Everyone wants to see the “White House Party crashers ‘thrown into jail’ ”.
Many people want to see Tiger Woods “do some time.”
Jail is not the answer to every problem in America.
The American people immediately respond with “Throw ’em in Jail” whenever anything happens that they disapprove of.
People need to realize, jail is an extremely dangerous environment.
People are murdered in prison and jail.
People commit suicide in jail.
Jail and imprisonment should be a last resort, not the first one.
To place someone in jail, for a lack of judgment, is foolish and cruel and unusual punishment.
Jail should be for criminals who are an immediate danger to society.
With a current prison and jail population of over two million, America has become the uncontested world leader in incarceration.
People are routinely tortured and murdered in jails and prison in the U.S.
Each year, numerous prisoners are maimed, crippled, and even killed by guards and violent inmates.
Photographs could be taken on any day in the American prison system that would match the photographs from Abu Ghraib that shocked the public. Indeed, actual pictures from prisons in America have shown worse atrocities than those pictures from the American prisons in Iraq.
For example, no photos of American abuse of Iraqi prisoners have yet equaled the pictures of dozens of prisoners savagely and mercilessly tortured by guards and state troopers in the aftermath of the 1971 Attica rebellion.
Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.
In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison or a new unit within their prison. In Arizona, male inmates at the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix are made to wear women’s pink underwear as a form of humiliation.
At Virginia’s Wallens Ridge maximum security prison, new inmates have reported being forced to wear black hoods, in theory to keep them from spitting on guards, and said they were often beaten and cursed at by guards and made to crawl.
The corrections experts say that some of the worst abuses have occurred in Texas, whose prisons were under a federal consent decree during much of the time President Bush was governor because of crowding and violence by guards against inmates. Judge William Wayne Justice of Federal District Court imposed the decree after finding that guards were allowing inmate gang leaders to buy and sell other inmates as slaves for sex.
The experts also point out that the man who directed the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last year and trained the guards there resigned under pressure as director of the Utah Department of Corrections in 1997 after an inmate died while shackled to a restraining chair for 16 hours. The inmate, who suffered from schizophrenia, was kept naked the whole time.
The U.S. Needs to move forward, not backward.
Over the last four decades, political leaders here at home have committed themselves to incarcerating inmates at rates that ultimately rivaled the former Soviet Union and repressive Middle Eastern regimes. Prisons have grown overcrowded and understaffed.
At the same time, there has been no commensurate commitment to protecting prisoner rights or upholding even minimal standards. Both state and federal legislatures, with the complicity of federal courts, have continually trimmed avenues of legal redress for inmates subject to abuse.
Does any thinking person believe that we are really accomplishing something of benefit by caging millions of Americans?
We take one out of four Black Americans and give them training in brutality and criminal behavior.
If you think prison, caging human beings is a good thing, look at some of the horrific crimes being perpetrated by formerly incarcerated people.
Let’s start to call it what it is, incarceration means caging human beings in an environment worse than any zoo.
Someday everyone will realize that a huge part of the problem we have in America, in terms of violent crime, springs almost directly from caging non-violent offenders with extremely violent sociopaths.
Until we all realize that simple fact, we need to educate ourselves.
Jail is not good, it is NOT a country club, and it produces violence.
If you wave a stick in front of a pit bull long enough, he will bite.
If you are brutal enough to a human being, he will eventually respond with brutality.