Prison and Penalties

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  1. lizistanton profile image60
    lizistantonposted 13 years ago

    If a man commits a crime and sentenced to prison, he is sentenced to much more:  sexual assault, physical assault, malnutrition, lack of medical care, pain, lack of mental health care and isolation from society.  Of all the above, the only thing actually mandated by law is segregation from society.

    Since most people who are convicted to a prison term will return to society, basic minimal care must be given them while they are incarcerated, to avoid the further damage to the individual and further erosion of basic mores.

    Prison would not be fun in any case.  But to withhold pain medication and medical care, to be taunted and brutalized, to have mental health problems remain unaddressed merely further coarsens the inmate for his return to society -- it degrades his humanity.  And, having taught him that brutality is an appropriate way to treat another human being, we turn that devolved individual onto the streets with no support system.

    Recidivism will continue to run in the 70-80% range absent some positive changes in the penal system.  Inmates, especially first term inmates, must be treated, educated, and given the tools to re-enter society and become a productive members of our country.

    Remember, they are sentenced to be removed from society.  If we then turn them into brutes and scofflaws, we do not promote the health of our society.

    1. dyonder profile image72
      dyonderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The warehousing of our criminals has led to many grave social ills. I know when I was in, prescripition medication was handed out (without a doctor's prescription) by the guards to anyone who wished for it immediately after dinner. For many this simply added to their prior drug addictions. For others, prison was a career college: the education they obtained 'inside' from more experienced cons led to further crimes (& violence) once they were released. The privatization of prisons has only exacerbated the problems you've mentioned. We now have minimally trained  prison staff (because of various companies efforts to underbid each other to obtain contracts), not enough staff, and little or no following of standard prison policies. It has been time for an overhaul for quite awhile. With the police's focus on community oriented policing it would be nice if that same attitude was brought to prisons - being more proactive with criminals and their erroneous choice of careers. Perhaps then we could welcome them back into the fold, so to say.

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      aren't they that already? i'm talking about murderers, rapists, grifters, etc.

      you know, the kind of person who thinks nothing of committing a home invasion in the middle of the night, terrorizing people, tying them up, stealing from them or kidnaping them to empty their bank account then leaving them in the desert with a bullet in their head?

      "we" do not "promote the health of our society"?

      we get them off the street - how is that not healthy? their parents did a crappy job of raising them; how is that my fault?

      i always understood American prisoners received medical/dental/psychiatric care when they needed it - is that incorrect?

      what should we do, have tea parties for them so they can talk about their feelings?

  2. Ron Montgomery profile image60
    Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years ago


    That was very thoughtful and concise.  Are you sure you belong here? wink

  3. J-Ramirez profile image61
    J-Ramirezposted 13 years ago

    I completely agree with you on the idea of re-inventing the way that prisoners are rehabilitated in this country.  You make very good points about the suffering that these people endure while they are locked away.
    Theoretically, that was the original purpose of the prison system. On one hand it was supposed to isolate these individuals away from normal society while at the same time attempt to teach them the correct way to behave. The problem came when prison was seen as a way to forget about the problems going on.  Prisons have been overpopulating at increasing rates over the years because they have become storage bins for anyone that society does not want to deal with.
    I guess what I am saying is that I completely agree with you, but the reform has to come more in the application of the system rather than the philosophy behind it.

  4. pylos26 profile image69
    pylos26posted 13 years ago

    Yeah!!! how come prisoners cain't vote and run for office. @&%#@^*&.grrr...

    1. cheaptrick profile image76
      cheaptrickposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Because they were those "Frank Sinatra"hats like you do.(just playin bro)...

  5. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    I agree, but our legal system is so messed up in the first place. I know people who served more time for having four marijuana plants than the guy who molested my daughter served - and it was the child molester's second offense. Also, I think you serve longer for counterfeiting money than you do for murder.

    1. Cagsil profile image72
      Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That shows that the government considers money more valuable to them than a citizen's welfare.

      So, who is protecting citizens?

  6. Vicki99 profile image69
    Vicki99posted 13 years ago

    Prison is not intended to rehabilitate inmates... it is intended to segregate them from a society that they have wronged. It is intended to give them nothing but time to think.

    That being said, I am all for rehabilitation, education, and reentry into polite society. I believe they should be able to see a doctor or dentist. I am also a staunch advocate for bringing back chain gangs and making all inmates work for thier own upkeep. They can run farms to keep them from being malnourished. They can learn skills that may be capitalized on by the penal system in order to foot the bill for payment of doctors, dentists, educators, and guards who all play a part in taking care of these individuals. Not only will the inmates be learning a bit of self responsibility and paying thier own way, they will also have gained a vocation to help in returning to "the outside."

    Not only do I have to pay for my own medical, dental, housing and food, but I have to pay for them too through taxation. Really now, they wrong me and my neighbors and now we are expected to baby them.

    It should be so difficult in prison that an individual wants no part in any activity that might land them in jail. It is a punishment, not an exttension of the welfare system.

    1. profile image49
      begallposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I truly agree with you Vickie

  7. aware profile image65
    awareposted 13 years ago

    its messed up when we care more about gitmo detainees .than American prisoners

  8. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    Prison colonies, they're free to have a life but they can't come back here.

  9. Bovine Currency profile image60
    Bovine Currencyposted 13 years ago

    A good prison system will create even better criminals.

  10. profile image58
    C.J. Wrightposted 13 years ago

    The unfortunate truth is that prison is designed to serve only two purposes. First to separate the criminal from law abiding society. Second to punish.  What happens, abeit unintentional, is no doubt inhumane.  People are warehoused. They are piled into small spaces with the mentally ill and hardened career criminals. Listen to the jailers and cops...they are telling you whats the source....its the same from the pen to the street....GANGS.

    1. Bovine Currency profile image60
      Bovine Currencyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Those hardened prisoners were once first timers also.  I have met some characters in my life.  Some are in jail now, many have been in and out and some stay out.  It ain't a pretty place but some of the guys (and girls) I know whom have reformed, whether or not they have gone back to their ways, these people are some of the kindness I have ever met.  These are hardened criminals, career bank robbers, guys who have held up pharmacies, street pimps, drug traffikers, down to fraudsters, petty theives and hustlers.  Punishment yes and separation from society, yes but there are also many crimes that go untried.  Unfortunately, for those smart and lucky enough, they don't get caught, lucky by many means but smart in a very sick way.  Just the sort you will find in any office block in any business district.  You cannot change only one cog and expect it will do any good.  If the machine is broken, the cog will only break again.  I am not talking about liberalism, I am talking about looking for the enemy ignored.  Maybe society will never implement real change because it is too much work and nothing for number one.  Just my thoughts, no absolutes on offer.

  11. Bovine Currency profile image60
    Bovine Currencyposted 13 years ago

    same story in australia.  makes me sick.

    we got a guy in jail here doing 25 years for conspiracy to traffic drugs (given, he is a true sociopathic, beyond help and quite possibly one of the most feared men in town) but as you say, at least every week some mongrel is getting away with crimes against children.  Makes me so so sick and not only at the perpetrator but the judicial system also.  I don't read the paper much anymore.  One day I think I might have just cracked.

  12. profile image0
    A Texanposted 13 years ago

    I'm all broke up about prisoners not getting treated right, maybe they know what their victims felt like, somehow I don't think they care how their victims felt.

    1. Bovine Currency profile image60
      Bovine Currencyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      that's awesome Tex.  Your grandkids might thank you when another 3 generations of crime families are equally fed up with serving time and getting no second chance.  If you don't give people a chance then you are contributing (as a society) to the problem.  Why bother if there is no chance to change?  That is why crime is not getting better.

      1. profile image0
        A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        No cow boy you're awesome, crime isn't getting better because criminals don't stop committing crimes, thats what criminals do. I know you probably think holding hands and singing kumbayah will make the world a kinder, gentler place but all it really does is make criminals feel emboldened to commit more crime!

        1. Bovine Currency profile image60
          Bovine Currencyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Sorry Oh wise one, I have realised the ills of my ways, please can I join your clan, help me be perfect like you...please sir

          1. Bovine Currency profile image60
            Bovine Currencyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            What you think you know about me Tex.  Its all wrong.  Your assumption about me is a symptom of your very mediocre insight into the reality outside your needs and desires. 

            What are you suggesting Tex, that because I do not support the death penalty that I want to sing and hold hands with every criminal?

            You are naive and you try insult me?  I am not hurt by ignorance.  It is the ignorant whom suffer most.

  13. Cagsil profile image72
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    To truly understand "Prison and Penalties", we(you and I) must set out on a journey of sorts and find the underlying cause.

    Now- let's separate what we do know- Murderers, Serial Rapists and Killers, Vengeful Killers, Pedophiles(extreme offenders) are to be punished by the full brunt of the Law.

    This is where a lot of people will begin to separate themselves, based on what they've learn in life and not what's best of society. Why do I say that? Because, each of those criminals was be executed according to Federal Law of Capital Punishment. ALL of them. This saves on housing them for the rest of their natural born live. Once, this action has been implements and cost effective(which I also have an answer for), and followed-thru-upon. Then, Capital Punishment will become a deterent for crime.

    The present USE of the Capital Punishment and the fact that NOT every State in America uses it, is to be addressed. That means, it should be on the books, in each and every, State in the Country. Either that- or all criminal cases with those particular criminals, automatically goes to Federal Court and the sentence can be used, and implemented.

    Housing criminals, hardened repeat offenders and killers, with first time offenders is definitely not the answer. Taxpayer tax revenue isn't used as much as it used to before. The Government has out-sourced prisons to many individual companies.

    So, who is really at fault for what happens in prisons? The company that owns it.

    Just another thought to leave you with.

    1. Bovine Currency profile image60
      Bovine Currencyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Prison should be about reform.  I think you are all looking at it not the wrong way but without enough angles.

      Also with capital punishment, where does that leave the significant load of cases that are then proven to be wrongfully judged, be that mistaken investigation, corrupt investigation or some other factor.  It happens often enough so where is the line drawn and at what sacrifice?

  14. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 13 years ago

    Lizi -- Would you like us to pay for tennis courts and swimming pools while we're at it?

  15. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    There's so much injustice in "justice." It's all about who has the money, the power, the best attorney. Two men who commit the exact same crime should receive the same sentence - but that's not how it works. Man A gets a slap on the wrist; man B does time. I've seen it happen too many times.

  16. profile image0
    Scott.Lifeposted 13 years ago

    First Question how many of the posters here have actually served time in prison, second how do any of you know first hand what goes on in there? Or what the inmates deal with except for something you read or saw on TV? Do you have alot of criminal friends?

    I served my time and you know what I deserved it. I made choices that were careless and thoughtless and damaging to others. I didn't hurt anyone, physically or try to, I didn't steal or rob, but what I did do was make a man and his family scared of their own shadow because When I was younger and stupider I felt that I was invincible and above the law and the God of my own world. In hindsight, I knew better, but I thought I could get away with it, but I didn't. I plead guilty to a class D felony and served my time. That was seven years ago, yet due to court backups and overcrowding it took another four years before I was able to serve that sentence. In the meantime I had to pay damages in the name of mental anguish and after release received a nice bill for my medical costs, housing, and food, while I was incarcerated. Though my sentence was served in full, so I can not be jailed for non-payment they would only have garnished my wages until the bill was collected so I paid.

    I paid the debt society and the courts dictated I should for threatening to beat a man who had embezzled 3000 dollars from my wages over a period of 11 months. For doing that I received a two year sentence and a conviction that will never go away. Despite the time that has gone on since my offense or my growth in maturity and wisdom, or the fact that I have never been in any more trouble before or since means nothing. My honorable service as a US Marine means nothing. I will be discriminated against the rest of my life and judged by people just like some of you here, who ironically have done the very same thing I was convicted of, repeatedly, except you were never caught or observed.

    The truth is as a felon your debt is never paid and you will always be labeled as a criminal by a huge majority of Americans who ignore their own failures and mistakes while judging you because you were arrested. Many will sit back on their moral hypocritical high horse and talk about justice and laws and morality. I paid my debt and repented from my crime where is my forgiveness and second chance to prove myself? My Victim, and former employer he is doing quite well, his business had made him over 8 million dollars in the last year and he has retired. He has moved on, I will never be able to escape the shadow of my past, every time I apply for a job, school, a car loan, or ID my past is thrown back in my face and I get to re-live the worst time of my life all over again.

    There are some who are monsters and deserve to be locked away in a dark place forever, and that is the life they chose. yet the majority of inmates in America are guilty of making a bad choice yet once in the system they will be marked for life, excluded from opportunities to change and prosper, discriminated against and looked down on. Prisons are criminal factories and profit houses and nothing more don't insult those inside by pretending there's anything related to justice involved in the process.

    1. cheaptrick profile image76
      cheaptrickposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Your service as an honorable Marine means the Whole F#@%*ing world to me dude...

    2. profile image58
      C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This is exactly the type of situation that occurs all too often. Justice is not blind! Its a numbers game. When you are arrested and who's making the accusation can matter more than the merits of your case when it comes to sentencing and certainly plea barganing.  Granted, you have to do something to get yourself in that position, however once there and faced with a felony conviction, all sentences are life sentences. That's a HUGE problem.  Keep your head up Marine.

    3. profile image0
      TMinutposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That would hit a whole lot harder if I didn't know two convicted child molesters who say the very same thing. One is furious that no one forgets what he's done but he constantly stays around children, or did until he just went back to jail. The other said he had a good excuse for molesting the little seven-year old and people shouldn't keep "throwing it up in his face."

      If we could kill of the real sickos who relish talking and reliving their perverted and horrifying crimes, we could use the system to give help to the ones who could benefit from it. We could also put the $$ to better use at reforming the whole system.

      1. profile image0
        Scott.Lifeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I've noticed alot of posters with an obsession to child molesters on these threads you need help pal.

        1. profile image0
          TMinutposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Scott said: I've noticed alot of posters with an obsession to child molesters on these threads you need help pal.

          ?? Need help because of hating child molesters? If you mean me specifically (didn't sound like it but not sure), I never wanted to meet so many of these guys in my lifetime. Don't know why that would mean I need help.

          1. profile image0
            Scott.Lifeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            No because every thread concerning crime and prison on these forums the past few weeks inevitably turns towards child molesters who are proportionally one of the lowest numbered classes of offenders yet people like yourself seem bent on comparing every offender to these people, in your efforts to lump all criminals and offenders into one category. If you hated them as much as you say then you'd kill them yourself. Yet the two you know are still alive, why is that? Oh yeah because even people like you have to obey the law and when you don't you pay. Society meaning people like you determine sentencing and policy if you have a problem with it then do something beyond the same old tired kill em' all routine or is that just the heart of the real issue, that you'd rather talk and judge then work to fix the problem? yeah I thought so.

            You need help to see that not all criminals are child molesters and evil people deserving of your bullet and anger, but that would require some kind of empathy and reason beyond just putting a bullet in their head. You talk about being fair to different parts of the population after advocating killing a whole class of people, yeah buddy you're balanced alright or suppressing some real buried issues.

  17. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    I also remember the guy who went to prison for killing the man who molested his little girl. He didn't belong there, at least not without a metal bat to go after the child molesters he was in there with.

  18. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 13 years ago

    The previous posts pretty well cover the spectrum...which brings up my point:  There doesn't seem to be a single answer.  I've not served time (in this life) but surely could have.  My wife and I've been pen pals with close to 200 female pen pals over the past 13 years, and one of those will permanently join our household after completing her ten year sentence for armed robbery.  The truth is that every viewpoint has validity.

    That is, some of the folks "inside", like Scott and our friend Tawny, do get their acts together and go on to live their lives as best they can upon release.  Many are mentally ill, many are addicts of one sort or another, and yes, some were actually framed. 

    Of considerable interest is the difference from state to state--none of our contacts have been in federal prison, so I can't comment on that, but....

    In many states, inmates who have work details are allowed to earn a bit of money--the average being $20 to $30 per month--but Georgia does not allow any inmate to earn a penny.  Florida will refuse any letters and harrass the inmate receiving them if they (the prison staff) know contact came through a pen pal ad.  Generally, state owned prisons are preferred by inmates over privately owned prisons (the latter being a booming business these days). 

    This is turning into a Hub, so:  Bottom line, the "nice" versus "awful" factors in U.S. prisons present a complicated problem.  If any one change, or even one set of changes, could noticeably improve for the "average" inmate OR the "average" victim, I'd love to hear about it.

    1. cheaptrick profile image76
      cheaptrickposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Very clear and concise.
      You Sir are clearly a man of Balance.
      I believe the Privatization  of our prisons is a big red arrow pointing directly at Fascism...

  19. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    Well, Ghost, that does make things a lot more difficult. I'm not sure prison should be standardized because different areas in America have different lifestyles, that's why we are America. It's a mixture of everything. Hard to say though.

  20. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 13 years ago

    TMinut, I didn't mean to suggest prisons should be standardized.  Quite frankly, that would imply federal control, and I'm dead set against that in pretty much all its forms.  All I was getting at is the fact that no one solution (if there is one) is going to cover all the bases.

  21. pylos26 profile image69
    pylos26posted 13 years ago

    Ghost...your post is inspiring and my feelings and respect go out to you. So many people don't realize or care just what you are saying...pylos

    1. profile image0
      Ghost32posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Pylos.  As far as I'm concerned, though, it's people like Scott (and our friend Tawny) who are the most inspiring and who deserve the greatest respect of all.  Anyone who's been slapped upside the head with a prison sentence and uses the experience to forge a new and improved self...that's impressive. 

      In Tawny's case, she walked around in shock for the first year of her incarceration...but then got her act together, decided to pull herself up by her own bootstraps (so to speak), took every self improvement course the prison had to offer, and became the person who's become our best friend in the world--and her own best friend at the same time.

      1. pylos26 profile image69
        pylos26posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you.

  22. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    Nope, Scott, I'm not lumping them all into the child molester category. I AM saying that the ones that are, and the serial killers and heinous criminals should be killed.

    Neither am I just running my mouth because two of the ones I know are still alive. I still have an underage child at home, maybe it's just not my time yet.

    1. profile image0
      Scott.Lifeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Here's the irony, this very post right here is enough to convict your for conspiracy to commit murder in 12 states. You talk about killing like its a sport and then call people monster, that's funny how your morals don't apply to yourself.

      1. profile image0
        TMinutposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        You're being too touchy about it. My whole point is you don't know what I'm thinking other than what I've said yet you've accused me of lacking empathy, not living by morals I apply to others, etc. I do NOT have empathy for serial killers, true. If you think that means I'm a terrible person, oh well.

        1. profile image0
          Scott.Lifeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I'm pointing out what you have said in your own words, you said them now take responsibility for them. I am touchy when people like yourself call for the deaths of people in defiance of the law and the constitution because its expedient or easier for you. This is how all kinds of discrimination and sponsored killing begins with just a few then when they're gone who's next, well let's just move down the line to the level of criminal below them. You know nothing about taking a life or serving a prison sentence but you know what its like please, I put your own words back on you and now you don't like it.

      2. profile image0
        Ghost32posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Accurately put, Scott.

    2. cheaptrick profile image76
      cheaptrickposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Would'nt studieng them give us some possibilities of how to deal with these people?

      THEN we could sort out those that can be repaired and those who must be stopped.The methods are really secondary don't you think?
      I favor execution rather than segregation because the latter drains money from humanitarian causes,but thats just my opinion...

  23. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    You said:
    You need help to see that not all criminals are child molesters and evil people deserving of your bullet and anger, but that would require some kind of empathy and reason beyond just putting a bullet in their head. You talk about being fair to different parts of the population after advocating killing a whole class of people, yeah buddy you're balanced alright or suppressing some real buried issues.
    Whole class of people? No, a whole class of monsters.

  24. mistywild profile image60
    mistywildposted 13 years ago

    I'm from Texas so I say Go Death Penalty. As for our prisioniors why whould we as taxpayers have to pay more of our taxes for priosoners medical, psyhoclogical or whatever else medical from our paychecks. We are already giving up 33% of our total income for the taxes we have not to mention state and local tax.

  25. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    QUOTE: You know nothing about taking a life or serving a prison sentence but you know what its like please, I put your own words back on you and now you don't like it.
    You don't know whether I do or not.

    And yes, I do want it to be official, I don't see a problem with that. That's different from sanctioning just anyone killing a criminal without due process. It's not in defiance of the law at all, it's working to make it part of the law.
    But I do agree that it can be abused and will be and has been. There are many people in prison that can and should be helped, not hardened.
    I don't really see what your anger is about here.

    1. profile image0
      Scott.Lifeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sure you don't because killing is just a means to an end for you and something to be done wholesale. But you know that having taken lives and served prison time yourself I'm sure.

  26. profile image0
    TMinutposted 13 years ago

    I'm not so stupid as to continue this online but perhaps you'd do well to realize everyone's experiences affect them in different ways. Wholesale killing? You exaggerate the point.

  27. Beyond-Politics profile image74
    Beyond-Politicsposted 13 years ago

    Read this:  "A Hollywood Solution To Crime." … -have.html

  28. SpanStar profile image61
    SpanStarposted 13 years ago

    Relationships in prison?

    I understand prison are a bad place but what I can't get my head around is why are men prisons like that of caged animals when compared to most women prisons they are much more humane and civilized?  Why do male prisoners feel a need to setup gangs in prison, establish color line barriers and frankly make sure things remain hostile and threating?  Are they so much different from their fellow man?

  29. theirishobserver. profile image60
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    America imprisons more of its people than any other nation in the world yet its worst offenders - bankers - property speculators and so forth remain free - let the law treat everyone equal smile

    1. SpanStar profile image61
      SpanStarposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with that point you just made

  30. MikeNV profile image70
    MikeNVposted 13 years ago

    In the United States they are not malnourished and they do get health care.

    "Prison inmates are the only Americans with a constitutional right to health care, and the cost to deliver it is on the rise. States spend 10 percent of their corrections budgets on average to cover the cost of inmate health care  -- a total of over $3 billion annually."

    There are people who would argue against this "free" care.

    Source: … ntId=13721

    You should specify where you are talking about.  You should also have an alternative to incarceration.

    There actually are bad guys out there that need to be separated from society.

    I do however agree with your statements in principal that prisoners must be cared for in a way that doesn't make them worse when they get out.

  31. mikelong profile image61
    mikelongposted 13 years ago

    I love the assumptions people make about those behind bars...

    They talk about "their victims" and the like....society "babying them" with tax payer funded food, housing, and the like...

    Evidently none of these people have known very many who have ended up behind bars....

    My brother has been incarcerated 5 times.....

    The first was for vandalism....tagging....  The victim?  Some walls...

    I wonder how those walls felt...

    The second time he was driving on expired tags and was caught with a firearm in the backseat of his car....being on parole...that was  a no no...

    Again....the victims of this crime must be hurt.....oh victim...

    The third time he was arrested it was for another parole violation...he was picking up marijuana from a dealer when the police happened to raid the place...

    Where's the victim?

    The fourth and fifth times my brother did nothing at all....he was the complete victim of a corrupted justice system.... He was the victim....

    The whole idea of separating people from society so that they can pay "pennance" (where the word penitentiary comes from) in isolation are failed and flawed fantasies of the past...that ceased to be considered a possible reality even by the end of the 19th century...

    Our jail/prison system is better at cementing criminal ties and passing on bad relationships and problems than solving them.

    There is too much money being made by business and other private interests..... 

    While people talk about the "taxpayer" burden....imagine the struggles of families with loved ones behind bars....

    My family pays its taxes....which did go to paying for my brother's stay behind bars....yet, the families also end up serving like ATM machines for private businesses who rake in huge profits off inmates...

    Keefe Commissary contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department (who oversee the largest jail system in the world, let alone the United States).

    The government enables Keefe to supply prisoners with all kinds of goods, from soap and toothbrushes, to food items....with a huge markup..

    One package of instant ramen noodles....something that costs 10 cents in any store...costs over a dollar on the inside...  Toothpaste....everything comes with a huge mark up......  Who pays these costs?  Prisoners don't have money......but their families do.

    And Keefe takes it all the way to the bank.....

    Too much money is made of people (and their families) who are locked up....and more needs to be done to ensure that, like my brother, the police aren't just making things up....phantom crimes, to create the illusion of justice....

    I have seen this happen too many times.

    As for the constitutional rights of those behind bars....they are widely abused...

    My brother was telling me a story of abuse he witnessed behind bars....there was an inmate who was deaf....and the guard assigned to him stepped out of the room...another guard (who was obviously "roiding"--tripping out on steroids--walked up and started yelling directions at this inmate....who of course could not hear or understand the guard...

    This Los Angeles County Sheriff proceeded to beat this prisoner within an inch of his life....

    My brother witnessed all of this, but when it came to filing a complaint....that is something that does not happen....the officers met, arranged a report stating that the inmate had attacked the guard...and the whole dispicable act disappeared.  The guards asked the prisoners who were witnesses if they "had anything to say"....of course they didn't....  Open your mouth and it will be your bloody pulp that is taken to the hospital...with all the witnesses claiming that you attacked a cop..

    Nonsense... I have much worse stories than this one....but will let you all chew on this for awhile...

  32. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    As with most other groups of people, inmates aren't all the same - and a whole lot of people who act criminally never even become inmates.  What happens to cold-blooded murderers, rapists, and child-molesters is one thing.  What happens to someone who "screwed up" because he messed up with something like money because he didn't really even understand he was committing fraud is another thing.  What happens to a stupid teen who found himself a passenger in the wrong crime-involved car is yet another, and so is what happens to the long-time battered wife who snapped and killed her husband.

    The mistreatment some people endure while in prison may turn some into worse criminals, but in the case of some people who weren't "hardened" criminals in the first place, sometimes it just turns them into permanently beaten-down people.

    One size doesn't fit all people in any group; and one of the biggest things people so often do is lump everyone in any group (teens, old people, overweight people, rich people, poor people, homeless people, celebrities, prisoners, etc. etc.) and think they "have all the answers".  It's easier to lump everyone into one thing, and it gives people a chance to feel superior and self-righteous. Trying to address "different categories" or even individual-cases makes things far more challenging; and I think when people realize the answers aren't so easy then, it makes them uncomfortable (and takes away their chance to feel self-righteous in a lot of cases).

    I like mikelong's and habee's posts, because I've been treated like a criminal by the court system even without ever committing any crime and without being behind bars - all for leaving a marriage.  On the other hand, the drunk who drove a speeding car into the one I was in, and who killed my 20-year-old friend, was fined $20 and lost her driver's license for a year.  The lawyers who either screwed up or pulled crap and covered it up, and who contributed to the death of my mother are off "doing their thing" somewhere - not in prison.  In fact (and more directly related to this thread), a lot of people in prison are there because of similar lawyer-screw-ups, cover-ups, and incompetence - or else because the truth doesn't matter when it comes to the court system).

    I know one thing:  Even by only being treated like a criminal (for something like simply leaving a marriage), I'm no longer the person I once was.  I've pretty much competely removed myself from the state and country I once considered my own.  I hate more than I ever knew a person could hate.  I'm a whole lot tougher and (even though I'm not different when it comes to the people I don't hate) a whole lot nastier.  I'm harmless, but I've actually prayed that terrible things happen to "certain people" (and that's from a person who's actually a pretty nice, and otherwise compassionate, person).

    I guess the thing is, when you're a victim (or know victims) of mistreatment and crime; you become meaner and want nothing more than whoever caused the mistreatment/victimization to be seriously, seriously, made to suffer.  It's why few people care what happens to child molesters, cold-blood murderers, and rapists (and rightfully so); but it's also the thing that can turn some people (especially the younger ones) really-really tough, nasty, vengeful, and angry with "the world".

    (Oops - whenever someone raises the issue of justice, injustice, The System, etc., I tend to rant.)   hmm


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