Third Party & Independents Archives

May 13, 2005

Rape in Prisons - Simple Solution

When men in Congress contemplate rape in US prisons, two thoughts probably comprise most of their opinions. 1) What do prisoners expect, daycare? 2) Men are by natural definition driven to sex, therefore, it is an unsolveable problem. But, underlying both of these thought processes is the assumption that rape in prison just comes with the punishment, free gratis. Ending rape in prisons would have an effect on the number of rapes in civilian society. If it were not tolerated in prison, fewer parolees would be conditioned to it upon release.

All that is lacking to virtually end rape in prisons is political will. The victims of rape in prison are no less helpless than a child kidnapped for the same purpose by a pedophile. And the act by the perpetrator is reinforced everytime they commit another rape in prison. Rape is an act of violence, and failure to end rape in prisons is a failure by American society to also prevent violence perpetrated by those revolving through our prison doors. America must end this cycle of violence and there is no better place to halt the cycle than in prison where officials have almost total control of the environment.

The solution is simple. Pass laws making rape in prison a capital offense. DNA would virtually guarantee every perpetrator was caught, isolated, and tried for their capital offense. This one simple law and act by the American people would also put pedophiles on notice... their crimes may become capital next. It is high time Americans quit excusing this act of violence as a natural act. It is time America put rape on the same level as murder and put an end to one of the seedbeds of this type of crime, our prisons.

An excellent personal story of this heinous violent act is examined in an article by Daniel Brook, entitled, The Problem of Prison Rape.

Posted by David R. Remer at May 13, 2005 09:10 PM
Comments
Comment #54765

Put them in tiny individual cells and never let them see the light of day.

Problem solved.

Posted by: Zeek at May 13, 2005 09:20 PM
Comment #54767

We can’t build prisons fast enough as it is, Zeek. Your solution is too expensive and does nothing to force potential perpetrators to choose not to commit the crime. Prevention does not condition alter behavior. The trick is to convince prisoners that rape is NOT an act they choose to engage in.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2005 09:26 PM
Comment #54772

David,

“Your solution is too expensive and does nothing to force potential perpetrators to choose not to commit the crime.”

Hm, you’re telling me that even if we were to severely cut the living quality in prisons that we would not be able to raise enough money to build extra prison space? I find that hard to believe… But then, I don’t really know any prison statistics so I can’t argue that point very well. My suggestion, however, would be to make prisons tiny hell holes where prisoners are forced to do labor.

Posted by: Zeek at May 13, 2005 09:48 PM
Comment #54775

It seems to me that prisons are designed to fulfill multiple, even conflicting, goals. One of the most obvious goals is containment, prisons are a place we send criminals to remove them from society, to end their threat to the public at large. Another goal is punishment for their crimes. A third goal is rehabilitation. There may be others I have not considered.

In the light of the first and second goals, punishing criminals for crimes committed in prison is a laughable concept. Who are we protecting from these crimes, other criminals? Isn’t the idea of getting raped an added punishment for those who have been convicted? And wouldn’t it cost an insane amount of money to police and prosecute prisons themselves?

But, as David has pointed out, in light of the third goal of rehabilitation, it would be wise not to turn prisons into places where men are further conditioned to animalistic acts against society, since we are of course planning for them to be released in the future in most (if not all) cases.

Of course, if we are taking rehabilitation as our guiding light, then we can quickly realize that making prison rape a capital crime is not the answer, since rehabilitation and capital punishment are antithetical to one another. Not to mention the issues involved with making it a capital crime to rape a known criminal in jail, but not to rape an innocent on the street. Or is the argument for both, a way to end all rape rather than just prison rape?

Putting criminals into full isolation would seem to work better, it is at least internally consistent with the ideas of isolation and punishment, and does not contradict the idea of rehabilitation. Of course, given the prison terms involved, there may be questions as to the humaneness of such treatment over such lengths of time, but that may be acceptable to those who call earnestly for harsher punishments. I’m not sure.

I don’t have any answers on this, but I think the issues involved need to be looked at more closely, and especially considered in light of what goals we are really trying to achieve with the prison system.

Posted by: Jarin at May 13, 2005 10:21 PM
Comment #54779

David -

I applaud you for taking on this unsavory issue. It’s the opposite of political gold, but as you pointed out, the conditioning of prisoners to accept rape as normal certainly spills out onto the streets. And that’s not to mention the spread of AIDS and other diseases in the prison context.

However, I would question the usefulness or legality of making prison rape a capital offense. First of all, the cases won’t be nearly as clear-cut as you make it out, because DNA can’t determine between consensual sex and rape. And while consensual sex is still generally illegal in prison, it surely can’t be a capital offense. Second, the cost of prosecuting the cases would be massive. Last, I’m uncomfortable (and I believe many others are likewise) with the idea of a capital punishment for a non-murderous crime.

However, we do need to find some way of stopping rape. The obvious difficulty is discipline: with what can you threaten an incarcerated man? Death, as you pointed out, is one option. Solitary confinement is another; corporal punishment is a third.

This is obviously an issue for states to tackle, and is one where our knowledge is limited, so we can benefit from seeing how well different ideas work when executed on a small scale. I would be interested to see what measures have been attempted so far, and with what effect.

Posted by: Chops at May 13, 2005 10:37 PM
Comment #54789

Chops, thanks. I chose rape, for capital punishment for two reasons. First, capital punishment would virtually end rape in the prisons. Very, very few criminals in prison want to die.

Second, is because rape in prison is not a crime of passion - it is a deliberate, premeditated and calculated crime designed to fulfill a desire, whether that desire be sexual gratification, expression of power or dominance, or revenge. Halting rape in prisons by making it a capital offense will in turn halt a great deal of the thinking and desire gratification behavior that fosters acts of violence in prisons. It will force prisoners to find other ways, hopefully more constructive and socially acceptable ways, to fulfill their needs, not the least of which is security.

Few of our prisons actually make any real attempts at rehabilitation, and those that do, gear those programs toward the willing population. Segregation of violent prisoners from non-violent prisoners should of course be one of the fundamental tenants of our penal system. It isn’t.

That is because political authority actually tolerates and promotes the concept that if society can’t beat the hell out of prisoners, we can create conditions in which they beat the hell out of each other. This is more costly to society, more dangerous for prison guards and other personnel, and counter productive in terms of decreasing crime by parolees in the general society.

Murder and attempted murder in prison should also be capital crimes. We as a society can no longer afford millions in our prison systems being conditioned to return to prison by their previous stay in prison.

Let me repeat that. We as a society can no longer afford millions of men and women in our prison systems being conditioned to return to prison by their previous stay in prison.

America must take two practical steps. First, rehabilitate those who can be rehabilitated and genuinely assist them in becoming normal citizens again after release. And second, we must display a zero tolerance policy toward those who cannot or will not rehabilitate.

Many circumstances can lead to crime in society. Who among us has not lost their head at one time or another or acted irresponsibly? In prison however, one should not be able to escape the every waking moment reminder that to get out, they must become like normal citizens on the outside. That is not the climate American authorities foster in our prisons today.

Isolation as a punishment is not rehabilitative. That is not to say there is not a place and role for isolation. But isolation is at best a temporary solution to an immedate threat. At worst, it becomes an abused form of punishment and coercion which offers nothing in the way of rehabilitation and most often fails to coerce anything but more hostile and violent reaction.

Gangs in prison exist to fulfill a basic need our authorities fail to provide. Prisoner security. Our authorities must find a means of replacing gang based security inside the joint with prison sponsored security that reflects a will and intent to aid and assist prisoners toward rehabilitation. And with the trust capital that this would generate among 100’s of thousands more prisoners, recidivism would likely be greatly reduced.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2005 11:30 PM
Comment #54792

Zeek, severely cutting the living quality in prisons would only foster more animalistic, anti-social behavior and insure that more parolees come back into society with hatred and spite toward that society. In other words, it would do virtually nothing to reduce recidivism or increase rehabilitation of those we intend to release back to society.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2005 11:34 PM
Comment #54798

I found the following at SPR.org:

“The horrors experienced by many young inmates, particularly those who are convicted of nonviolent offenses, border on the unimaginable. Prison rape not only threatens the lives of those who fall prey to their aggressors, but it is potentially devastating to the human spirit. Shame, depression, and a shattering loss of self-esteem accompany the perpetual terror the victim thereafter must endure.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Farmer v. Brennan

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 13, 2005 11:55 PM
Comment #54811
Chops, thanks. I chose rape, for capital punishment for two reasons. First, capital punishment would virtually end rape in the prisons. Very, very few criminals in prison want to die.

I would accept it as an axiom that very few living beings anywhere would want to die. But experience has shown that capital punishment for other crimes does not virtually end those crimes in our society, does it? I’m not sure of your logic here.

Second, is because rape in prison is not a crime of passion - it is a deliberate, premeditated and calculated crime designed to fulfill a desire, whether that desire be sexual gratification, expression of power or dominance, or revenge.

Personally, I think you would find that rape outside of prison fits this description too. Rape as a crime of passion seems to largely be a myth.

Halting rape in prisons by making it a capital offense will in turn halt a great deal of the thinking and desire gratification behavior that fosters acts of violence in prisons. It will force prisoners to find other ways, hopefully more constructive and socially acceptable ways, to fulfill their needs, not the least of which is security.

Again, I’m not yet convinced that just making something a capital crime means instances of the act are reduced, even in proportion with the likelihood of being caught. I think you also forget that in order for someone to be caught and prosecuted for this, the crime must first be reported, and many male prisoners may not want to report being victims of such a crime. It’s also notable that genetic evidence would largely be absent in cases of same-sex rape of females by other females, so your method would only work for the population of male prisons.

Few of our prisons actually make any real attempts at rehabilitation, and those that do, gear those programs toward the willing population. Segregation of violent prisoners from non-violent prisoners should of course be one of the fundamental tenants of our penal system. It isn’t.

Isn’t that at least part of the reasoning behind maximum security prisons vs minimum security ones? But assuming you’re right and there is no real attempt to segregate the population, or only a token attempt, wouldn’t such sorting only be to separate the metaphorical wheat from the chaff? Those deemed violent would be placed in with others who are violent, possibly much more so than themselves, while those who were not would be placed in with others who are not. The former would be, by nature, much less prone towards rehabilitation, while the latter would practically be given a free pass towards it if they don’t act up significantly during their stay.

In my opinion, rather than separating the prisoners I think it would make more sense to try to create environments where violence and rape really cannot occur. Either prisoners are being left unsupervised for too long, or there are guards turning their backs to allow rapes to happen under their noses, I believe. Cellmates are probably also a bad idea… 8 or more hours of sleep a night, pretty much unsupervised, leaves fertile ground for illicit and violent interaction.

That is because political authority actually tolerates and promotes the concept that if society can’t beat the hell out of prisoners, we can create conditions in which they beat the hell out of each other. This is more costly to society, more dangerous for prison guards and other personnel, and counter productive in terms of decreasing crime by parolees in the general society.

I completely agree.

Murder and attempted murder in prison should also be capital crimes. We as a society can no longer afford millions in our prison systems being conditioned to return to prison by their previous stay in prison.

Let me repeat that. We as a society can no longer afford millions of men and women in our prison systems being conditioned to return to prison by their previous stay in prison.

At this point, we already have millions who are so conditioned… is it really just to suddenly begin killing them for it when our previous system may be what conditioned many of them to behave this way in the first place? It’s also rather cynical to punish those who commit these crimes with death when you’ve openly posited that the political authority has fostered such behavior to make prison conditions harsher and more punishing, and have suggested no repercussions for those politically complicit in creating such conditions and the monsters that have resulted from them.

America must take two practical steps. First, rehabilitate those who can be rehabilitated and genuinely assist them in becoming normal citizens again after release. And second, we must display a zero tolerance policy toward those who cannot or will not rehabilitate.

I fully agree with your first step. I completely disagree with the second one. I would support a zero tolerance policy for the crimes you suggest, but by this I mean zero tolerance towards the acts themselves… every effort taken to eliminate even the chance that they could happen. But zero tolerance policies of the kind you suggest just mean that we’ve decided that point
is the one at which we give up, stop trying to rehabilitate the criminal, and taken the expedient route of eliminating him rather than merely eliminating the objectionable behavior. (And keeping such criminals in isolation, or under strict supervision, and away from the general populace would eliminate the behavior.)

Many circumstances can lead to crime in society. Who among us has not lost their head at one time or another or acted irresponsibly? In prison however, one should not be able to escape the every waking moment reminder that to get out, they must become like normal citizens on the outside. That is not the climate American authorities foster in our prisons today.

Agreed.

Isolation as a punishment is not rehabilitative. That is not to say there is not a place and role for isolation. But isolation is at best a temporary solution to an immedate threat. At worst, it becomes an abused form of punishment and coercion which offers nothing in the way of rehabilitation and most often fails to coerce anything but more hostile and violent reaction.

Doesn’t that apply equally to the isolation of prison itself?

Gangs in prison exist to fulfill a basic need our authorities fail to provide. Prisoner security. Our authorities must find a means of replacing gang based security inside the joint with prison sponsored security that reflects a will and intent to aid and assist prisoners toward rehabilitation. And with the trust capital that this would generate among 100’s of thousands more prisoners, recidivism would likely be greatly reduced.

Again, it strikes me that this truth applies equally to gangs outside of prison. Makes one wonder how much initial acts of crime would be reduced if those needs were met by authorities outside of prison, before recidivism even becomes an issue.

Posted by: Jarin at May 14, 2005 02:05 AM
Comment #54817

Prisons also need two other important changes:

(1) To increase security in prisons, install surveillance cameras everywhere and make them obvious. They will provide a deterrent, and provide proof of a crime. There’s no right of privacy (criminals forfeit that when they became criminals), and it’s for everyone’s own protection (inmates and guards).

(2) Prisoners need to be put to work to help pay their own expenses and pay restitution.
And, as an incentive, if there’s anything left after they pay their own way and pay all restitutions, they might get to keep/spend part of it, or receive part of it upon release.

Some states (e.g. Ohio) are trying to do this.

Some callous people say things like: Who cares? Prison ain’t supposed to be fun. However, that’s counter productive, because allowing people to be brutalized in prison is not creating better adjusted and rehabilitated people, it’s creating more disturbed and maladjusted people that will commit more crimes after being released.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 06:45 AM
Comment #54820

Jarin said: “And keeping such criminals in isolation, or under strict supervision, and away from the general populace would eliminate the behavior.”

But that also provides no opportunity for rehabilitation. One does not rehabilitate to society in isolation from it. And those who have committed violent acts outside and demonstrate they are still willing to commit them inside, are no more than a liability to society whereever they are.

I did not want to make the article too long, but, there is another extremely important aspect of dealing with crime in prisons. That is the insane and mentally unstable. The insane and mentally unstable should also be segregated from each other and the rest of the prison population. If their illness is remediable, they belong in criminal hospitals or psychiatric institutions (which we all but got rid of back in the 70’s and 80’s). If their illness is remediable, like certain character behavior disorders and some anti-social sociopaths, then sentences spent in isolation are the only answer. That is the most expensive of options though.

I am not saying we should go on the cheap with our prisons and jails. I am saying that we need a far more sophisticated system that recognizes both the differences in types of criminals as well as society’s obligation to act as humanely as possible while insuring the safety and security of all prisoners while getting the best possible rehabilitative results for our tax dollars.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2005 07:50 AM
Comment #54821

Jarin,

Again, it strikes me that this truth applies equally to gangs outside of prison. Makes one wonder how much initial acts of crime would be reduced if those needs were met by authorities outside of prison, before recidivism even becomes an issue.

The role of police has never been to anticipate and prevent crime in society, (unless of course they happen upon it), for to do so would turn our nation into a police state. However, prisons are already police states and rightly so. Therefore, we have an obligation to use that power to anticipate and prevent further crime within these controlled police state environments. Failure to do so is a political decision, and one that needs to be changed, at the very least in our federal system.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2005 07:57 AM
Comment #54822

More cameras everywhere (e.g. Transparency and Accountability) will discourage illegal behaviour.

Successful examples:
Public Buildings,
Banks,
Convenience stores,
School Buses,
Office Buildings,
Post Offices,
City Streets,
ATMs,
Baby CAMs,
Supply Warehouses,
Cash Registers,
etc.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 08:14 AM
Comment #54823

In all things, without transparency, there is opportunity. While most people are mostly honest (I think…if not, all the more reason for surveillance), there are always a few that will use those opportunities to commit crimes.

Cameras everywhere won’t bother honest people, who aren’t doing or even thinking of committing a crime, but it will be a deterrent to those comtemplating a crime.

Then, we won’t need gangs, more police on every corner, or stiffer penalties (which are an after-the-fact deterrent).

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 08:21 AM
Comment #54839
The role of police has never been to anticipate and prevent crime in society, (unless of course they happen upon it), for to do so would turn our nation into a police state. However, prisons are already police states and rightly so. Therefore, we have an obligation to use that power to anticipate and prevent further crime within these controlled police state environments. Failure to do so is a political decision, and one that needs to be changed, at the very least in our federal system.

I was using “authorities” more broadly than just the police, and including government in general.

Posted by: Jarin at May 14, 2005 10:20 AM
Comment #54841

Except for irrational (possibly insane) people, what keeps many honest, responsible, and accountable?

____Transparency____

…which serves to reduce opportunity, which reduces comtemplation of committing a crime.

For those that are predisposed to commit crimes, what (besided opportunity) prevents them from committing crimes?

____Accountability____

Punishment is a deterrent. But, opportunity
and lack of transparency leads to temptation for
some people to comtemplate and/or commit crimes.

So, in all things, a lack of Transparency and Accountability leads to abuses.
As the abuses escalate, the more accepted the behavior becomes, the more corrupt
the system becomes, and the more likely the system will fail miserably.

There are simple ways to achieve Transparency and Accountability in all systems.

First, identify areas of potential abuse, and simply make those areas transparent via:
(1) surveillance of an activity, or
(2) a procedural change of an activity

…which both remove hidden activity. For example:

(1) EXAMPLE of SURVEILLANCE OF AN ACTIVITY:
simply using cameras and surveillance helps discourage those predisposed to commit crimes; especially if they know surveillance systems exist; cameras on school buses, stores, cash registers, baby cams, ATMs, etc. discourage all but the very determined or stupid to carry through with a crime; and surveillance after the fact is often also very helpful in solving many crimes;

(2) EXAMPLE of PROCEDURAL CHANGE OF AN ACTIVITY:
simply change the process slightly, by passing a ONE ITEM PER BILLAmendment would make everything clear to voters as to what & why a bill was passed (or not passed); currently, with so many attachments, no one can know what or why a bill was voted for (or against); the transparency would illuminate the abuses of government and help to reduce or eliminate the pork-barrel, corruption, waste, bribery, influence of special interest groups, over-spending, etc.,

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 10:35 AM
Comment #54842

Jarin said: “And keeping such criminals in isolation, or under strict supervision, and away from the general populace would eliminate the behavior.”

But that also provides no opportunity for rehabilitation. One does not rehabilitate to society in isolation from it. And those who have committed violent acts outside and demonstrate they are still willing to commit them inside, are no more than a liability to society whereever they are.

You have posited that such people are impossible to rehabilitate. Implicitly, if not explicitly, with your argument that the penalty for their actions should be death. But you object to them being placed in isolation as it is not rehabilitative? Neither is death.

I would also suggest that isolation may be rehabilitative if it is used to strictly control who the criminal interacts with. If his only interaction is with trained professionals who are working to rehabilitate him, rather than with the type of “society” formed in prisons, perhaps more progress could be made. It strikes me that interacting with outside society in a positive manner and interacting with prison society in a positive manner can be two quite different things. The former should really be our goal, not the latter. I’d think how the prisoner interacts with the prison authorities would be much more important than how he interacts with fellow prisoners. Criminals probably aren’t good influences on each other, yanno?

I did not want to make the article too long, but, there is another extremely important aspect of dealing with crime in prisons. That is the insane and mentally unstable. The insane and mentally unstable should also be segregated from each other and the rest of the prison population. If their illness is remediable, they belong in criminal hospitals or psychiatric institutions (which we all but got rid of back in the 70’s and 80’s). If their illness is remediable, like certain character behavior disorders and some anti-social sociopaths, then sentences spent in isolation are the only answer. That is the most expensive of options though.

This sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure we really know enough about psychology yet to make it practical. We keep coming up with new disorders and such to explain pretty noirmal behavior. Where once kids were just naturally hyper, now it’s often diagnosed as ADD or ADHD and treated with medication. As long as diagnoses are proliferating like that, it seems to me almost everyone could get a note from their doctor explaining away what they did as a form of insanity or mental disorder. After all, doesn’t someone “have” to be crazy to commit crimes in the first place? I really think we need to study and learn a great deal more about the human mind before we could practically implement this.

I am not saying we should go on the cheap with our prisons and jails. I am saying that we need a far more sophisticated system that recognizes both the differences in types of criminals as well as society’s obligation to act as humanely as possible while insuring the safety and security of all prisoners while getting the best possible rehabilitative results for our tax dollars.

Is the death penalty really society acting as humanely as possible? Especially when you posit that many of these recidivists in our prison system have been conditioned to such behavior by the past system itself?

I agree, though, we likely do need a more sophisticated prison system that recognizes differences in prisoners and ideally treats them as individuals rather than as numbers. (I see little hope of truly rehabilitating anyone if you don’t understand them as individuals.) As long as public focus is on isolating them from the rest of society, and punishing them for their actions, though… I don’t think prisons will ever become that.

Posted by: Jarin at May 14, 2005 10:40 AM
Comment #54847

Just send the Prisoners to Iraq. I always like the Dirty Dozen feel of it. Its not as if the US had any credibility left to lose over there. Let the Criminals do their Time spreading freedom.

Posted by: Aldous at May 14, 2005 11:19 AM
Comment #54851

“Segregation of violent prisoners from non-violent prisoners should of course be one of the fundamental tenants of our penal system.” said David.

The best way to segregate is to not put non-violent offenders in a prison with the violent offenders to begin with.
Put monitors on them. Make them go to rehab. If they violate the terms of their ‘incarceration’ they then go to the ‘big house’ with the really bad elements of our society.
The idea of being sent to prison would probably be enough for most.
When in rehab show films of prison life as it REALLY is to the non-violent offenders.
There wouldn’t be as many prisoners and the prisons could be set up for different types of crimes and have rehab centers in them geared towards more specific issues.
Just a thought.

Posted by: Dawn at May 14, 2005 11:37 AM
Comment #54853

Aldous,

I know you’re being sarcastic, but I don’t see a problem with giving people who are sentenced to life the option of military service instead. Obviously, they would remain at the lowest ranks and would be under constant supervision. But they would have that much more freedom and they would be making a contribution instead of rotting in a cell.

Good topic, David.

Posted by: TheTraveler at May 14, 2005 11:53 AM
Comment #54863

|
| … we likely do need a more sophisticated prison system that recognizes
| differences in prisoners and ideally treats them as individuals rather than
| as numbers. (I see little hope of truly rehabilitating anyone if you don’t
| understand them as individuals.) As long as public focus is on isolating
| them from the rest of society, and punishing them for their actions,
| though… I don’t think prisons will ever become that.
|

…another good reason to make them work to:
(1) pay their own keep;
(2) pay restitutions;
(3) provide incentives to produce and earn funds to spend or use if/when released;
(4) learn new skills;
(5) get some exercise;
(6) build self esteem and sense of accomplishment by doing (1),…,(5) above;

For the criminals that are not deterred by surveillance,
productive incentives, and the opportunity to pay
restitution, etc., and still behave dangerously to
those around them, then leave them amongst
the general population, but put them in restraints,
so that they pose less (if any) of a danger to those
around them, but are still able to work and move around.

For the completely uncooperative, violently dangerous,
and hopelessly incurable criminals, isolation may be the
only alternative. Much like a mad dog with rabies, no
cure yet exists to remedy the problem. Fortunately,
this category is a small percentage of all prisoners.

Regarding the death penalty, I used to support it,
but the legal/justice system is so corrupt and flawed,
and so many innocent people have been incarcerated and/or executed,
that it’s impossible to support the death penalty any longer.
Thus, life sentences of labor, with no chance for parole, is the only alternative left.

By David Anderson:
| If a garden isn’t cared for and maintained,
| soon weeds will come and suffocate the ground.
| The capital punishment is like a mighty tree in a
| garden. If the garden, the judicial system, isn’t
| cared for in the right way it will also affect the tree.
| And just like dynamite can prepare ground for hospitals,
| houses, roads and tunnels, dynamite can also be used
| in a destructive manner when placed in the hands of
| aggressive dictatorship regimes.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 12:22 PM
Comment #54888

Good article.

Rape is pathological agression.
Rather than capital punishment, how about the same kind of shock treatments for people who rape that they give to those with schizophrenia? Shock treatments render people docile and unmotivated towards all forms of aggression. And if not that, how about a form of temporary chemical castration?

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2005 02:48 PM
Comment #54890

Just restrain ‘em, and put ‘em to work.
Put ‘em in retraints or chains, and leave
them in the general population to work and
move around. Get it? What happens if
the perpetrator of crimes is suddenly
restrained? The others won’t do anything,
unless they have total disregard for the
surveillance cameras. If they get caught,
they’ll also end up with restraints.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 14, 2005 03:05 PM
Comment #54918

Jarin,

You have posited that such people are impossible to rehabilitate. Implicitly, if not explicitly, with your argument that the penalty for their actions should be death. But you object to them being placed in isolation as it is not rehabilitative? Neither is death.

The point is, why should society continue to bear the cost for them if they can’t/won’t be rehabilitated? You continue to want to spend on those who will never come back to society as a productive member and who will continue to murder and or rape in prison. What is the point? If they are in prison for rape/and or 1st degree murder, and they continue raping and or murdering in prison, why should society continue to bear the cost for them if all potential for rehabiitation and return to society has been eliminated?

Are you looking to save them for Christian conversion at tax payer expense for the rest of their incarcerated lives? I don’t understand.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2005 06:53 PM
Comment #54919

OSI, sorry, but cameras are not the answer. Criminals who are concerned about cameras wear masks, or makeup; those who aren’t concerned about cameras would not be deterred by them in the first place. This argument just is not sufficiently beneficial to warrant the potential abuse of surveillance by unscrupulous authorities.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 14, 2005 07:00 PM
Comment #54927

David,

I agree with you about ending rape/prison rape up to the point on “capital crime”.

Not that I’m against that if it fits the crime, but rather that other means might be more effective in stopping such crime.

Why not just castrate them like you do hogs..slit the sack, grasp their “berrys”, and rip them out by the roots?

Trust me my friend, thats how its done on the ranch and they bleed much less.

It sounds painfull, and it may be somewhat, but just a few min.’s later you can pitch their “berrys” back into the pen and they will all gobbel em up!( unless you like mountain oysters, in that case save em)

Just the thought of that might keep the most hardened criminal’s ..sticker from pecking up!

I know it would for me!.. just a thought.

Posted by: Beagle at May 14, 2005 07:53 PM
Comment #54938

David:

First, I’m not Christian, I’m pagan.

My point is, if you are correct and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who have been conditioned to such acts by previous stays in prison as it presently exists, then has not society done the harm to them? Would not starting to capitally punish them for such actions, after being culpable in their conditioning to commit the acts, be a way of society wiping its hands of its mistakes rather than taking responsibility for them?

Posted by: Jarin at May 14, 2005 09:10 PM
Comment #54942

Let me clarify my comments in case anyone thinks I was joking or being sadistically sarcastic with my post.
Awhile back I read an article where they described how mental health professionals do still perform shock treatments on people with schizophrenia today — it’s just that now they are much more mild and not nearly as painful as they used to be. And they are actually very highly effective in reducing aggression and aberant behaviors in those people.
Since I don’t approve of capital punishment, but still think that rape in prisons is a horror perpetrated on the weak by those who are psychotically aggressive, I really do think it might be a good idea.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 14, 2005 09:55 PM
Comment #54957

Beagle said: ” Why not just castrate them like you do hogs..slit the sack, grasp their “berrys”, and rip them out by the roots?”

First, torture should never be a tool of our penal system. It just makes us as a society little better than those we incarcerate.

Second, rape is an act of violence. Remove a man’s penis or testicles, and you have not necessarily removed that man’s violence. Rape can and often does occur with things like pipes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2005 02:18 AM
Comment #54958

Dawn, good thoughts, and I would agree with the implementation of them all. It will take an initial capital investment to create the additional facilities, but, if it reduces recidivism, and cuts crime in prisons by a substantial amount, it would be well worth the cost, I should think.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2005 02:24 AM
Comment #54968

David R. Remer wrote:
| OSI, sorry, but cameras are not the answer.
| Criminals who are concerned about cameras wear
| masks, or makeup; those who aren’t concerned
| about cameras would not be deterred by them in
| the first place. This argument just is not
| sufficiently beneficial to warrant the
| potential abuse of surveillance by
| unscrupulous authorities.

David,
Sorry, but in my opinion, cameras and surveillance in prisons would work.
Place the cameras everywhere (some obvious and
some disguised and at many angles).
Therefore, cameras everywhere would indeed work,
because no one could even put on a mask
or makeup without being seen doing so.

And, anyone who still misbehaves will wear restraints.
And anyone who still misbehaves repeatedly
will be isolated.

In my opinion, it is the Death penalty that won’t work, and DNA can be planted, and some
will still believe that they can get away with it.
After-the-fact deterents are what don’t work
very well (e.g. threat of prison and death penalty),
because people still commit crimes (which is why the prisons are full of criminals).
Surveillance everywhere provides an obvious before-the-crime deterent and provides
the proof required to identify the perpetrator.
Tiny cameras are now economical and sophisticated (e.g. thermal, IR, etc.).
The cameras should be placed everywhere and
pointed in many angles. Some cameras should be
hidden and disguised also.

Also, some cities in Europe have reported huge drops in crime after installing
cameras everywhere. I agree, outside of prisons, people could use masks. But, if cameras are everywhere, it would be difficult for the perpetrators to not be seen fleeing, and where they fled to. Many cities are already installing cameras to monitor traffic and public buildings, etc.

Another thing that would make it difficult to commit crimes anonymously, is biometrics.
Biometric scanners could be used to restrict access to banks, public and government buildings, hospitals, stores, etc.

Even private citizens, if they choose, could require visitors to be biometrically scanned before setting foot on their property.
Already, some residences, apartment buildings, and hotels use camera surveillance systems.

The key to Accountability is Transparency.
Transparency yields Accountability.
Transparency requires surveillance.
Surveillance removes opportunity, which discourages and reduces crime.
_____________
SURVEILLANCE:
Definition: the word surveillance literally means (in French) “to watch from above, and the term is often used for all forms of observation, not just visual observation.
_____________
Remember what Ronald Reagan said?
Trust, but verify (i.e. pertaining to the
Russians and disarmament of nuclear weapons).
Consider the IEAE and other surveillance organizatons (e.g. SEC, FTC, IRS, FBI, etc.).
And cameras are only one of many types of surveillance. There is also audio, communications, and satellite tracking surveillance methods.

The only way to reduce crime is to increase
Transparency, which yields Accountability,
and eliminates opportunity.

Many people commit crimes, only because they
think they can get away with it (i.e. they think they’ll never be held Accountable). Even without surveillance systems, many get caught, because somebody saw something, or a clue was left behind.

Everything does not have to be so overly-complicated.
Many simple solutions exist for many of our problems, but we’re often too
lazy to do the most simple things.
Laziness is at the root of many of our problems.

Laziness is a natural human tendency, but it is immoral to surrender to it.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 15, 2005 10:38 AM
Comment #54969

David,
The abuse of surveillance by authorities is another issue. It is also simply a law enforcment issue. And that very surveillance is what will also make it difficult for government to abuse such information.

Without Transparency, there is opportunity and no Accountability.
Without Accountability, there is crime.
Transparency requires surveillance.

New surveillance systems are already being installed almost everywhere, everyday.
Surveillance systems are catching criminals that otherwise would probably never be held Accountable.

The Death penalty is not the answer, since many perpetrators don’t think they’ll get caught, and
since the legal system is so flawed that it
often executes and incarcerates innocent people.
And, as for the cost of imprisoning criminals, that why criminals should be forced to work, and produce, and help pay their way, and help pay restitution.

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 15, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #54972

One other thing, sociopaths (e.g. such as pedophiles, child molesters, murderers, rapists, etc.; someone with a sociopathic personality; a person with an antisocial personality disorder; `psychopath’ was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath’) [syn: psychopath]), should NEVER be released from prison. They often repeat the crime, since there are no known cures for their disorders. And, if they are going to be released, they should forever after, have to wear surveillance tracking devices (perhaps even have them surgically implanted; that would be an elective option, but a requirement for release).

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 15, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #54978

David,

To use your proposed death penality for rape, the law would also have to cover everyone else.
How about the 15 yr. old girl that is in the news now that willingly pulled a train for the highschool hocky team, we gonna kill them too ?
Some of them were 18, and they all knew she was 15.
Many states punish statutory rape the same as forced rape and there are womens groups calling for them to get prison time for it.

I personally wouldn’t want to be the judge on that trial.

Posted by: Beagle at May 15, 2005 12:01 PM
Comment #54986

Beagle,
You are right. In another discussion I am having about sex offenders this case has been brought up. I would like to know the WHOLE story before condemning the boys. Where were her parents????
There are different levels of sex offense just like any other crime.
Our system is screwed up because we don’t separate crimes and criminals.
Someone who may not have been that terrible, most likely, will be when they end their sentence served among the worst of the worst.

Posted by: dawn at May 15, 2005 01:27 PM
Comment #54988

In all things, we must take into account the nature of the human being.

The nature of the human is one of plunder, fueled by laziness. None of us are perfect. Still, very much like children, we will raid the cookie jar when mother is not looking. Look at what politicians do. Look at what some CEOs do. Look at what children and teenagers do. Look at what we all do !

And, sadly, some will even commit horrific crimes, but only if they believe they’re going to get away with it (i.e. not be held accountable).

How many crimes would never occur if the potential perpetrators know there is no way to get away with it?

Prior-to-crime deterrents are more persuasive then After-the-crime deterrents. But BOTH are required. Only the truly disturbed sociopaths will ignore both, and they must be incarcerated in order to protect society, and many should never be freed until we have a cure for those mental disorders, because they will repeat those crimes again and again.
How many times have you heard of a pedophile, rapist, or murder being arrested, only to find out that this was their 2nd, 3rd, 4th (or higher) arrest?

Only Transparency, which yields Accountability and Responsibility can solve this problem, and most problems discussed on the watch blog.

Transparency1

Posted by: One Simple Idea for Transparency and Accountability . . . at May 15, 2005 01:41 PM
Comment #54990

Dawn,

I’m not sure if I’m right or not, this is a tough issue to debate in a rational manner.

Where laws spell out the punishment for a crime,a judge has little wiggle room in the sentence if its a unique case, on the other hand, without laws spelling it out, some judges will let people off with a slap on the hand for horendous crimes.

About 25 yrs. ago I had a cousin kidnaped in her school parking lot at knife point, driven to a remote area in another county, bound, raped and sodomized for 8 hrs. and dumped back at the school naked!
The guy was caught the next day, confessed to the crime.
What did the judge give him?, 3 yrs. in prison and he was out in 14 mo.’s !!
If thats not bad enough, they fixed it so that he could serve his probation in another state!(they knew he would be killed in this area)
She wasn’t killed(scared for life) but I agree with David, He should have been!

Posted by: Beagle at May 15, 2005 02:13 PM
Comment #54995

Beagle,

That’s is truly terrible.
And, to further victimize her, release the rapist after a very short sentence.
That’s very wrong! Three years (and only serving 14 months) is ridiculous.

It’s infuriating.

And what these low-life judges and parole boards are doing, is more the rule than the exception.

The crime you described should get a life sentence with no chance for parole, since that is a sociapathic crime, and he will probably repeat that crime, and that crime usually destroys the life of the victim, even if they survive.

In cases like this, it might be worthwhile to publicize the information everywhere possible; in newspapers, web-sites, and everywhere possible, to show what the judges and parole boards are doing; because the judges’ and parole boards’ crime is only slightly less (perhaps worse) than that of the rapists, and murderers, and pedophiles, since the judges and parole boards are releasing back into society to victimize more people.

And if that doesn’t work, then perhaps we should all start taking the law into our own hands.

If that were my daughter, I’d find it very difficult to not comtemplate ways to make ‘em pay (the rapist and the judge). If the courts and police won’t enforce the law, what good are they? No wonder some people, quite normal and law abiding beforehand, decide to take the law into their own hands. Someone needs to.

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 15, 2005 03:42 PM
Comment #54997

My father, and brothers for that matter, would have found a way to end that guys life if that had happened to me, my sister, or my mom.
Sometimes, taking the law into our OWN hands just seems like the right thing to do BUT in our society as it is, those that do end up in prison LONGER than the bastard that raped the little girl.

Posted by: dawn at May 15, 2005 04:03 PM
Comment #54999

OSI,

Why do you think there is this big fight in the senate now over judges?

SOME people think that twits like the one that ruled in that case are perfect, and just what we need!

If it were up to me, in that one single case, I would have dragged him to the street, poped him behind the ear, and forced everyone to drive around him like a dead raccoon, untill he dryed up and blew away.

I’m not sure we need more laws, I AM sure we need better judges!

Posted by: Beagle at May 15, 2005 04:23 PM
Comment #55000

Dawn,

As I said, they moved him to an undisclosed state to serve his probation because they knew he would be killed around here.

They protected the freaking rapeist like he was in the witness protection program because some liberal, braindead judge, thinks nobody should be hurt! (except the victims)

Posted by: Beagle at May 15, 2005 04:36 PM
Comment #55001

Beagle,
I hear what you are saying … and if that is what the Dems are really fighting for in blocking judges that Bush has asked for then I hope in the end it hurts them and bad.
Most people think they are doing it just because they can and they want to use the minority power that they possess. That’s why I think it is funny when people claim the Dems have no power.

If a judge is that concerned about a rapist’s life - maybe that judge should be a judge no more.
How many times has someone been released by a judge only to rape and/or murder again? Why? Because they are human beings who have rights and should be given a chance to prove they will become law abiding, productive citizens? Some people are just too far gone for us to give them such a chance.

Posted by: Dawn at May 15, 2005 05:18 PM
Comment #55004

Beagle,
I didn’t say we need more laws.
Just enforce the laws would be nice.

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 15, 2005 06:23 PM
Comment #55008

I apologise for my last comment about liberl judges. I doubt that most people that would classify themselves as liberal would condone what that judge did, I just dont know what else to classify him as ??
He sure as hell wasn’t a conservative.

Just thinking about it again made me angry.

Posted by: Beagle at May 15, 2005 07:35 PM
Comment #55013

Beagle, I specifically addressed prison rape, because the case is more clear cut. A person in prison who commits rape is NOT a first offender, Not a juvenile, and NOT unaware that that committing crime has legal consequences. It is for these I recommend the death penalty if the evidence is indisputable.

Rape in free society is just as horrible a crime. But, as you pointed out, there can be many mitigating circumstances. Certainly, more severe punishment should be applied to forcible rape, than to consensual rape. But, I am not a judge, nor am I versed in precedent and history of criminal law.

I do know judges have already stated outrightly that shorter sentences are handed out due to overcrowding of prisons and the need to make more room. Parole boards are under the same pressures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2005 08:25 PM
Comment #55014

Adrienne, thank you. I am at my core, opposed to the death penalty. But, like killing in defense, sometimes it is mandated for practical reasons. That said, I agree with your recommendation that shock therapy be administered instead if 1) it has long lasting desired effects and 2) does not constitute the horrible and painful experience it once did back in the 70’s.

One downside of course is that it is not rehabilitative. Let a prisoner out of prison, I don’t see most of them showing up once a month to their parole officer volutarily for more shock treatments.

America simply MUST address prison overcrowding. It is creating injustice in addition to administering it. Victims should feel safe from their perpetrators once they have been incarcerated. They should not have to lose sleep over the perp’s getting out after absurdly short sentences to prey upon them again or take revenge.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2005 08:35 PM
Comment #55019

David,

I agree wholeheartedly with your premise. Capital punishment for such heinious crimes is warranted and necessary. The only problem I see is that death penalty cases add to the cost of our justice system astronomically. A death penalty will be no deterent to prison rapists because it takes 20 years for the sentence to be carried out. Where will they be for those 20 years?

Unless the penalty is carried out economically and swiftly it will do no good to make prison rape a capital offence. You would end up having to have those inmates convicted of prison rape in solitary anyway.

One question though, why not the death penalty for any rape, in prison or out?

Posted by: ericsimonson at May 15, 2005 09:21 PM
Comment #55020

ericsmonson,
|
| A death penalty will be no deterent to prison
| rapists because it takes 20 years for the
| sentence to be carried out. Where will they be
| for those 20 years?
|
Exactly.
And some executed aren’t even guilty.
Executed Innocent 1
Executed Innocent 2
Exonerations

I used to support capital punishment until it was demonstrated how corrupt and flawed the legal system is.

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 15, 2005 10:03 PM
Comment #55032

Eric, I oppose the death penalty in general. Too many mistakes, and too many extenuating or mitigating circumstances from crime to crime. The only circumstances under which I can support the death penalty are:

1) if all responsible and full measures to rehabilitate have failed

2) if the prison system is not, by virtue of economy or mismanagement, a contributing proximate cause to the crime committed

3) and if our society effectively takes the measures necessary to seperate the criminally insane from the criminally sane

As a voter, I do not want to be knowingly responsible for sending innocents to death or prison, or killing those who are not mentally responsible for their actions, nor for using the death penalty as a cost saving measure. The death penalty should be for the safety and protection of society and exercised only when all other reasonable and responsibile measures toward rehabilitation have proven ineffective.

America has taken a path toward crime that is irrational and irresponsible in too many cases, and which is tremendously lacking in uniformity and concerted effort to protect and rehabilitate prisoners. Until this path is altered in the opposite direction, I can’t support the death penalty. My father disappeared for 3 days in Detroit back in 1959, after having been arrested for mistaken identity. I was 9, and will never forget that experience of having lost an innocent father to law enforcement without any clue as to what happened.

We as a society must do everything possible to insure that our treatment of others in the criminal legal system is as fair, equitable, and effective as possible. If we do that, then, I believe society can afford the risk of exercising the death penalty as a protection for itself.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2005 03:17 AM
Comment #55056

As Beagle pointed out, a HUGE reason for the increased (and unnecessary) crime is the irresponsible and unaccountable judges and parole boards that release sociopaths, pedophiles, and murderers BACK into society. It’s not just irresponsible. It is criminal too.

How many times, when you hear of one of these horrible crimes on the news, that this is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th (or more) offense ?.

The judges have the ability to impose maximum sentences in such cases, but they don’t.
Parole boards have the ability to not release such criminals.
But both are totally irresponsible and unaccountable.

Where’s the outrage at the judges and parole boards?

How many crimes could have been prevented if judges and parole boards had not released the sociopathic repeat offenders?

I like Zeek’s solution, except we should do it to the criminally negligent judges and parole boards:
|
| Put them in tiny individual cells and never let them see the light of day.
| Problem solved.
|

At the very least, such criminal negligence should be publicized everywhere, and for those judges that are elected to office, Vote them Out!

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 16, 2005 09:22 AM
Comment #55057

How about creating some web-sites:

____www.BadJudges.com_____
and/or
____www.CriminalJudges.com_____
and/or
____www.DangerousJudges.com_____
and
____www.DangerousParoleBoardMembers.com_____
and/or
____www.CriminallyNegligentParoleBoardMembers.com_____

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 16, 2005 09:27 AM
Comment #55074

David:
“Adrienne, thank you. I am at my core, opposed to the death penalty. But, like killing in defense, sometimes it is mandated for practical reasons.”

No doubt I’ll be catching hell for this from some of the people who are responding here, but I feel that a moral society simply doesn’t exterminate people, and that every attempt should be made to get at the roots of the problems that put people in our jails.
That being said, I don’t see why society should have to pay the enormous expense of keeping these people alive if all they’re going to do (or ever wish to do) is kill, terrorize, and abuse others — so they should be made to work hard to earn their bread and maintain the prisons they live in. And in my opinion, violent criminals should never be allowed back out on our streets to repeat their crimes they way they do presently.
Also, as one of the folks here suggested, maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to have those kind of inmates be used as cannon fodder when necessary for our military. It might save a lot of valuable lives in a wartime situation — those of normal people.

“I agree with your recommendation that shock therapy be administered instead if 1) it has long lasting desired effects”

If I remember correctly, I believe it can last as long as several months for schizophrenics — not sure how long it would for other people.

“and 2) does not constitute the horrible and painful experience it once did back in the 70’s.”

It is no longer like a torture of excruciating proportions (which I would never approve of). It is now administered at very mild levels — but I’m sure it still couldn’t be described as an entirely pleasant sensation. But then who the hell cares whether it isn’t an entirely pleasant experience, since neither was the sensation of being raped that they inflicted upon someone else, right?

“One downside of course is that it is not rehabilitative.”

Ah, but see, I think that’s the beauty part of this idea. If they’re rendered docile and non-aggressive, wouldn’t they automatically be in a better state to be rehabilitated and possibly undergo psychotherapy?

“Let a prisoner out of prison, I don’t see most of them showing up once a month to their parole officer volutarily for more shock treatments.”

Like I said, I don’t think violent repeat offenders should ever be put back on our streets. But if someone commits a rape and then automatically undergoes shock treatments, rehabilitation, and psychotherapy, maybe they might be gradually reintroduced to society and monitored to see how well they might do.

“America simply MUST address prison overcrowding. It is creating injustice in addition to administering it.”

I think we should make these kind of violent criminals build the additions that are needed to their prisons instead of letting them watch TV or work out in the gym. After all, labor is usually an enormous chunk of the expense in building costs, is it not?

“Victims should feel safe from their perpetrators once they have been incarcerated. They should not have to lose sleep over the perp’s getting out after absurdly short sentences to prey upon them again or take revenge.”

I totally agree. Nor should the rest of society.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 16, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #55130

Bad Judges, and what to do about them….
What to do about bad judges 1…
What to do about bad judges 2…

Posted by: One Simple Idea For Transparency and Accountability... at May 16, 2005 07:45 PM
Comment #55257

I think a better, more humane solution would be to legalize prostitution and allow the prisoners to try and earn enough money to hire themselves a good lay.

Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent in the environment of the modern American penal system. Human beings who are treated like animals will mostly act like animals. Some of them are animals and we do a bad job of seperating the redeemable from the unrepentant. We need to come up with better approaches.

Posted by: Trevor at May 17, 2005 09:55 PM
Comment #55374

A great way to shape up our leanient judges is to make these offenders live next door to them when they let them out/off! I bet that would make them think twice! It is sad on the news when here recently a few judges or their family members have been murdered and the media has a field day about how awful it is(and it is)but this has been happening to regular folks for eons because of unresponsible judges!

Something a little interesting to me though is that a couple of the people posting here were four square against ANY torturous behavior with P.O.W’s but have a few scary views on what to do with our prisoners. Interesting!!!

Posted by: Traci at May 18, 2005 03:29 PM
Comment #55417

Traci, it is just that kind of partisan negative drivel against judges that will paint and ever bigger target on themselves and their families. You are probably not aware of Arlen Spectre’s committee this week which has committed to make much more tax dollars available to grow the US Marshall Service for the express purpose of guarding our nation’s judges and their families. That is the cost of dissing the judiciary for political gain. You make them targets we have to spend more tax dollars to protect. Way to go there, Traci.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2005 07:44 PM
Comment #55419

Trevor, rape in prison is not, for the most part, born out of the need to get laid. It is born out of the need to acquire power in a powerless setting. The fear of being made someone’s punk motivates many prison rapists as a self-defense measure. The incidence of prison rape would not drop dramatically if the only thing we did was make an affordable lay available to them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2005 07:49 PM
Comment #55420

Adrienne, prison labor at first glance appears to be a great idea. Regretfully, so many instances like those in Shawshank Redemption of corruption and abuse, pretty much killed the concept. The cost of guarding such workers outside the confines of the prison would not be cheap either, and hell would have to be paid everytime and escape occured - and they would.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2005 07:54 PM
Comment #55477

David~
I severely doubt my post on this sight has effected anything! I haven’t made them a target of anything- and furthermore - they will spend our tax dollars as they see fit with or without our approval.

Posted by: Traci at May 19, 2005 09:28 AM
Comment #55478

David~
By the way, How have I made them a target by suggesting they live next door to these released offenders? If they are releasing them I figure in their eyes they must not be a threat!

Posted by: Traci at May 19, 2005 09:31 AM
Comment #55535

David
“Adrienne, prison labor at first glance appears to be a great idea. Regretfully, so many instances like those in Shawshank Redemption of corruption and abuse, pretty much killed the concept.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Certainly there could be oversight committees from outside the prison structure to make sure that corruption and abuse isn’t taking place. (Btw, I thought that movie was totally brilliant.)

“The cost of guarding such workers outside the confines of the prison would not be cheap either, and hell would have to be paid everytime and escape occured - and they would.”

I wasn’t thinking of building that would take place outside prison fences and guard towers — I was thinking along the lines of having inmates expand existing prisons. I suppose brand new construction would definitely have to be done by regular constuction crews to avoid exactly what you describe.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2005 02:47 PM
Comment #56307

“Something a little interesting to me though is that a couple of the people posting here were four square against ANY torturous behavior with P.O.W’s but have a few scary views on what to do with our prisoners. Interesting!!!”

VERY interesting indeed Traci, but I doubt you will get a serious answer from any of them.

Posted by: kctim at May 24, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #56333

Adrienne, Ahhh!!!, now that is a great idea - expanding existing prisons with prison labor. But, not to throw another monkeywrench in the works, what reward do they get for volunteering this labor?

The movie Bridge Over the River Kwai, comes to mind when using prison labor against their own interests. (unless of course, you have a bone headed egotistical pride filled British prisoner commanding the operation, then you might actually get a decently built annex. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2005 01:36 PM
Comment #56334

kctim and Traci, perhaps the folks here like Bush’s style, keep all options on the table for the purpose of discussion and finding the best one, even if the worst one is what they intend all along :-}


Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2005 01:39 PM
Comment #56338

David
Its just the hypocrisy of it all though. The same thing is different when it supports a persons views.

PS
Just spent 2 weeks down in SA working at the Leon Creek power plant again. Seems you made a pretty good choice in living there. Nice place.

Posted by: kctim at May 24, 2005 02:04 PM