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Author Topic:   Crime and Punishment
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 192 days)
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


(14)
Message 1 of 40 (639154)
10-28-2011 12:47 PM


After some off-topic discussion in the Occupy Wall Street thread, I'd like to talk briefly about correctional systems.

This is one of our prisons, now i cant find the pictures from the inside but its not a bad place to live and on the plus side everything is free, the rooms, the tvs, the food, ....

So i kinda am in favor of "enslaving" prisoners for punishment cause this clearly is not a punishment.

Im not saying we should use them as miners or gladiators, .... Just give them something to do like cleaning up parks, building roads, .... make them actually pay their debt to society, not accumulate new ones.

When a crime is committed, there are three basic priorities:

1) Protect citizens and society
2) Punish the offender
3) Ensure that the crime will not be repeated

Prison is one of the tools used by correctional systems around the world as a response to crime. The advantages of incarceration include protecting citizens and society by separating the criminal from the rest of the population, and in providing a negative consequence for crime.

Unfortunately, the basic human reaction to crime tends to focus almost exclusively on punishment, under the assumption that treating "criminals" with sufficient harshness will provide a deterrent to them and other potential criminals against breaking the law in the future (hypothetically providing the third goal, preventing recidivism).

The problem is that it doesn't work that way.

American prisons are, no joke, torture chambers. They aren't just unpleasant hotels. You lose all rights to privacy, you're confined like an animal, guards will treat you (and beat you) like an animal, in some cases you're led to slaughter like an animal, and your only daily association is with other criminals.

In other words, once you're sent to prison (even for a minor crime), your only influences are negative. The positive influences in your life, like family and friends, are separated from you. You're typically forced to join a gang to avoid brutal beatings and sexual abuse (which will often happen anyway), and the guards will not care, as their only goal is to keep you locked up, not to protect your rights or safety.

What do you think would happen to you if you were convicted of a minor crime? Imagine you're sentenced to prison for 5 years and get out on parole in 2. You would spend two entire years of your life, years you cannot get back, away from all of your friends and family. You would lose your job, and (unless someone else like a spouse steps in to pay) your housing. You'll spend two years locked in a series of cages, able to make virtually no choices of your own, typically fearing beatings or rape every day. The only "skills" you learn include advice from other criminals - largely how to commit bigger crimes and get away with it more often.

Then you get out...but now you're a convicted felon. What job will hire you? Whatever your prospects for employment before your conviction and incarceration, now you're condemned to a lifetime of menial jobs for barely any money. College won't help even if you can afford it - employers don't typically hire convicted felons regardless of their education. You have no money, you likely have no home of your own and are living with family or friends, you've been traumatized for two years straight, and your future looks no brighter because you can't find a decent job.

What do you think happens? Would you turn to crime again rather than be a janitor for the rest of your life? Do you think you might have some built up anger over your treatment?

That's the friendly side of American prisons, for a short sentence. Imagine 10-20 years of prison gangs and the threat of beatings and rape, with little contact with your family, restricted access to basically everything, and guards who'll beat you senseless at the slightest hint of defiance.

You cannot possibly imagine even a single year of solitary confinement. It will quite literally drive you insane.

quote:
The isolation units at California's Pelican Bay prison hold more than 1,200 inmates. They live in small, windowless cells, often for years, with virtually no human contact.

So - the US is extremely "tough on crime." We punish criminals of all sorts worse than anyone else int he First World, provide longer sentences, and execute more people. We focus hard on the "punishment" aspect of correction.

What's the result? To me, what matters in a system (other than ethics) are its results.

From the Department of Justice.

Our recidivism rate is roughly 70%. If we send a person to prison, our "correctional" system is so super effective at deterrance and rehabilitation that there is a 70% chance that you will commit another crime and be sent back to prison.

And over a 10-year period, it got worse.

And check this out:

From Wiki.

quote:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009 — about 1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.

quote:
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world (743 per 100,000 population), Russia has the second highest rate (577 per 100,000), followed by Rwanda (561 per 100,000).[4] As of year-end 2009 the USA rate was 743 adults incarcerated in prisons and jails per 100,000 population.[2][4] At year-end 2007 the United States had less than 5% of the world's population[26] and 23.4% of the world's prison and jail population (adult inmates).[5]

According to the New York Times:

quote:
Still, it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. ... "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable."

We have a higher proportion of citizens in prison, we lock them away for longer under worse conditions...

...and there's still a 70% chance that any inmate we release will wind up getting arrested all over again.

Slovenia, by comparison, has only 1099 prisoners. Total.

Only 59 citizens per 100,000 are in prison. They're 123rd in the world.

The US is #1. We have 715 per 100,000.

I'm not exactly cheering.

Just as an example, since I couldn;t find English stats on Slovenia, heere's some info about recidivism in Cuba:

quote:
In Cuba, the emphasis is more on rehabilitation and a return to the community than on punishment or societal isolation. Prisoners are allowed to wear street clothes, earn a comparable income (to that of a free person who holds the same occupation), and are incarcerated in their home province no matter what their security level is. Additionally, prisoners become eligible for a conditional release program halfway through their sentence (for sentences of under five years), through which they work on farms or in factories with co-workers who are not informed of their prisoner status. Through this program, offenders are also able to visit their families at home (unsupervised) twice a month for three days at a time. Of those prisoners who participate in alternative programs such as the conditional release program, the recidivism rate is about 15%.”

Even Cuba, a communist dictatorship, treats inmates better than Americans do.

Secondly for good behavior you can get the weekend off and go home lol crazy but true.

I don't think it's crazy at all, Frako. I think it actually works. I think that treating criminals like they're human beings who made a mistake results in lower crime rates and less risk to society than treating them like animals, locking them up and forgetting about them.

I think the focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation has poisoned the entire US "Justice" system. We set our criminals up for failure. The result is that we pay dearly, in taxes for incarceration, in the social cost of permanently ruining felons' chances at becoming productive citizens again, and morally, because we have essentially instituted legalized, systematic torture.

I disagree with Frako. I think Slovenia, like many European countries with similar correctional practices, have it right. They get better results. And they don't sacrifice any pretense of ethics.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by frako, posted 10-28-2011 2:13 PM Rahvin has replied
 Message 5 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 6:40 PM Rahvin has replied

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2932
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 2 of 40 (639168)
10-28-2011 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 12:47 PM


Well if you make the prisoners work and i mean hard work like digging ditches they would not have the energy to rape each other after they are done.

now all they do is lay around the prison think how to smuggle in drugs, how to keep the other group from smuggling in drugs so they get a bigger share of the profits, and how enhance their sexual life from the daylie rutine from ms, left and ms right. And when they are bored they think about how to not get caught again and share their ideas.

Of course there also hasto be a carrot on the other side of the stick.

Im all for getting the prisoners educated, we dont have many problems of ex prisoners not finding work cause no one asks i sure didnt i had a worker that was drunk and crashed into a house killing 2 of his passengers he got a few years in jail for it found out about it 6 months after i hired him dint fire him after i found out lol.

There are jobs that you cant have with a criminal record but hay thats life.

Im also all for it that the prisoners get payed for the work they do so they can pay of their mortgages and stuff like that

But im also for that prison is a living hell within the law, no entertainment(not tv, no basketball, no drugs, no cigarettes, no raping, no chatting the day away) just work food, sleep and an education if you are willing to educate yourself. ,


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rahvin, posted 10-28-2011 12:47 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Rahvin, posted 10-28-2011 2:31 PM frako has replied
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 192 days)
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 3 of 40 (639172)
10-28-2011 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by frako
10-28-2011 2:13 PM


Well if you make the prisoners work and i mean hard work like digging ditches they would not have the energy to rape each other after they are done.

Says you. I'm somewhat skeptical of such a claim.

now all they do is lay around the prison think how to smuggle in drugs, how to keep the other group from smuggling in drugs so they get a bigger share of the profits, and how enhance their sexual life from the daylie rutine from ms, left and ms right. And when they are bored they think about how to not get caught again and share their ideas.

And how would this be different in a "hard labor" scenario? Would you ban all convict communication while at work? Otherwise, what do you suppose will be on their minds while they do hard, menial labor? What do you think they'll be talking about while they pick cotton fields or dig ditches?

Of course there also hasto be a carrot on the other side of the stick.

In the US, there is only a stick.

Im all for getting the prisoners educated, we dont have many problems of ex prisoners not finding work cause no one asks i sure didnt i had a worker that was drunk and crashed into a house killing 2 of his passengers he got a few years in jail for it found out about it 6 months after i hired him dint fire him after i found out lol.

There are jobs that you cant have with a criminal record but hay thats life.

There is obviously a rather distinct difference between Slovenian employment and American. Felons can rarely find jobs here. Every employment application asks "have you been convicted of a felony?" Most jobs perform criminal background checks. Felons frequently can't even get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers.

But im also for that prison is a living hell within the law, no entertainment(not tv, no basketball, no drugs, no cigarettes, no raping, no chatting the day away) just work food, sleep and an education if you are willing to educate yourself.

I bolded a bit. Why? What urges you to support making the life of another human being as miserable as is legally possible (and I'll note that, in the US, that's pretty miserable - the difference between legal misery and illegal misery is differenciated only in the specific manner it is caused)?

Do you know what happens to the human mind when you disallow any recreational time?

I note that you didn't even once respond to the actual statistical facts regarding crime and punishment in the US vs other nations. You didn;t even once address the differences in how nations persue the goals of safety, punishment, and rehabilitation.

You've said what you support. But why do you support it? In what way do you think making prisoners more miserable will make the world a better place? What goal is better served?

Are you just being an Internet Tough Guy and suggesting that convicts are "bad" and that they "deserve worse?" What scale are you using to determine who deserves what?

None of those questions are rhetorical. I'd actually like to see answers. Saying "they should have to work" doesn't mean much unless you explain your reasoning.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by frako, posted 10-28-2011 2:13 PM frako has replied

Replies to this message:
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frako
Member
Posts: 2932
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 4 of 40 (639193)
10-28-2011 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 2:31 PM


Says you. I'm somewhat skeptical of such a claim.

Trust me when you work hard the only thing on your mind after its over is to go to sleep, if it isnt then you havent worked hard enough.

And how would this be different in a "hard labor" scenario? Would you ban all convict communication while at work? Otherwise, what do you suppose will be on their minds while they do hard, menial labor? What do you think they'll be talking about while they pick cotton fields or dig ditches?

Theyl be thinking im not even gonna get a parking ticket after im out this is hell i rather flip burgers in a steaming hot room for minimum wage.

In the US, there is only a stick.

well as you can see the stick only method does not work.

There is obviously a rather distinct difference between Slovenian employment and American. Felons can rarely find jobs here. Every employment application asks "have you been convicted of a felony?" Most jobs perform criminal background checks. Felons frequently can't even get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers.

Then that is your problem if an ex fellon cant get a job survival will kick in and he will find some way to get food clothing, and a roof over his head.

I bolded a bit. Why? What urges you to support making the life of another human being as miserable as is legally possible (and I'll note that, in the US, that's pretty miserable - the difference between legal misery and illegal misery is differenciated only in the specific manner it is caused)?

Because he broke the rules we live by and i dont want him to brake anymore especially around me, (i dont want to get robbed), and if the punishment is severe enough he may tink twice before doing it again.

Do you know what happens to the human mind when you disallow any recreational time?

Dunno maybe we should ask an Amish guy how he feels about not watching tv and playing basketball.

ut why do you support it? In what way do you think making prisoners more miserable will make the world a better place? What goal is better served?

The goal being served is a deterant but the deterant only works if there is a carrot at the other side.

And basically the goal being served is giving the person a "spanking" (any disciplinary action) that he never got from his mom or dad.

side note: " rarely got spanked as a kid, but my parents had better lessons for me if i came home drunk i dint get yelling or spanking i got a disappointed speech, and work as early as possible in the morning the "torture" made me think twice about drinking"

What the american system does is, is locking the people who never lerned that actions have conciquences together and hope they learn their lesson and then throw them out when their time is done and not give them any chance in life afterwards. If they cant get a job their only option is crime.

What should be done is show them the consiquence if you brake the law you get punished then when that is shown enable them to live normal lives. The stick has to be mighty heavy and the carrot has to be in eyesight.

Are you just being an Internet Tough Guy and suggesting that convicts are "bad" and that they "deserve worse?" What scale are you using to determine who deserves what?

Never been to prison hopefully never will. On what scale do we determine who gets how many years in prison? Everybody should get the same treatment in jail, the better they behave the more privileges they should get.

On a side note i dont get the life sentences if someone gets life whiteout parole it would be easier for all parties if he gets the chair. I know i would rather get the chair then life whiteout parole.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

This message is a reply to:
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GDR
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 5 of 40 (639203)
10-28-2011 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 12:47 PM


I'd just like to add one thing to your really well written post Rahvin. I have heard of cases, I believe this not to be uncommon, of people who reoffend simply because incarceration is the only way they can get by in life. After spending time in prison they have completely lost their ability to cope in the outside world.

You talk about family visits being important. I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately lack of family contact is one of the reasons that many wound up there in the first place. I just can't imagine spending 5 years in a prison environment and then all of a sudden have to go back into a world with no loved ones to help me establish a new life. I might very well feel more at home and safer in prison.

One of the things as Christians that we are called to in Matthew 25 is to visit those in prisons. It appears to me that there is good reason for that. It is important to have on-going contact with the life that exists outside of prison. As a Christian I'm a miserable failure in this regard.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rahvin, posted 10-28-2011 12:47 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 7 by jar, posted 10-28-2011 7:40 PM GDR has replied

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 192 days)
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 6 of 40 (639204)
10-28-2011 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by GDR
10-28-2011 6:40 PM


I'd just like to add one thing to your really well written post Rahvin. I have heard of cases, I believe this not to be uncommon, of people who reoffend simply because incarceration is the only way they can get by in life. After spending time in prison they have completely lost their ability to cope in the outside world.

In the US this is exacerbated by the fact that society itself resists re-integrating former prisoners. How can you reintegrate if you can't find a job, if all of your doors are closed?

You talk about family visits being important. I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately lack of family contact is one of the reasons that many wound up there in the first place. I just can't imagine spending 5 years in a prison environment and then all of a sudden have to go back into a world with no loved ones to help me establish a new life. I might very well feel more at home and safer in prison.

One of the things as Christians that we are called to in Matthew 25 is to visit those in prisons. It appears to me that there is good reason for that. It is important to have on-going contact with the life that exists outside of prison. As a Christian I'm a miserable failure in this regard.

It's not specifically family, really. You need a support group. For many, a family serves this purpose. For others, it's friends. For some, it's an actual support group like AA.

But these are the people you feel closest to, the people you turn to in a time of need. Being deprived of those people, being surrounded instead with people who actively want to hurt you constantly and with no possible escape...

Getting a visit from some Christian likely wouldn't have much of an effect, GDR, so I wouldn't feel too terribly bad. They need their outside support group, their friends and families, not a random stranger, regardless of good intentions.

I think the best thing we can do is to petition for better prisoner treatment, and try to break the endless cycle of "being tough on crime." Being tougher does nothing but make the criminals harder and more desperate. Showing a person inhumanity will serve only to make that person view others as inhuman, as potential threats, as competition, and as prey.

I can add a personal anecdote that some might find interesting.

One of my loved ones was arrested not terribly long ago. She was taken to the County jail for processing. The charge was felony spousal abuse - she had gotten in a struggle with her fiance over an attempted suicide (she has an anxiety disorder and was changing medications under the supervision of a doctor; one of the medications made her suicidally depressed), and wound up hitting him on the head to escape his grasp. Her aunt had been on the phone when the struggle began, and called 911.

She was treated like scum from the moment she was brought to the jail. They did a physical examination as if she was an animal. When she politely asked a guard to repeat herself, she was told "you better watch your mouth or something bad is gonna happen to you." She was kept in a room with other newly arrested women of all types, with no place to sit, no food, no toilet paper, one toilet with no privacy at all, and feces smeared on the walls for the entire duration. She has a terminal illness, and they would not give her her medication or tell her when it would be dispensed. She was in a constant state of panic (due mostly to her panic disorder) for the entire duration, with no ability to get help except to call us to ask to bail her out.

Because the charge was a felony, bail was set at $50,000. The "victim," her fiance, didn't even want to press charges. He didn't call 911. But we had to collectively come up with $5000 to pay a bondsman to get her out. Otherwise she would have needed to stay until trial.

This was before any charges were officially filed by the DA. This is what they do to people before they're even judged guilty.

It took over a month for her to even be able to see her assigned Public "Defender." The PD was not on her side - she used scare tactics to try to frighten her into accepting any deal the DA would offer.

Eventually, we were able again to come up with some more money to pay for a real lawyer, and the case was pled down to a misdemeanor.

Because the misdemeanor was for a "violent" crime, she may still have trouble returning to school or finding employment whenever a background check is performed.

This wasn't in some back-country small town. This was in a state capitol. There was no justice. She was not treated as "innocent until proven guilty." She was treated like a subhuman animal, worthy of contempt and scorn.

And it wasn't even prison. It was a holding cell at the County jail.

Is this how we should treat even the guilty? I wouldn't support keeping even a convicted rapist in conditions like those. It was torture, plain and simple.

I can support the idea of a prison, a facility used to keep dangerous criminals separated from the rest of society. I don;t at all support the way the US system uses prisons. I don't at all support forcing prisoners to work hard labor on top of being separated from their lives, their friends, their families.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 6:40 PM GDR has replied

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jar
Member
Posts: 33889
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 7 of 40 (639205)
10-28-2011 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by GDR
10-28-2011 6:40 PM


Today Jesus would say "Keep the Christians from visiting the prisons"
GDR writes:

One of the things as Christians that we are called to in Matthew 25 is to visit those in prisons. It appears to me that there is good reason for that. It is important to have on-going contact with the life that exists outside of prison. As a Christian I'm a miserable failure in this regard.

Unfortunately, far too many Christian groups do visit folk in prison, but for the wrong reasons and when there, do exactly the wrong things.

Too many Christian groups act as "chaplains" or "counselors" in prisons and go there to "take the Good News of Christ" instead of going to feed, comfort, educate, clothe. In reality, they are nothing more than another way for the State to avoid providing the help that the prisoners really need and instead simply peddle platitudes and word salad.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 6:40 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 7:58 PM jar has seen this message
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 192 days)
Posts: 3966
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 8 of 40 (639207)
10-28-2011 7:54 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by frako
10-28-2011 4:27 PM


Trust me when you work hard the only thing on your mind after its over is to go to sleep, if it isnt then you havent worked hard enough.

I'll trust you when you provide evidence.

Why do you think forced labor is a justifiable punishment? Why do you think it works as a deterrent? Why do you think it prevents recidivism?

Do you have any reason other than your own personal "gut feeling?" Do you know of a single study, any sttistical evidence whatsoever that could back up these sorts of claims?

I've provided ample data that additional harshness doesn't serve any useful purpose. Why would forced labor be particularly different? What gives any society the ethical right to treat people like slaves for any reason at all?

Theyl be thinking im not even gonna get a parking ticket after im out this is hell i rather flip burgers in a steaming hot room for minimum wage.

Again, that;s your "gut" talking.

You don;t think some would be thinking about how to not get caught next time? Maybe kill the witnesses?

Do you know what happens when punishments get sufficiently harsh, Frako? It doesn't stop crime, because harsh punishments do absolutely nothing to affect the causes of crime in the first place.

Once upon a time, theft was punishable by execution, the same as murder.

Do you know what happened?

Thieves started killing their victims instead of just stealing. No witnesses, you see, and the punishment was the same either way...so why leave the liability around?

"Deterrence" is a myth. It works for you and me, those who aren't suffering from the root causes of crime in the first place, because we have something to lose.

When the US re-instituted the death penalty, murder rates didn't drop.

Why do you think that adding additional misery will actually have any effect whatsoever on actual crime and recidivism? Why do you disregard every statistic on the subject?

well as you can see the stick only method does not work.

The stick doesn't work at all.

Then that is your problem if an ex fellon cant get a job survival will kick in and he will find some way to get food clothing, and a roof over his head.

The menial jobs he can find will do that. He just has no way to escape that bare existence. Nothing to look forward to, no hope. Which, in many cases, may not be too terribly different from before incarceration...

...which means the solution is to address the root causes of crime in the first place, and help criminals such that they can see a promising future without resorting to crime.

Prison doesn't do that. Hard labor doesn't do that. No amount of punishment can ever do that.

Because he broke the rules we live by and i dont want him to brake anymore especially around me, (i dont want to get robbed), and if the punishment is severe enough he may tink twice before doing it again.

He won't. Statistics show that even threatening death does not deter crime. Deterrence is a myth.

Dunno maybe we should ask an Amish guy how he feels about not watching tv and playing basketball.

The Amish do other things for recreation, but it's still recreation. Don't be a wise-ass, Frako. Why take away television, which may be their sole source of information about the outside world? What harm does it do to let them play basketball?

The goal being served is a deterant but the deterant only works if there is a carrot at the other side.

What's the carrot? We know from statistical data that "deterrence" is a myth. The harshness of the penalty does not deter crime. So what's the magical "carrot" you propose, and why couldn't we just use the carrot without the stick?

And basically the goal being served is giving the person a "spanking" (any disciplinary action) that he never got from his mom or dad.

Spankings don;t work either. Punishment doesn't address the reason for crime. If the reason still exists, crime will still happen.

What should be done is show them the consiquence if you brake the law you get punished then when that is shown enable them to live normal lives. The stick has to be mighty heavy and the carrot has to be in eyesight.

But the stick doesn't have to be heavy. That's the issue here. Harsher punishment does nothing to reduce crime rates or recidivism. We've tried. Doesn't work. Deterrence is a myth. The humane European prisons, which do things like allowing prisoners to go home for the weekend, like letting prisoners have privacy in the bathroom, like letting prisoners live in humane spaces that don;t resemble dog kennels, they have far lower crime rates.

What evidence do you have, other than your "gut feeling," that harsher punishment will result in deterrence?

Have you ever heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Frako?

Because your opinions are disturbingly reminiscent of the experiment's "guards."

You aren't alone, of course. Most Americans are right there with you, much to my disgust and dismay.


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GDR
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 9 of 40 (639208)
10-28-2011 7:55 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 7:31 PM


Rahvin writes:

Getting a visit from some Christian likely wouldn't have much of an effect, GDR, so I wouldn't feel too terribly bad. They need their outside support group, their friends and families, not a random stranger, regardless of good intentions.

I was primarily thinking of those without family or friends that are willing to take the time to help. I don't see it as visiting to say hi once in a while but forming a supporting relationship that extends past the time they are released.

I agree that the idea of just showing up once in awhile to fill some perceived requirement would do more harm than good.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

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GDR
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 10 of 40 (639210)
10-28-2011 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by jar
10-28-2011 7:40 PM


Re: Today Jesus would say "Keep the Christians from visiting the prisons"
jar writes:

Unfortunately, far too many Christian groups do visit folk in prison, but for the wrong reasons and when there, do exactly the wrong things.

Too many Christian groups act as "chaplains" or "counselors" in prisons and go there to "take the Good News of Christ" instead of going to feed, comfort, educate, clothe. In reality, they are nothing more than another way for the State to avoid providing the help that the prisoners really need and instead simply peddle platitudes and word salad.

I agree jar, they can do more harm than good. It can't be a self-serving thing which helps the visitor to feel good about themsleves.


This message is a reply to:
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Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 3851
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 11 of 40 (639214)
10-28-2011 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by frako
10-28-2011 2:13 PM


frako writes:

Well if you make the prisoners work and i mean hard work like digging ditches they would not have the energy to rape each other after they are done.

Ditch diggers have no children?

Slaves who worked 16 hour days in the fields had no children?

Surely you can see this claim is nonsense.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 31 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


(1)
Message 12 of 40 (639215)
10-28-2011 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by GDR
10-28-2011 7:55 PM


I was primarily thinking of those without family or friends that are willing to take the time to help. I don't see it as visiting to say hi once in a while but forming a supporting relationship that extends past the time they are released.

Why do you have to do that as a christian? Why can't you do it as a human being?


"Why don't you call upon your God to strike me? Oh, I forgot it's because he's fake like Thor, so bite me" -Greydon Square

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 7:55 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by GDR, posted 10-28-2011 8:56 PM hooah212002 has seen this message

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 40 (639216)
10-28-2011 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 7:31 PM


Who Really Needs the 'Correcting'?
Obviously the 'justice' system in the United States is completely broken. And it isn't for any unpreventable reasons either.

It comes solely down to a matter of mentality and motives.

And that is why the situation is so hard to rectify.

Jon


Love your enemies!

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GDR
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 14 of 40 (639218)
10-28-2011 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by hooah212002
10-28-2011 8:18 PM


hooah212002 writes:

Why do you have to do that as a christian? Why can't you do it as a human being?

It goes without saying that you can do it as a human being. As human beings we are called to help those that need it. It is just that visiting prisoners is specifically mentioned in the Gospels.


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Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 3851
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 15 of 40 (639219)
10-28-2011 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Rahvin
10-28-2011 7:54 PM


"If you ain't got the do re mi, boys..."
Rahvin writes:

Harsher punishment does nothing to reduce crime rates or recidivism. We've tried. Doesn't work. Deterrence is a myth. The humane European prisons, which do things like allowing prisoners to go home for the weekend, like letting prisoners have privacy in the bathroom, like letting prisoners live in humane spaces that don't resemble dog kennels, they have far lower crime rates.

Rahvin, you've come full circle to the connection I see with OWS--economic injustice creates a criminal class, and that injustice follows that class throughout their prison experience. For many prison alumni, their first prison experience is a brutal radicalization--not a political radicalization, but one of deep, abiding rage against a world that first denied them opportunity, and then denied their very humanity.

Half or more of U.S. prison populations are incarcerated for drug offenses--offenses, I might add, that frako and others of us have casually discussed here. There are still states in the U.S. where you will serve more time for giving your nice neighbor lady a joint than for raping her, and those convicted and punished for such "soft" drug offenses are placed in the general prison population.

In 2009, more than half (50.7%) of all people incarcerated in federal prisons were there for drug offenses, 5.8% for property crimes, 35% for "public order" offenses (immigration, weapons, etc.), and only 7.9% for violent offenses.*

While the racial disparities seen in conviction rates and sentencing are well known, the true determinant of your fate in the hands of American Justice is class: a college student from an affluent family with sufficient funds and connections who is busted with cocaine is unlikely to serve any time at all; a high school drop-out without those resources is almost certain to face incarceration. If that drop-out is black, of course, the incarceration will be longer.

But the blighted prison landscape has some garden spots. There is one segment of the prison population that enjoys more enlightened treatment: white collar criminals.

Excerpted from the Corporate Crime Reporter:

quote:

Expert Names Top Five Prisons for White-Collar Criminals

Fear not, dear corporate CEO.

There is a guide for your post-conviction life.

It’s called the Federal Prison Handbook 2005.

And it’s co-author – Alan Ellis – wants you know – there is prison, and there is prison.

While the guidebook profiles each of the nation’s 178 federal prisons, only about a third of them are minimum security prisons – or federal prison camps – suitable for your average CEO.

And Ellis says – this is what you want – a federal prison camp.

While the fabled Club Fed is a thing of the past – you know, get up the in morning, play golf, steak and lobster for dinner – federal prison camps are a cut above your other currently available alternatives.

Ellis is a lawyer who specializes in federal sentencing and post-conviction remedies.

The federal system houses 180,000 prisoners.

Ellis estimates that about ten percent, or 18,000, are white collar criminals.

In an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter, we asked Ellis to name his top five prisons for white collar criminals.

Here’s his list:

Yankton, South Dakota. “A stand alone federal prison camp,” Ellis says. “A vanishing breed. These are camps that are not satellites to larger more secure institutions. It happens to be a converted college that went defunct. It’s in the middle of the town, not on the outskirts. There is a lot of community programming. People leave during the day and come back at night.”

Englewood, Colorado. “That’s outside of Denver,” Ellis says. “It’s a satellite camp to the federal correction institution there. I’m told by my clients that it is a pretty laid back place.”

Texarkana, Texas. “The federal prison camp there has an drug and alcohol treatment program,” he says. “It has a pond stocked with fish. And one of my clients said he liked to spend his day fishing.”

Sheridan, Oregon. A federal prison camp outside of a medium level security facility about 60 miles from Portland.

Pensacola Naval Base. “You get out during the day, you work on the Naval base, you intermingle with Navy personnel,” Ellis says. “The food is better. You are outside. I’ve had people who were taking care of the grounds at the admiral’s house. The admiral’s wife would bring out lemonade, invite the inmate in for lunch. Things of that sort.”

“If you are Jewish, I would say the federal prison camp at Otisville, New York, about 70 miles from New York City,” Ellis adds. “It has programs for orthodox and religious Jews. It has religious furloughs where people leave the prison for religious holidays.”

Ellis says that while most white-collar convicts are assigned to federal prison camps, getting into a federal prison camp is not slam dunk automatic. (See Interview with Alan Ellis, San Rafael, California, 19 Corporate Crime Reporter 30, pages 10 - 16, July 25, 2005, print edition only).


*Source: West, Heather C.; Sabol, William J.; and Greenman, Sarah J., "Prisoners in 2009," Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 2010), NCJ 231675, Appendix Table 18, p. 33. ===== http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p09.pdf


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
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