and hustle out the kiddies. "Not one soul noticed the gizmo over the few days I posed as a moni- tored man." Any lawbreaker - killers, thieves, drug users - might wear a Tracker for years or decades. Wear it all day, all night in the shower, and under the shgets, although it does need dally recharg- ing. The device would follow every move; home, work, stores, even keep the wearer from proximity of schools, bars, and concerts. Should wearers decide to cut the rubber ankle band, the monitoring company would know instantly. GPS devices seem an appealing alternative to conventional incarceration of America's overcrowded prison system. And, it is clear that the traditional prison has become synony- mous with failed prisons. Locking large numbers of people behind bars has proven to be at best ineffec- tive, and at worst, a national disgrace. A Pew report: 2.3 million Americans are currently jailed - enough people to almost fill Houston, Texas. Since 1983, inmates' num- bers have tripled, while correctional costs have risen six-fold, from $10.4 billion to $68.7 billion. California' s cost per inmate, about $50,000, which equals the cost of an Ivy League education. But, ironically, as costs have grown, crimes have fallen, due to mandatory minimums and politically popular three-strike rules. These have shown little deterrence; prisons are overflowed, flooded with inmates. Even releasing seemingly reformed inmates for good behavior hasn't worked. Half those released are back in prison. Research shows that placing prison- ers under harsh conditions to "scare them straight" is counterproductive. Essentially, today when people are jailed, society is agreeing to pay a large (and growing) sum of money merely to delay dealing with prisoners until they are released in a few years, often as a greater menace than when first incarcerated. English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Ben- tham of the 18th century designed the "Panopticon" (Greek for 'all-seeing'), a hypothetical prison. Inmates are arranged in a ring of cells surrounding their guard, who is concealed in a central tower. The theory; guard controls prisoners by constant observations. Prisoners imagine eyes are always on them. Whereas Bentham's'guards had only two eyes, Today's watchers can be virtually all-seeing, due to GPS monitoring techniques. Criminals typically differ from the general popula- tion thusly; poor impulse control, addictive personal- ity, and orientation toward short-term gratification rather than long-term conse- quences. More than a fifth of all jailed criminals are in for drug offences, and a large portion of others abuse legal and illegal substances. A judge in Hawaii, in 2008, decided to test the "swift and certain" paradigm. The basic tenet is familiar to anyone who has trained a puppy. Punishment must be constant and immediate in order to maintain a clear linkage between transgres- may be the key to a cure. Donate any car you own to the American Cancer Society. It's hassle- free, tax deductible, and will help us fund cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. 1-877-999-CARS / www.cancer.org sion and consequences. The judge chose 34 pro- bationers deemed especially incorrigible. He told them, "everyone here wants you to succeed. But to not be in prison means you are making a deal with me to follow rules. If not, say so, and you're back in prison." An important aspect; rules' violaters would not be pun- ished with long sentences, but certain sentences. There are all kinds of "Big Brother" surveillance; auto speeders, ignition-mounted Breathalizer tests before the car may be started, electrostatic patches to monitor sweat of parolees, and others. Authorities say, "there should be a general concern about the State's extent of power to follow and track individuals and gather information. What is the minimum limit of pri- vacy to maintain the level of dignity that a liberal govern- ment should provide?" The goal of Panopticon justice is as old as morality itself. It installs a tiny voice in each offender's head; a warning that someone is watching - wrongdoing will be punished. People call that tiny voice "conscience." If that voice is over- whelmed by louder voices or desire, then an ankle device can help amplify the voice of conscience rela- tive to others. It may bring melancholy thoughts that a high function of human- ity can be, to some extent, outsourced to a plastic box, but it's another example of people's dependence on, and obsession with technology. Oral Roberts' 77-story hospital is now only partially occupied with Business and Health Care interests. Will the new Payne county Jail (dwarfing the old Court House), someday be only partly used, due to technol- ogy? It took many, many decades for American women to gain Suffrage, Racial tension is ongoing, and the Gay issue is very much alive. So, don't expect prisoner-monitoring to happen this year, or the next decade, or the next .... It' s the perpetual problem of human existence; Free- dom vs. Control. Name Address City State ~ Zip Rates: One year in Oklahoma.. $30 i~:,~ One year out of state ...... $35 ~i~i BE A FRIEND, BUY A FRIEND a subscription and deduct $4 ~ off of the rates listed above if you are a current paid subscriber. ~ ~11 Use the form above for your ffriend" and list your name here: m m --, .= m == m .= -- =, J~!' Harris 66 Repairs Hattie's Main Place 307V2 N. Main St., Perkins *Custom Sewing & Alterations .ory C]eaning/Laun Mo~-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p,m. Saturday 101a.m.-I p.m. (405) 547-5429