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April 29th, 2014
10:49 AM ET

Reloaded: Van Jones says Republicans right on prisons

Van Jones explains how the United States has 25% of the world's prisoners yet we make up only 5% of the population.

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Filed under: Reloaded • Van Jones
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Serenity

    CNN, why are you using a promotional still from a Buster Keaton movie?

    May 8, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
  2. Martin Zehr

    Mass incarcerations has always been a feature of pacification by the U.S. government. Look at all the Black Panthers framed and imprisoned in the '60s, look at the Communist persecuted in the '50s, look at the IWW and the Red Scare. They defend their rule and their system against the people. Always have, always will. We see hand wringing about drones but now killer cops and gunning down people in cities like Albuquerque. As for Democrats. HA! The Department of Justice was on site in Albuquerque when James Boyd was murdered and still no indictment. Only mass pressure will bring them to act.

    May 4, 2014 at 8:51 am | Reply
  3. Shayn Roby

    Reblogged this on shaynroby and commented:
    Shayn Roby: Admitted Communist and former Obama Green Jobs Czar Van Jones actually realized that the GOP had it right in wanting to reduce government bureaucracy and the power of the federal government. More telling than what Van had to say may be tied to who the sponsor for his segment was: GENERAL ELECTRIC. That corporation is the WHOM to which the Obama regime sold its soul from the start.

    May 2, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  4. George

    Mr. Jones' logic is missing a huge consideration, in other countries criminals either just away with it or criminal activity is controlled by alternative social strictures to stay in line. You don't just misbehave as you please in Germany, Japan, Utah or the UK without there being huge social repercussions, outside of the the criminal justice system, rules that you were weaned on. You might do as you please in Iraq or Brazil or Nigeria (or the KKK in times past) because your crew has the most guns and enforces their rules extra-legally.
    America is about freedom (individuals have broad discretion about what to believe and how to behave) and the flip side of that coin is crime -and we have a comparatively pretty good system for catching and punishing it.
    So please quit with the palaver about percentages meaning any more than that, Republicans are very big on brutal retaliation against criminals, chain gangs and executions, usually against someone from a disfavored group and they are not interested in helping them, instead treat people like animals. I do too, to the extent they are indeed animals, but also treating also offenders with justice and humanity, which Van Jones is labeling Big Government. If he has a point to make it should be for specific wrongs of specific laws and specific convictions, not some weird conclusion drawn from looking at macro results.

    May 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
  5. Andy

    these republicans are railing against the institutions they created, it's just a convert way to ask the private prisons for bigger bribes! you can't stack the courts with activist corporatist judges, campaign for hands off business policy, and harsher sentencing, like mandatory minimums and then convince me you want reform!

    this is just more of the same bs! these guys are buying tanks for sherrifs dept.s for pete's sake. they are defunding head start!

    Libertarians share a lot of progressive values, but their regressive strategies will never get us there! No if we truly want reform we must look to the left and shame on this black guy for perpetuating the great bamboozle even while speaking against it!

    April 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  6. T Martin

    First of all, I can't believe there are still folks who watch CNN! I have nine different friends from countries around the world who got their only "glimpse" of the U.S., watching CNN International. Then when they came to visit, they were astounded that we aren't the same country as described by CNNI. Too biased, they all said. CNN used to be my favorite network, then I had to switch to MSNBC which is a real loser of a network. After that, where do you go to watch true moderate politics? Not FOX which leans a little too far right for me. The major networks? Nah, too biased. Back to FOX I guess because they do represent two sides of the spectrum, even if they slant a little to the right.

    Now, to the prison system. What do you do with convicted felons? That seems to be the real question. Send them to a special nice school to "rehabilitate" them, or get them off the streets so they don't continue their bad behavior and try to convince them that their behavior is wrong. Either rehabilitate or punitive - which is the best answer. I know how they do it in Russia and it works because once someone comes out of the gulag, they DO NOT want to go back. "Nuff said!

    April 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  7. Minnie Mouse

    We need to stop investing in prisons. The money needs to be invested into opening back up state mental institutions.

    April 30, 2014 at 6:53 am | Reply
  8. Henry George's Ghost Who [ALWAYS] Walks For Justice

    Mr. Van Jones is only right as far as it goes. what can solve this terrible practice, and un-productive, and wasteful use of our time, energy, & resources, including our man power is doing/using Mr. Henrry George's solution by way of Mr. David M. MANN, who really wants/needs to be President of The USA, & 20 to 30 or more nations, perhaps, even the World. Especially, China, North Korea, & All 15 Mosllem nations that are much more arrogantly and psychotically concerned about what/why Israel is doing. If ALL nations of the world, including ALL the Moslem nations too, let Mr. MANN do Henry George's Single Economic Rent of Land Value Tax, as their President/Chief Executive, there wouldn't be any one in prison except the one per cent Big/Huge shots who own 90 per cent of our resource wealth and only one full per cent of not only our nation's & also the worlds population too. Mr. MANN also sees the need to be Governor of Illinois, and Mayor of Chicago for this same reason. What do you, Mssrs Gingrich, Jones, & Mss. Cutter, and Cupp, and everyone else think? Please inform Mr. MANN, Mssrs. Gingrich, Jones, and Msses. Cutter and Cupp, if you would support Mr. MANN for OUR USA President. It's extremely important you DO support HIM.

    April 29, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • southerngent

      What mindless crap is this? There wasn't anything written in that post made sense.

      April 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Reply
      • wmyl

        I understood "Henry George walks for justice"

        May 2, 2014 at 5:23 am |
    • countingdown

      Ha, ha, You didn't do as suggested and take a few days, ha, ha, to come up with something new and this is the result! Ha, ha, ha!

      May 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • OMG I know who you are

      I know exactly who you are and it's hilarious. Your writing style is the same no matter where you go. It's hilarious that I identified it.

      May 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  9. Ra Khan


    April 29, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  10. Michael Campbell

    Van Jones has this issue wrong. Democrats in states like New York began reducing prison populations long before Republicans were willing to consider it, and their reductions have been far steeper. What he probably means is that after 30 years of driving longer sentences and supporting expensive prison construction, it is surprising that Republicans are considering other options. To suggest that they are somehow pioneering prison reform efforts is to ignore their central role in how and why so many states have such large prison populations to begin with, and to selectively ignore the large number of Republican majority states that sustain the highest incarceration rates in the nation despite crime rates that are the lowest they have been in more than five decades.

    April 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Andy

      damn straight! keeping speaking truth to power

      April 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  11. The GOP Prayer

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • kratos

      You forgot the Republicans can't give a speech without the words "class warfare". That's what they teach all their new recruits.

      April 29, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Reply
      • Right you are

        Right you are.

        April 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • countingdown

        You forgot, the democrats especially in this administration can't give a speech without mendaciousness.

        Wrong you both are
        Wrong you both are.

        May 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
    • countingdown

      The GOP Solution
      The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

      April 2, 2014 at 10:01 am | Reply

      Still copy/pasting hate. Surely, you can come up with something new, however from it's not looking promising.
      So much hate, so very very sad.

      April 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Reply
      • Just spreading the GOP "Love"

        I'm just spreading the GOP "Love". Do you have a problem with the GOP "Love" for their fellow Americans? Shouldn't you be proud of your fellow GOPers and inflict the same "Love" for the Old, Poor, and Sick people that the GOP want? You are just ambarrased about your GOP "Love" I think. You know you want to say the prayer. Go ahead.

        April 30, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • countingdown

        "Just spreading the GOP "Love"
        I'm just spreading the GOP "Love".

        Do you have a problem with the GOP "Love" for their fellow Americans?

        Shouldn't you be proud of your fellow GOPers

        and inflict the same "Love" for the Old, Poor, and Sick people that the GOP want?

        You are just ambarrased about your GOP "Love" Ithink. ."

        You know you want to say the prayer. Go ahead


        May 1, 2014 at 11:46 am |
  12. Peggy Reskin

    Prisons are a business with a strong union that has personnel paid extremely high salaries as per the SF Chronicle a year ago. They do not rehabilitate, they do not restore, educate or give job skills or life skills to prisoners and if they return to society, they are less able to function than before with a felony on their records that keeps them unemployed or at the very least at the bottom of the pile to be considered. The probation system sends people back to prison to no advantage to anyone or anything-just cost to the tax payers who should get more for their tax money than the reported $102,000/prisoner incarcerated. That sum of money could provide the education and skills that would bring a citizen back to productive participation. Prison has no redeeming value and the whole system should be reviewed and accountable to tax payers who want to see restoration of a person, not destruction to them, their families and any hope of a future,.

    April 29, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply

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