Category Archives: Crime & Punishment

Until the Plan for the Jail is Undone

Until the Plan for the Jail is Undone
Tune: Home on the Range
By Laurie Rostholder

  • Chorus:

We don’t want a youth jail.
A place where our kids go to fail.
We want money spent
On plans with intent
To keep our kids learning and free.

Don’t give us a jail
Where our kids go to fail
And the judges have such a nice space.
Don’t claim you’re concerned
When our trust is not earned
And our faith in King County misplaced.

More children of color
End up in the jail.
Where is the justice in that?
We want no kids locked up
Where they just get fucked up.
And the contractors’ wallets get fat.

  • Chorus

The land’s full of waste.
With more than a trace
Of toxins to make our kids sick.
Another good reason why
The jail should not fly.
We won’t accept such a big risk.

Dow blocked our appeal.
His support is not real
To stop youth incarceration.
We want all to know
We’ll continue to show
Till the plan for the jail is undone.

Unequal Treatment

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: Coming Round the Mountain

If you’re poor and use cocaine,
You’ll go to jail.
If you’re black and use cocaine,
You’ll go to jail.
They will slap you in the cooler
And tell you you’re a loser,
They will slap you in the cooler
When they come.

If you’re rich and use cocaine,
They’ll slap your wrist,
If you’re rich and use cocaine,
They’ll slap your wrist,
They will tell you to get treatment,
And let you out tout de suitement,
They will let you out quite quickly,
When they come.

So it’s time for equal treatment–yes it is!
Oh, it’s time for equal treatment–yes it is!
Let’s decriminalize drug use
And treat all users equal,
Oh, it’s time for equal treatment–yes it is!

Three Strikes

  • by Kay Thode
  • tune: Coming Round the Mountain

If you’re jailed for three drug crimes,
You’re there for life!
If you’re jailed for three drug crimes
You’re there for life!
They have jailed five hundred thousand
All of them for drug crimes,
We must end this senseless drug war right away.

Profiling Opera

  • by Monica Zucker
  • tune: Mack the Knife

Oh, police have perfect vision
To distinguish wrong from right.
Their decisions are made easy—
It’s like telling black from white.

Oh, the drug war gives incentive
For a thousand stops a day.
First they cuff you, then they search you.
You’re not guilty, but you pay.

Don’t go driving in the evening
In a white suburban block
With your shiny new red auto
Or they’ll put you in the dock.

Totem carver, deaf in one ear,
The Policeman called out “STOP!”
He didn’t hear him, just kept walking,
Do you think he heard the shots?

If they stop you on suspicion,
Don’t talk back or try to run.
You could end up on a morgue slab—
“We were sure he had a gun.”

Oh, police have perfect vision
To distinguish wrong from right.
Their decisions are made easy –
It’s like telling black from white.