5 Movie Locales You Probably Never Knew About

There’s something exotic and dazzling about lounging around a movie-set, revelling in the drama being play out in front of you and seeing cultural history get made. Films are nothing without locations however, and some of the best films you’ve seen just wouldn’t be the same without the sights and sounds of the places they’re set or filmed in – can you imagine Sleepless in Syracuse as opposed to Sleepless in Seattle?. For travellers also, you can play a role in re-living some of your classic big-screen favourites, simply by exploring these locales at your own pace and whimsy.

Some of you however, may have been in some of your favourite cities locations without perhaps ever knowing it. As this list of five movie locales you probably never knew about might suggest, mapping out your favourite films on foot, may have been something you’ve already done.

Gran Canaria, Spain

The Canary Islands aren’t too well known outside of being a popular winter or spring getaway to vacationers in Western Europe, but one the region’s biggest and most populated islands, Gran Canaria, played host to the sixth instalment in drag-racing series The Fast & Furious. Starring the late Paul Walker and muscle-man Vin Diesel, the sixth version opens in the gangs new retirement home. The islands off the north of Africa belonging to Spain, following their successful heist in Fast 5. Parts of the film also take place in the other Canarian island of Tenerife too.

Cornwall, England

A region of England where most people don’t even know the populace has separatist aspirations, Cornwall has always been a pretty popular holiday spot for British visitors heading to its beaches and coastal towns, but isn’t well known for films. A prime location for Tim Burton’s animated live-action movie mash-up Alice in Wonderland, based on the Victorian novel by Lewis Carroll and made popular through the Disney animation of the same name. Cornwall played host to several scenes from the movie in locations like Charlestown Harbor and Antony House in Torpoint.

Prague, Czech Republic

A hugely massive stag-destination and popular Western European weekend getaway, the old charm of Prague hasn’t been at the centre of many Hollywood blockbusters in the last twenty years or so. One exception to that fact however is the 2011 film Misson Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the latest version in the Tom Cruise featuring spy-dramas that successfully rebooted a 1960s TV show of the same name.

Sydney, Australia

Australia’s biggest city is well known for lots of reasons, from iconic building like the Opera House, to its cultural diversity and neighbourhoods like China Town. One thing it hasn’t been too hot on in the past several decades is as the setting of movies. In 2006 the mostly forgotten Superman Returns, starring the just-as-much-forgotten Brandon Roth, borrowed the city for many of its scenes, including one that used the Art Gallery of New South Wales in its backdrop.

Phuket, Thailand

The Thai destination of Phuket, commonly the reserve of debauched backpackers enjoying beachside buckets and otherwise kicking back, isn’t really a destination that comes to mind when envisaging sci-fi locations set in the future. Back in 2005 however, just as George Lucas was finishing up his newest and most deplored trilogy of Star Wars movies, Phuket ended up playing a distinctive role in the trilogies third film; Revenge of the Sith.

BB Creams: What Are They, And How Are They Made?

It’s no big secret that beauty is a multi-billion dollar industry. Men and women alike want to look their best at all times, and so they will spend money on products that help them to achieve that goal.


One product, in particular, is “BB cream.” You’ve presumably seen a few ads on the TV and at your neighborhood shopping mall for them. But, how much do you know about those beauty products? And how are they made? If you’re wondering whether you need some BB cream in your life, keep reading to find out more!



Where did BB creams come from?


You might think that BB creams are a recent invention. But, the first use of such a beauty product dates back to 1950s Germany! A dermatologist by the name of Christine Schrammek offered them to her patients when they finished using other treatments like skin peels, for example.


BB or “Blemish Balm” cream is a solution for people that want to soothe their skin and hide any redness or irritation. In the 1980s, BB cream got introduced to Asia, and it’s from there that its popularity spread worldwide.


How are BB creams made?


Some people seem to think that they are miracle creams, but they aren’t! In fact, they are simply a combination of many different skin care products made into one formula. So, how are BB creams made?


Beauty companies use a mag mixer or a similar device to agitate the various ingredients. In case you wondered, they are special machines that don’t let any outside contaminants mix with them.


The contents of BB creams themselves aren’t too much of a closely-guarded secret. In fact, you only have to look at the back of one to see what’s inside of them. Of course, the process involved in making them isn’t made public for obvious reasons!


Should you use a BB cream?


BB creams are usually a mixture of several or all of the following:


  • Moisturizer;
  • Primer;
  • Sunscreen;
  • Foundation; and
  • Anti-ageing cream.


If you use one or more of those products already, it might make more sense to start using a BB cream instead. There are other reasons why you might want to start using them as well.


Do you want a cream that brightens, soothes and offers UV protection for your skin? Do you wish to use something that offers anti-ageing properties? If the answer to either of those is yes, then you need to start using BB cream!




Which BB cream is best?


That question is like asking whether Coca-Cola or Pepsi is the better cola drink. The only person that can determine which BB cream works best with your skin is you!


If you’re undecided, you could always request some product samples and try a different one each day or week. That way, you can make a mental note of the ones that make the biggest impact.


You could also do some online research and find out what other people think about each brand and decide from there too.

Purchasing Power: Where The Money Is Going This Holiday Season

Every year the holiday shopping season seems to get longer and longer. With Thanksgiving on the horizon it’s time to take a closer look at this seasonal business boom. Watch out for these hot trends and savings strategies to make the most of your money this holiday season.

Shop At Home

Much like the last few years, internet sales are expected to boom again this year, so retailers should definitely brush up their SEO. According to eMarketer, online sales could increase up to 13.9% this holiday season. This will reduce foot traffic in stores, so consider where you shop carefully – 2015 might just be the year the crowds thin in brick and mortar stores, making for less competition. Either way, you’ll still have to be an early bird to get the best products. Scout online and in stores to see where the best deals are.

Cut Costs On Holiday Travel

With hordes of travelers on the move this holiday season, waiting for the last minute to score a travel deal could backfire, leaving you stranded instead of celebrating. Instead of waiting, consider shopping strategically for airfare tickets using individual airline sites rather than discount ticket sites. Keeping a careful eye on both can help you snag the best deal.

Another great way to save on holiday travel is to travel on the actual holiday. Most people would rather avoid holiday travel, but especially for shorter flights, it may be possible to coordinate your travel with your holiday bash. It’s also worth considering ground travel for your holiday trips – maybe this is the year to journey by train to your destination.

Cook Up Some Treats

Among this season’s hottest toys are some cool new twists on the old Easy-Bake Oven. This includes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Oven, one of the first variations to strategically draw boys into the kitchen. The Girl Scouts have also gotten in on the game with their Girl Scout Cookie Oven. Moms may want this as much as their daughters, both for the nostalgia and the sweet treats. Now Girl Scout cookie season never has to end!

The Movie Market Is Strong

Many of the other top toys this holiday season stem from major movie franchises, including the Star Wars reboot, Jurassic World, and the most recent encounter with the Despicable Me minions. Topping one hottest toys list is the Jurassic World Chomping Indominus Rex Figure. Joining this reptilian re-creation are a Lego Jurassic World building kit, a Disney Frozen Fever Elsa doll, and a jumbo talking Dave to bring the minion’s humor home. If these are on your kid’s hot list, look for opportunities to grab them soon before they’re gone.

Get Smart

One big holiday trend for grown-ups this year is smart home technology. Fitting comfortably into our tech-obsessed culture, smart home products can also make your home greener by helping you cut energy use by controlling house temperature or allowing you to turn lights on and off remotely.

Smart home tech can also be just for fun. Popular this year are the Ring Video Doorbell that transmits video from your doorstep to your phone or tablet and the Petzi Treat Cam. With the Petzi Treat Cam, attentive pet owners can check in on their pets, speak to them through the device, and even release a treat for them.

Toys For The Big Kids

Don’t forget that even grown-ups like to have a little fun during the holiday and nostalgic toys like Troll dolls are making a comeback. But don’t be surprised if the adults in your life also latch on to the new “in” things, like the 3Doodler Pen that takes 3D printing and makes it handheld or kinetic sand for desktop playtime. Isn’t this kind of pleasure what the holidays are for?

5 Ways Your Job Could Be Killing You

Work can obviously pose a major stress on your body. Whether you work at a desk in an office for eight hours a day, or you haul freight on the loading docks for ten, you should be aware of the health risks you face on the job.

You need to work to live, but you also need to know exactly what’s standing in the way of ideal health. It’s smart to minimize the health threats you face every day.

Here are some of the ways your job could be killing you.


  1. Unclean Air

Many studies detail the flaws in office and factory HVAC systems. These flaws can lad to illnesses among employees, including headaches, nausea, fatigue, and allergies.

The risks are magnified for factory workers. According to an article on industrial ventilation systems and their effect on workplace health by RoboVent, experts in clean air, “If you work in manufacturing, particles hazardous to your health may very well be airborne … [including] fumes, dust, and smoke. But that doesn’t mean the technicians and factory workers need to breathe all those toxins that can have short- and long-term health effects.”

Companies should take steps to reduce the amount of airborne particles that affect workers’ health by installing safe air-filtration and ventilation systems that collect, clean, and recycle contaminated air.


  1. Back and Neck Pain

Sitting hunched over a desk all day can lead to severe back and neck pain, the same as steady manual labor. The human body was not designed to sit all day long, nor was it designed to do heavy work for hours on end.

Both activities can cause long-term issues that may result in surgery. Taking frequent breaks, practicing safe work techniques, and maintaining proper posture, no matter what your job is, can reduce pain and stiffness.


  1. Limited Exercise

For people who sit at an office all day, the limited exercise can pose serious risks to health. The CDC recommends exercising at least 150 minutes a week in order to avoid obesity and other health problems, but for those who have a sedentary work regimen, that might not be sufficient.

You’ll want to look at ways to increase your movements throughout the day. Here are a few suggestions:


  • Carry a pedometer and set a goal to take at least 6K steps per day. Increase the goal in increments until you can do 10K steps each day.
  • Don’t go for the closest parking spot. Park farther away so you walk more to the office.
  • Take the stairs. Even if you work on the 20th floor, at least get off the elevator on the 17th floor and walk the remaining three flights.
  • Walk other places instead of rolling. It’s easier to roll your chair to the filing cabinet or a coworker’s desk, but get up and walk instead. This will reduce stiffness and increase your daily exercise.
  • Join a fitness class or two to motivate you to exercise regularly.


  1. Chronic Pain

Both manual laborers and desk workers can experience severe chronic pain in various parts of their bodies. For desk workers, it’s back and neck pain, eyestrain, and carpal tunnel. Manual laborers more often suffer back and neck soreness, arthritis, and frequent injuries that result in lifelong discomfort.

“Offices that don’t invest in ergonomic workspace equipment, such as chairs with adequate lumbar support, risk facing a workforce composed of ibuprofen-popping employees, whose physical ailments significantly slow their work,” says an article from CNBC.

Smart companies should hold frequent safety trainings and maintain proper safety measures at all times to reduce the number of accidents.


  1. Lack of Sleep

Chances are if you look around your workplace right now you’ll notice multiple cups of coffee, bags under your coworkers’ eyes, and at least one person falling asleep at his desk. People who work full time usually don’t get enough sleep.

According to a CNN report, 23 percent of full-time workers experience insomnia as a result of work, and their lack of productivity loses companies $63 billion annually. The report suggests that companies should work on solutions to fix the problem of lack of sleep instead of simply treating the symptoms.

Providing stress counselors, avoiding overtime, and providing flexible schedules can significantly improve the sleep problem in the office.


Simple Ways You Can Help Local Veterans and Wounded Warriors

Most of us never serve in the military, but we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to those who do. Wars have changed but many of the physical and mental issues that veterans face today are no different from those they’ve experienced during countless other wars. Veterans from every war have suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, severe head injuries and loss of limbs. According to Gerald Kochan, founder of the Center for Military Studies, there many ways you can help the Wounded Warriors and other organizations that provide assistance. Here’s how:

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is an advocacy group that provides assistance and support services to veterans. DAV is the longest running veteran advocacy group and was instrumental in providing benefits to over 340,000 members in 2014. DAV has a wide range of volunteer opportunities available where you can help the veterans in your community. People of any level of experience are invited to participant in one of the following activities:

  • Volunteer at the local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Activities might include escorting patients, engaging in recreational programs or ward activities, serving coffee or simply visiting with patients.
  • The Local Veterans Assistance Program matches volunteers with veterans who need help running errands, grocery shopping, doing yard work or home maintenance.
  • DAV Transportation Network is a service that provides rides from a veteran’s home to the nearest VA hospital or clinic. Volunteer drivers are always needed.

The Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) is a resource for injured veterans and their families. It provides rehabilitation services, career counseling and enrichment activities. You can help by running fundraising  drives, giving a monthly gift, hosting a Supporter Event, writing to an injured vet or by making monetary donations.

Home for Our Troops is the Habitat for Humanity for our nation’s veterans. Its mission is to build new homes or adapt existing homes to accommodate the needs of the injured. Volunteers of all skill levels participate in the home building or renovation process.

Operation Stand Down is a two- to three-day program designed to give homeless veterans a place to get quality health care, food, job and housing referrals, clothing, VA benefits counseling and personal hygiene services. Volunteers provide support for each event. Contact your local VA hospital for information.

The USO supports active duty troops. One of the best ways to help active services members is by donating to the USO Operation Phone Home program. The program delivers prepaid international calling cards to troops that allow them to call home up to 140 times.

Operation Gratitude sends care packages to active troops and veterans, caregivers and wounded warriors. The group also has a letter writing campaign that encourages volunteers to write handwritten letters of thanks to veterans.

The Fisher House Foundation provides homes near VA hospitals to families of hospitalized loved ones. Volunteers help maintain homes and provide assistance to the families. Donations of household items are welcome. If you have frequent flier miles, you can donate them to the families of hospital patients so they can fly free to be near their loved ones.

6 Ways Many Philanthropists Will Utilize Capitalism

By definition, anyone participating in private business without the control of the state is engaged in capitalism. While many foreign countries may see capitalism as a negative thing, there is a great deal of good that can come from the exercise of this method of trade. One aspect that can especially benefit from this way of doing business is philanthropy. Governments should be more encouraging of this union between capitalism and philanthropy as it reduces state funding for helping the populace as the business owners will do most of the work.

Funding for Projects

While many business platforms have to adhere to stockholders, many profitable businesses can assist funding projects for humanity using nothing more than net income. This is funds available after all liabilities are addressed. In many cases, the amount of this income can fuel economic development in a community by providing services and other charitable actions. Since this funding is based on net income, there is little financial impact to the business itself.

Job Creation

By filling a need within a community for a particular product or service, employees will be necessary. This provides greater opportunity for families to become self-sufficient as they become more likely to feed and clothe themselves. Opportunities begin to unfold for each employee as skills and knowledge are developed. This allows a person to seek other opportunities that may not have been otherwise available. A healthier lifestyle can begin to unfold as malnutrition and homelessness can be addressed with job creation.

Products that Help

Many philanthropists will be in the business of creating useful products for a community. For example, a telecommunications system where there wasn’t one in the past could connect the populace in profound ways. A pizza parlor, while it may provide food, isn’t exactly a community-building business. Grocery stores, gas stations and other mainstays of society could do exceptionally well in a location that is void of such businesses.

Diversity of Business

Diversifying business prospects and investments can lead to meeting various demands. There is no rule against owning several different kinds of organizations simultaneously. If you have the funding to meet these demands, then you could create jobs while supplying the products and services that a community needs. Whether you create each individual business alone or use a parent company to control all branches, the income from each project can be used to create additional organizations to further improve society.

Affordability of Products or Services

As philanthropists are less concerned about the accumulation of wealth over helping humanity, costs for various products and services can be affordable for those that have little money. While the profits from the business could be put towards other goals, just delivering a product people can actually afford may be more help to the community than you realize.

Chain of Businesses

Businesses can be moved and created easily. As long as the funding holds out, the philanthropist can set up companies in virtually any area that has a demand for products or services. Many large corporations set up shops in areas that have potential to be profitable. The difference is philanthropists can use the profits for improving those communities in return while large corporations are more keen to delivering payouts to stockholders and corporate officers.

Helping a community become more stable and efficient can be profitable. Reading Ehsan Bayat’s page demonstrates how a business idea can be beneficial for a community while creating prospects for business and creating jobs. Capitalism doesn’t have to be a term synonymous with greed as it can provide the funding needed to accomplish a variety of charitable acts such as bringing 21st century technology to an area where none exists.

Cost of Food Skyrocketing – Garden Sheds for Affordable Organic Veggies All Year Long

Never before has there been such a widespread movement towards organic produce. But the problem for most people is the cost, especially during the winter months. Many families have started growing some fruits and many vegetables in their back yards as a way to ensure that they are getting produce free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers.


Royalty free photo

Unfortunately, for those in the northern states it is impossible to grow outdoors in the winter. Garden sheds provide a great alternative because they can be built to act as a grow house for everything from fresh berries to potatoes. In fact, if you want to build your own as a DIY project, you can get an idea of the best garden shed plans by reading through this content.

Planning Garden Sheds for Cultivation of Produce

When panning garden sheds to use for growing produce for your family, there are a couple of alterations you may need to make. Of course you will want to build one that is insulated but you will want to plan for airflow. Adequate ventilation is a must to keep mildew and rot from creeping into your crop.

Also, it would be best to plan for an electrician to sign off on your wiring if you are a DIYer because you want to maintain safety and stay within the law. A flat roof is perfectly fine but many growers prefer a gabled roof because they usually offer more height.

Cost Effective LED Grow Lights

As recently as a few years ago there didn’t seem to be LED grow lights with the right colors of the spectrum to work properly for growing. However, with advances in technology there are a great number of products on the market that provide the right type of light to foster photosynthesis which is what you need to consider when growing indoors.

You may also wish to invest in a small solar panel setup which will provide more than enough electricity so that you are not raising your electric bill. In the winter months they are already high enough, especially if you are using electric heat for your home.

Hydroponic vs. Soil

Another recent movement in growing amazing vegetables is with a hydroponic system. These don’t require soil and require little care other than regular draining and replacing water with the proper nutrients. Many farmers have begun using hydroponic growing systems and are getting huge produce as a result. If you look at this video you will see how one man works with a hydro system.

Soil is more traditional but you may find that it is expensive to keep buying soil for your plants unless you have a compost pile somewhere on your property to keep refreshing your soil with nutrients. Either way is perfectly fine and perhaps only a matter of personal preference, but take the time to research first so that you can be comfortable with the way in which you begin growing your produce.

With the right setup the only real cost involved is initially as you are building your garden sheds and outfitting them with what you need to get started growing your own produce. Many people like the idea of a garden shed over using a greenhouse because the temperature and lighting is easier to control. Garden sheds are the answer to the high cost of organic produce and will provide a great hobby that you’ll soon learn to love.

Revealed: The Simple Steps To Sourcing And Selling A New Product!

If you run a business, you are no doubt looking for the next big “thing” to sell. You want to make sure the products you offer are best-sellers and are easy to sell. Of course, finding such items is a bit like searching for the Holy Grail!

The good news is that, with a bit of hard work and patience, you can source and sell products like that. But, how do you get started? And are there are “trade secrets” or tips that you don’t know? Let me share with you a few methods to find the next big thing in the business world:

Do some marketplace research

The first thing you need to do is understand what it is your consumers want. To do that, you need to carry out some in-depth market research. Successful companies make money by doing accurate predictions. And to enable that to happen, they need to know what people want to buy.

Sure, a product might be a bestseller today. But, that doesn’t mean consumers don’t want something else in the future. In a nutshell, you need to find out what features – not products – people want the most. That way, you can source products that are an accurate fit for their needs.

The brilliant thing about the Internet is that marketplace research is at your fingertips. For example, take online services like Terapeak. They are great for giving you insights into consumer spending habits.

Choose a business model that works for others

Why invent the wheel? There are many business models that could suit what you sell. For instance, some firms import “white label” products from China and resell them. Others could package many products into a “solution.” One example is bundling a motherboard, RAM and hard drive to sell to computer builders.

With your research hat still on, find out which business models work for the competition. Of course, avoid researching companies that are making a loss!

Get a guarantee from your suppliers

The last thing you want to do is sell products that could end up injuring or killing people! It’s a sad fact that some firms try to cut costs on safety. As you may have guessed, karma comes back to bite them!

Let’s face it; you don’t want a wrongful death attorney to take you to court. That’s why it is crucial you get a guarantee from your suppliers. They should supply you with safety testing certificates for a start. You should also verify they are legitimate too. That’s because some manufacturers lie to their clients.

You should have an agreement with them in place about faulty products. If you receive plenty of returned products, they should compensate you for your troubles. After all; your firm’s reputation is on the line here!

Use any opportunity to gauge feedback on a potential new product

Before you buy a lot of stock, it’s important to find out how useful people will find it. Consider setting up a focus group to test the product and report their findings to you.

By following the above tips, you’ll soon be able to sell an award-winning product. And, did I mention you’ll also make a lot of money in the process?

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Do's and Don'ts for Your Next Party in 2015

While New Year’s just ended, was the party you hosted or the events you attended memorable and worth the money or were you too drunk to even remember it? Read on to learn which parties are best to attend, what you should splurge on, and how much is appropriate to drink at this ultimate party.


Image by Jeff via Flicker

Favourite Tips for New Year’s Eve

Other than St. Patrick’s Day and Superbowl parties, New Year’s Eve is definitely the most celebrated day on the calendar and the one where guests tend to overindulge. Add to that, it’s right after Christmas when many of us receive top shelf alcohol as a holiday present. So how do you navigate through these anticipated events? Use some of our favorite tips and you’ll experience a night to remember.

  • Choose a party. Don’t waste your time at an expensive club party. Chances are it won’t be worth the hassle or the money of the tickets. Instead, choose to either host a party yourself or attend a party at a friend’s house in a more relaxed setting. Feel free to hit more than one party, but choose one for the actual New Year’s toast and maybe another for a late night, early morning stop.
  • Do plan to go out with friends. This is not the night to stay in unless you’re hosting the party. You’ll want your friends around for a support system as you get slightly tipsy and comb for someone to kiss at midnight.
  • Do find someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight if you are without a date. Don’t appear desperate and keep it a light, friendly peck.
  • Enjoy some drinks. Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, indulge in at least some champagne for the special occasion. It’s okay to get a little drunk on New Year’s Eve, where you’re feeling fun and happy, and a more charming personality of yourself.
  • Do make a heartfelt New Year’s toast if you are hosting the party. Make it brief and from your heart. Make sure every guest has a beverage, whether it’s alcoholic or some sparkling cider or sparkling grape juice. Hold your champagne glass in your right hand carefully by the stem and raise appropriately to face level while smiling at as many guests as possible. Don’t actually clink glasses since you don’t want your glasses to break. Settle for a hearty, “Cheers!”
  • Don’t drive home if you attended a party elsewhere. Arrange for some in your group to be a designated driver, and if no one wants to, then take advantage of the taxicabs in your area. Some cities offer discounted or even free rates on New Year’s Eve.
  • Use a photo booth from Blue Steel at your party to capture all the memories. Ask for festive backgrounds like confetti dipped balloons or a shimmering gold fringe. You and your friends can show off your personalities as you hold up “Happy New Year” banners, don party hats, and clink glasses in the booth.

Your New Year’s Eve party may not go as planned so do go with the flow and don’t allow it to upset you. Someday, you’ll laugh at how drunk and stupid you and your friends look in those photo booth pictures.

5 Ways To Fix Our Broken Criminal Justice System

We have a problem in the justice system of our country. The U.S. has the world’s highest prison rates among the developed countries. What would it take to renovate the justice system into something that worked for the people and not against them?

Alter the Drug War

While a shockingly low number of violent offenders make up the prison population (3 percent), a large number are nonviolent drug offenders. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports nearly half of the men and women in the federal prison system are there on drug charges, as of January 2015.

If drugs were “decriminalized” and treated as a health hazard instead of a criminal act, we would see a huge shift in the number of criminals living behind bars, costing taxpayers roughly $20,000 per year per inmate and over $19 billion for the current drug offender population. It would cost less to send these offenders to college and focus on campaigns that stress the dangers of drugs and opening rehabilitation centers. The only way to effectively dry up the drug market is to put drug dealers out of business with an uninterested population.

Offer Zero-Violence Prison Blocks

Violence should not be accepted as a way of prison life and the small segments of the prison population who are aggressive and violent should not be controlling the atmosphere of the prison system for the other inmates. Prisoners who are placed in jail for peaceful protest or jailed in lieu of a fine are introduced to a hostile population. Inmates would benefit from zero-violence areas where inmates who follow the rules are able to better themselves rather than worry about violent repercussions from other inmates.

Expand Parole Eligibility

Image via Flickr by FiDalwood

Louisiana had over 61 percent of the prison population in 2009 convicted for nonviolent, non-sex offenses. Between 1985 and 2010, Louisiana’s jail population grew by 267 percent and corrections spending increased by 400 percent. In an effort to shift the expense, the state expanded parole eligibility and streamlined the process. Eliminating delays in parole processing and opening eligibility allowed more prisoners to avoid doing time and participate in treatment programs at a fraction of the cost with the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

Promote Individual Responsibility

It takes every one of us to care about what happens with our justice system and do something about it. If you are interested in what could fix the broken system then become part of the solution with a career in law or social justice. Get your master’s in criminal justice and become part of the change you want to see.

Hold Prosecutors and Police Responsible

Image via Flickr by tedeytan

Reports of police brutality and misconduct are absolutely unacceptable. If police and prosecutors were held liable for their deliberate engagement in misconduct then you might see a reduction in fabricated evidence, false testimony, and coerced confessions. With power comes great responsibility, and citizens will suffer every time the justice system is warped by corrupted individuals.

Trust must be reinstated in our justice system with the kind of changes that push for lower spending and higher rehabilitation rates. Prison should not be the end result, but the means to an end for many. We need to keep in mind that every person in the prison system is a fellow human being with the ability to change.