Iraqi prisoner abuse nothing new. American prisons almost as bad.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dotadave, May 12, 2004.

  1. dotadave

    dotadave Member

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/08/national/08PRIS.html?hp

     
  2. dotadave

    dotadave Member

    Makes me proud that I plan on going into law school for Criminal Defense.


    You may know someone who has come out of prison. Prison as a means of reform has failed. People go in and come out far more fucked up in the head than they ever were. I'm not talking about the hopless cases and dangerous people like serial killers, hitmen, gang bangers, and child molesters but people who land there because at some point in thier life they made a terrible mistake. Drunk Drivers, thieves, soliciters of prostitution, drug users, these are not neccesarily dangerous people and could potentially be reformed. Instead what happens is they are put in a society where they must either become victimizers or victims. They learn tricks from other convicts, link up with hate groups and gangs, and must live with a choice of either being beaten and raped by other prisoners (and sometimes guards) or becoming rapists and beaters themselves. Prison corrupts and people who somehow manage to keep their sanity have little hope of reintegrating into society when they get out. Our entire criminal justice system is a mess and I'm not even going to get in to the descrepancy in treating street criminals and white colar criminals who do far more damage.

    We should be persuing other forms of punishment. I've been saying all along that drugs, gambling, and prostitution should be legal, taxed, and regulated as should pretty much ever other victimless crime. These are choices people should be allowed to make, just as people should be allowed to eat fast food, have aboritons, practice their religion, and be able to marry whoever they please. For non-victimless crimes, the law should allow courts to seriously take into consideration whether the guilty party is a menace to society before deciding to incarcerate him. If he is not, then they should use alternative punishments. I'm all for canning, victim compensation, public humiliation, re-education, house arrest, or some combination of the above. Such punishments maintain the deterence effect since they cause the guilty party to feel pain for what they have done but they don't contribute to a person forming a criminal identity.

    We are way too obsessed with getting revenge or rather "making sure the victims get their due." Revenge is worthless. It's a lose/lose situation. The person seeking revenge gets nothing for it. Instead, when possible, guilty people should be forced to compensate their victims. There was one story from back in the 80s of the teenage drunk driver who instead of being sentanced to prison for getting abother teenager killed was forced to live with the guilt of writing a check for $1 to the family of his victim for 18 years. There was another story about a judge who required shoplifters, thieves, and other petty criminals to stand outside with a big sign with giant letters describing their crimes. "I'm a theif! Laugh at me!"

    Finally we could save a lot of money and profit more if we put more effort into well researched and thought social programs that prevent people from landing in the criminal justice system in the first place. We need to get tough on criminality, not tough on people who make mistakes.
     
  3. Yeah the california youth corrections or whatever its called is all fucked up too.

    I've seen a video of four grown men beating a kid Rodney King style for minutes on end.


    and we wonder why we're all a little crazy, jesus!

    The world is fucked up.
     
  4. booshnoogs

    booshnoogs loves you

    The corrections experts say that some of the worst abuses have occurred in Texas, whose prisons were under a federal consent decree during much of the time President Bush was governor because of crowding and violence by guards against inmates.

    I'm being nitpicky here, but this seems like a cheap shot. Texas prison's had been under this federal consent decree since 1980.

    Other than that, this is a good post. More attention needs to be brought to the situation that goes on in many prisons.
     
  5. FreakyJoeMan

    FreakyJoeMan 100% Batshit Insane

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