We are too kind, let’s jail more Americans!

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.
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10 thoughts on “We are too kind, let’s jail more Americans!

  1. According to CNN, at any given time there are 30 to 50 mass murderers running loose in this country. No law will stop anyone determined to commit a crime.

    But hey, jump on the sex offender band wagon and put all your energy there while the killing continues.

  2. There are some inaccuracies concerning the Texas prison system. The Federal case (Ruiz v. Estelle) started in the late 70’s to early 80’s. The federal courts started turning over control back to the states in 1992 when Ann Richards was governor. During Bush’s term as governor the state regained control over the system.

    That is not to say that during the Bush years, things did not go wrong. My favorite example was Bush’s refusal to give prison guards a deserved pay raise, when most of them could not afford to live on the negligible state salaries they were earning. Another good example was the Vita Pro scandal, which eventually lead TDCJ director James Andy Collins to be indicted.

  3. The abuses I mentioned, however, are documented and recognized as such.
    The corrections experts say that some of the worst abuses occurred in Texas, whose prisons were under a federal consent decree. 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.

  4. Obviously, one is not aware the term rape in most state statutes can mean two youths having consensual sex. Of course when yu view a registry and they ar elisted as a predator due to state law well damn sraight that person is so dangerous it misleads the public to the true predatory offenders (which by way of research are small in numbers) When we use the term rape lets educate oneself before, like most media and politicians, showing our ignorance as I deal with juveniles and young adults daily who’s lives are being destroyed due to those who are uneducated…lets base laws on fact based evidence and research and stop categorizing all by a law passed by politicians and use assessment tools, criminal history etc to determine someone “danger” level. We got thousands of people in prison, CAGED like animals, over stupid crap like forgery, false accusations, DUI…lets put money into prevention programs, employment, housing etc which most experts agree will reduce this crime…theft and robbery are increasingly dramatically right now and we wonder why? Becaue Americans have no jobs, our economy is bleak, companies are closing or moving to other countries and our own people are suffering…survival is a instinct whether right or wrong..see how government labled my son as violent and beware the registry does not tell you it was consensual sex after all if Americans realized just how many cases are like ricky and Brandon’s they lock their children up for fear of them too being sacrificial lambs to pure and blatant ignorance! http://www.rickyslife.com or http://www.freebrandon.org educate yourself http://www.sosen.org Radio show discussing these issues which I love to get the blog riter as a guest http://www.americansrealitycheck.com listen to the archives and then base your judgement on facts not myths and lies

  5. By rape, we meant forcible rape.

    “…lets put money into prevention programs, employment, housing etc which most experts agree will reduce this crime…theft and robbery are increasingly dramatically right now and we wonder why? Becaue Americans have no jobs, our economy is bleak, companies are closing or moving to other countries and our own people are suffering…survival is a instinct whether right or wrong.”

    Very well said.
    We will have a look at your links, and I thank you for your comments.

    Michael

  6. A link for this article was put on the forum site maintained by SOSEN.org which is what led me here. SOSEN is the Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network. Your article is well written and certainly addresses some of the issues of why the prison system in the United States often creates more problems than it solves. Most non-violent crimes would be better addressed without incarceration.

    Punishment can be accomplished with the restrictions of freedom without the need for brutality which is an inherent part of the prison system. I would suggest that house arrest for non-violent crime, monitored by GPS systems would work far better and be achieved at a much lower cost than incarceration in a prison or jail.

    Now, in reference to actual violent sexual assault, prison may be a last alternative, but for the vast number of crimes labeled as sex offenses, even those of incest involving children, there is much to be gained through addressing the mental compulsions that led to the crime through therapy, rather than forcing these offenders into a system of incarceration where they will be brutalized and raped by other inmates which is likely to lead to future re-offenses upon their release. Is the true goal to rehabilitate people and transform their lives into former offenders or are we out to only punish people and keep our prison system a revolving door of re-offenses?

  7. Tiggeronmv said:
    Is the true goal to rehabilitate people and transform their lives into former offenders or are we out to only punish people and keep our prison system a revolving door of re-offenses?
    ___________________________________________________________
    I wish I knew.
    At one time, perhaps 40 years ago, the goal was rehabilitation.
    With the advent of the “drug war” and the introduction of for profit prisons, and the numerous cable tv shows which exist only to the extent that there are plenty of arrests and prisoners, I think the emphasis has shifted to punishment.
    This is a shame because in the long run, not only the prisoner, but society suffers as a result of these tactics and strategies.

  8. I remember going through socialism class. One thing that stuck in my head, and still does today which was jogged loose by your blog was this: Prisons are an illusion, they do not work. All prisons do is make it appear that law enforcement and the judicial branch of the government are functioning correctly. If they really did deter crime, then they would not be as full as they are. Sad aspect is, jails/prisons were created to keep only the most dangerous to society away from society. Yet today we pile them in these prisons as deep as we can get them, and spend more money incarcerating than we do treating. Yet America likes to call itself the gem of the civilized world, yet they imprison more members of their own society than not. I would love to see more comprehensive and targeted treatment options being legislated instead of higher prison sentences. Thanks for the blog, its right on spot.

  9. Bigpapa,
    Thanks for your kind words and your supportive expression.
    “If they really did deter crime, then they would not be as full as they are.”
    So true, and yet the obvious is not what the “common folks” want to hear, and what they don’t want to hear, they don’t hear.
    I expect to explore this issue in more depth in the coming days.
    Again, thanks for your input.

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