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Thread: Bad conditions in American prisons

  1. Default Bad conditions in American prisons

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=IWxpQ87C4t4
    http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle8451.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?



    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. Default

    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. Default

    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.
    Last edited by Anders Hoveland; May 03 2012 at 02:04 AM.

  4. Default

    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. #5

    Default

    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.
    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need - Louis Jean Joseph Charles Blanc (French Communist)

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tkolter View Post
    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.
    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. #7
    england us georgia
    Location: Brighton , UK
    Posts: 4,298
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    Default

    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. #8

    Default

    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. Default

    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.


    "I'm a 36 year old white male. heterosexual. raped by black inmates in
    1978, still have nightmares and afraid of one day my mind snapping. The
    Texas prison system lacks in professional counselors to talk to and the
    psychologist either dont want to talk or want you to take drugs.
    After the incident I asked to be put in PC and they refused so I wrote the
    FBI, who came to see me but not before I was taken into a room with the
    "warden" and threatened if I didn't tell the Feds to forget the whole thing
    my life would be made real uncomfortable there. So I blew it off...and I
    stabbed one of the black M.F.'s that raped me about 6 times with a pair
    of 6" scissors. I wasn't caught and I don't know if he died or what.... I
    don't need the added pressures of being labeled a punk."
    — M., from Beaumont, Texas
    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)
    Last edited by Anders Hoveland; May 05 2012 at 05:53 AM.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland View Post
    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)
    Just to be clear, is the premise of this thread racist, or concern about conditions for prisonsers in US prisons?

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