No accountability

Milbourn, Matthew A.

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American Prison Writing Archive Hamilton College 198 College Hill Rd Clinton, NY 13323-1218 June 10, 2020 No Accountability With the recent protests (riots) it’s obvious that our country has some major, major problems. We see the police using (extreme) force, judges and prosecutors not following the laws, Department of Corrections mistreating prisoners, not following their own policies, our politicians (legislators) lying to us. But what is the underlying real issue here? From my perspective the real issue is a lack of accountability. Although laws are already in place (mostly) concerning these issues, its the accountability for actions of the individuals that's not there to limit those actions. Our government has “granted” itself immunity in many instances. For example: judges, prosecutors have “qualified immunity” for their actions - even when overcharging, wrongfully convicting, suppressing evidence, not allowing witnesses favorable for defense, using cases unproven against defendants, and other constitutional violations. Why do these things just keep happening? No accountability! And our depts. of (so called) corrections, they hide behind “security and good order” to cover their misdeeds. They only enforce rules when it benefits them. When it comes to prisoner property theft or destruction, mistreatments by others, or even providing a “proper” (by policy) prison library - They (prison officials) just ignore their own policies and do whatever they want. And who are they accountable to? 2 - No account 6/10/20 In Michigan it’s supposedly the Legislative Ombudsman (who has no power) and can choose what issues to investigation - even though it’s always the same: policy violations with no accountability! And what do we see in our politicians: broken “promises” and a whole lot of lies and deception, and (once again) no accountability! So then what do we expect from our citizens? You guessed it: accountability! In fact it’s demanded in a prison sentence. We “criminals” must be accountable - we have no choice. But all the while those overseeing our government still have no accountability!!!!! We all believe (know?) that our Constitution holds us all accountable to uphold its Articles (traditions?). But that isn’t so anymore - and hasn’t been for quite some time. You all out there see most of these problems going on. But do you really understand that those who are not held accountable soon believe they can do whatever they want to whomever they want - because they see themselves “above” the rest of us when it comes to being held accountable: they are “Governmental Officials." This is what needs to be addressed in our government branches. Pass laws that hold rule (law) breakers, in government, accountable - as the rest of us are. Take away qualified immunities. From special task forces to compel accountability in all three governmental branches (Judicial, Legislative, Executive), 3 - No account 6/10/20 with actual consequences to those offending. Require mandatory lie detector consent for all government employees, as a condition of employment (including politicians), to help oversee them. That’s the reform we really need. Require that laws, policy, and the Constitution actually be followed - with accountability! Stop the inequalities being practiced, especially by those in our government thinking “they'' don't have to live by the same rules as the “people”. It won’t take long for this “power” that has gone to their heads, to take on a whole new light when they know they are accountable, liable, answerable, responsible, obligated, chargeable, and culpable for their actions, and will be given consequences. (Just as the rest of us are.) We have a good Constitution and laws - but those in our government aren’t following them and no one holds them accountable for it. If they were accountable we would not be seeing what is happening with our police using excessive force - taking protests (riots) just to get accountability (that mostly already provided for - just not enforced - in the laws). Reforms need to happen - and it’s “no accountability” that’s at the root (or at least the stem) of the problem. And it’s spread throughout our government as a whole!!!

Author: Milbourn, Matthew A.

Author Location: Michigan

Date: June 10, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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