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Bad conditions in American prisons

Discussion in 'Human Rights' started by Anders Hoveland, May 2, 2012.

  1. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    Conditions in America's prisons are some of the worst in the western developed world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IWxpQ87C4t4
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8451.htm
    http://www.economist.com/node/14222337

    I realise that part of the reason for prison is to punish the criminals, but at what point is the poor treatment too much? And even if some of the prisoners deserve what they get, could there be other prisoners there that deserve better?

    I am not sure how much of a deterent the poor conditions actually are. Being in prison to begin with is an adequate deterrent. Is not the main purpose of prisons to protect the outside world from these criminals, rather than punishment?

    [​IMG]

    Now I realise that the prisons in most of the rest of the impoverished world are even worse, but could not America do better?
     
  2. SigTurner

    SigTurner New Member

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    Prison should be about rehabilitation and nothing more. Convicts can literally pay for their crimes with a stipend taken out of their paychecks, once they are rehabilitated and placed in gainful employment upon their release. Inhumane prison conditions, as well as "25 to life" terms of incarceration, are antithetical to rehabilitation and only serve to put the law abiding citizen at far greater risk by turning salvageable convicts into incorrigible criminals then releasing them back into society.

    The only form of punishment that is truly effective is capital punishment.
     
  3. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    I am not sure, I just really do not think that locking someone, even a criminal, within a tiny cement-walled cell for most of the day is an acceptable thing to do in a civilised society. At the very least, certainly there are some criminals in prison that do not deserve this.

    Humans were meant to have access to open space. I have no doubt that forced confinement within small spaces for extended periods of time can cause long-lasting psychlogical damage.
     
  4. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    Prisons are necessary in non-nomadic societies. They perform the same role as exile does for nomads or tribal societies. In a sense then, we exile people internally. Yes there is a place for rehabilitation but sometimes people have to go to prison on various occasions just to give society a break from their anti-social behaviours.

    Prisons historically were places where people went for punishment, ie torture. Nowadays we send people to prison as punishment. Prisons, as Anders has pointed out, should not be places which cause any more psychological damage than already exists in a person. Apart from imprisonment exacerbating the damage instead of merely punishing the person, it creates an extremely dangerous environment for the people working in the prison.
     
  5. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to see if a criminal facing a typical maximum security prison in New York who fled to a nation like Canda claiming he will face inhumane treatment under international law as stated in more than one convention treaty would fare, he or she could get off on human rights violations. As in going back to an inhumane condition for a human being.

    And what if the crime is non-violent if I was facing big house time for say selling marijuana then go to Canada it would even be a better arguement I will go into an inhumane prision under a mandatory sentence for a non-violent and fairly harmless crime.

    If not Canada one could fly to other nations once there ask for political asylum for a human rights case, some nations like Norway would be at least sympathetic.

    My only issue is for felons they usually have a very hard time finding work in many states some jobs are outright out of the question for state licensing.
     
  6. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    I think this is wrong also. Not all crimes that are classified as a "felony" should be grounds for being denied professional licensing.
    If someone kills the man who cheated on his wife, does that mean he should be ineligible to practice law after he serves his prison sentence? I do not think so.
    There is enough discrimination against former criminals trying to find a job in the private sector. Why is the state just making adding on even more discrimination by denying them licenses?

    And should all people with past felony convictions be denied the right to vote? This is the case in most of the USA. Perhaps some criminals should have the right to vote taken away from them, but not all. It should be decided by a case-by-case basis, not automatic based on whether the crime is considered a "felony".
     
  7. raymondo

    raymondo Banned

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    NEW US TORTURE READY FOR NATIONAL USE
    ( Republican early victory ? )



    A California university student mistakenly left handcuffed in a cell without food or water for five days has described how he survived by drinking his own urine.
    Daniel Chong, 23, was left in the cell in San Diego after being arrested with eight other people on April 21 in a raid in which Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized guns, ammunition and drugs.
    Without food, water or access to a toilet, Daniel Chong, 23, began hallucinating on the third day.
    The University of California engineering student said he saw little Japanese-style cartoon characters that told him to dig into the walls to find water.
    He said he tore apart the plastic lining on the walls.
    "I ripped the walls and waited for the room to flood for some reason," he said, after he left the hospital.
    "I can't explain my hallucinations too well because none of them make sense.
    "I felt like I was completely losing my mind," adding that he lost 15llbs (7kgs) during the ordeal.
    Four days later, agents opened the door by chance and found him covered in his own faeces, Mr Chong said.
    He had become so desperately thirsty he drank his own urine, and doctors are concerned about possible kidney damage.
    After being released from the cell, Mr Chong spent five days in hospital where he was treated for dehydration and kidney failure.
    Mr Chong was never arrested, never charged and should have been released.
    His lawyer Julia Yoo said after her client was cleared of any wrongdoing, DEA agents told him they would put him in a holding cell for just a minute before driving him home.
    But Mr Chong remained in the a 5ft (1.52-metre)-by-10ft (3-metre) windowless cell with his wrists handcuffed behind his back.
    He managed to wriggle his arms back to the front of his body during his captivity.
    As the hours dragged into days, he said he kicked and screamed as loud as he could.
    At one point, he ripped a piece of his jacket off with his teeth and shoved it under the door, hoping someone would spot it and free him.
    Mr Chong also tried to take his own life by breaking the glass from his glasses and attempting to carve "Sorry mom," on his arm.
    Nurses later found pieces of glass in his throat, leading him to believe he swallowed the shards.
    Mr Chong also said he ingested a white powder that he found in the cell.
    Agents later identified it as methamphetamine. Mr Chong said he ingested it to survive.
    The DEA statement did not say what the bag of drugs was doing in the cell.
     
  8. Viv

    Viv Banned by Request

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    I don't know how US gets away with it. From what people say of the conditions and how people are abused in prison, why hasn't someone or some human rights organisation sued the state for not providing incarcerated people with basic protection from abuse by other prisoners?
     
  9. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    Prison rapes are also rampant in American prisons— much of it driven by racial tensions. Most prisoners that are raped never say anything, as it is a big stigma for a man in the USA to be raped. For every year in an American prison, a prisoner on average has a 6% chance of being raped. If someone is in prison for 15 years, probability is not in their favor.

    Prisons are one of the primary breeding grounds for the spread of AIDS, not least of which because rape and anal intercourse carry a much higher probabibility of sexual transmission (both rapes and anal intercourse are much "rougher", leading to microtearing of skin. even when a condom is used, chances of transmission of disease are still higher)
     
  10. Viv

    Viv Banned by Request

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    Just to be clear, is the premise of this thread racist, or concern about conditions for prisonsers in US prisons?
     
  11. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    Concern of prisoners. I am against all prisoners being mistreated, regardless of their race.
    Sorry, I just quickly copy and pasted some things from one of my other posts that did focus on race. It was not the most ideal, just convenient. But racial tensions are an integral part of the high rates of prison rape in the USA, there is no denying that. But the focus in this thread should be that prisoners are put in such overcrowded spaces, with lack of enough supervision, that rapes are inevitable. The prison system itself has responsibility for most of these rapes. But it is almost as if the authorities do not care, as if any rape is just part of the punishment of prison life, and that the prisoners probably "deserve it". No one deserves to be raped (except perhaps a rapist).
     
  12. savage-republican

    savage-republican Well-Known Member

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    What exactly am I supposed to be upset about? Am I supposed to be upset that gang bangers go to prison and continue their destructive behavior there? Maybe if we had a society that would call a spade a spade we could deal with this violent thuggish behavior, but alas we can not condemn those gang bangers, they are upset for a reason after all.
     
  13. Viv

    Viv Banned by Request

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    Perhaps your issues arise from the conviction that the entire prison population are gang bangers. Perhaps that is why people don't let you talk.
     
  14. SkyStryker

    SkyStryker Banned

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    We live in a country where the majority do not care about proper treatment for combat Vets so I find it doubtful convicts will rank anywhere as well.
     
  15. savage-republican

    savage-republican Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you can explain to me what I am supposed to be upset about, I guess I need to approach the prison issue from the liberal side that everyone in prison is wrongfully convicted? While I am sure there are abuses going on, somehow I believe we have bigger issues in America like getting law abiding people back to work! I am much more worried about those who are out of work and struggling than those who result to law breaking.
     
  16. Beevee

    Beevee New Member

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    Canada's prisons are so much better that criminals are fighting to get into them. :shocked:

    This isn't ideal since the PM, Stephen Harper is passing legislation to make sentences longer and conditions harsher as he believes those responsible for crime should pay for it adequately, while at the same time closing aged prisons so those jailmates could be transferred to the remaining already overcrowded prisons. Ideal really, if one is law abiding, seeing the criminals actually suffering for their misdemeanors instead of being treated with kid gloves.
     
  17. SkyStryker

    SkyStryker Banned

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    no need to look for an excuse to not care.....just say you dont care.
     
  18. Viv

    Viv Banned by Request

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    You should be upset about living in a country which likes to be perceived as the leader of the free world and protector of civil rights etc, while not providing basic human rights within its own prisons. That is what is hypocritical. If a person is criminal or wrongly convicted, he is a human being and legally entitled not to be subjected to torture or worse while in legal custody.
     
  19. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    I think there should be two different types of prisons in the USA, new ones where prisoners are treated with decency, and the old ones where they can be locked in a little cement cube for 18 hours out of the day, and only get 1 hour outside in another little fenced cube, like is already being done right now. Only the prisoners that actually deserved it would go to the old types of prisons. The judge could make a determination during sentencing, with the recommendation of the jury.
     
  20. savage-republican

    savage-republican Well-Known Member

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    what torture? and what is worse than torture? One person being forgotten in a cell is not tantamount to a whole system that is broken down. Prisoners who fight amongst themselves because they are gang bangers is not the fault of society. Having to sit in an overcrowded jail is not torture, it might not be fun , but it is hardly torture. Besides, I prefer to deal with the civil rights of those who have not denied the civil rights of others. You do understand that you end up in jail by denying someone else their civil rights? Thats the whole fallacy of the liberal movement, its about the civil rights of the guilty not of the innocent!
     

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