View Poll Results: Which of the following reforms do our prisons need?

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  • Non-violent crimes should not typically result in a prison sentence

    19 51.35%
  • The government should take more action to ensure prisoners don't hurt or rape each other

    26 70.27%
  • The government should take more action to curtail gang activity and racialist activity in prisons

    26 70.27%
  • Drugs should be legalized and all nonviolent drug offenders should be freed from prison

    20 54.05%
  • None; prisoners are sub-human scum who don't deserve even the most basic rights

    0 0%
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Thread: Prison reform

  1. #1
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    Prison reform

    This is a topic that never seems to get much attention, since the vast majority of people in this country have never even been inside of a prison and have little sympathy for criminals. But the conditions in most American prisons are absolutely barbaric.

    Prisoners are beaten by one another every day. They are forced to live most of their lives in tiny little cages, with only a few hours each day for exercise and/or work. They are forced, coerced, or sold into sexual slavery for decades. Gang violence and racial violence is rife in prisons, and spills over into the community at large once the offenders are released (and still have grudges against one another).

    Yet many people seem to think that they deserve whatever happens to them in prison, and that they forfeit the most basic human rights the minute they are convicted of any crime. Many people make light of the situation. Whenever some unlikeable famous person is sentenced to prison, the "Don't drop the soap" jokes are the first thing that come to many people's minds (and I'm not excluding myself). But should we really be making light of their situation? The conditions they face are horrid...probably not all that different from living in Josef Fritzl's basement.

    When convicts are sentenced to prison, rape is not a part of their sentence. But for many of them, it might as well be. This is a clear violation of their 8th amendment rights. Furthermore, the prison rape jokes are not commonplace in any other developed country, so obviously it IS possible to prevent it.

    The entire premise of our justice system is flawed IMO. The default punishment for any serious crime is X amount of time in prison. But that misses the point of prison. They are there A) to be rehabilitated so that they are able to reenter society later on, and B) to be excluded from society to prevent them from endangering others.

    Goal A is such a miserable failure that it's hardly even worth commenting on. Goal B misses the point, because most of the people in prison never posed any danger to anyone to begin with. Does a guy who steals a car, or commits insider trading, or possesses child porn, or drives while intoxicated really need to be excluded from society and sodomized in the ass? Would it hurt society to instead punish them with house arrest, an ankle bracelet, a cash fine, and limited visitation rights?

    IMO prison should be the option of last resort, only for the hardened criminals whose mere presence in the outside world represents a danger to society. And even then, they should be prevented from hurting one another. When the guards allow them to hurt each other, that's really no different than the government hurting them itself.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-22-09 at 08:20 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Prison reform

    I think it should be clear that work can be done on protecting prisoners from one another, though the situation is not nearly as bad as you portray to my mind. What you describe was the case in the 70's and 80's and probably before, but alot of work has been made on the situation.

  3. #3
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    Re: Prison reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    This is a topic that never seems to get much attention, since the vast majority of people in this country have never even been inside of a prison and have little sympathy for criminals..
    Why should anyone have any sympathy for these people?


    But the conditions in most American prisons are absolutely barbaric.
    Thats because inmates run the prisons,guards are merely there to keep the inmates inside.


    Prisoners are beaten by one another every day. They are forced to live most of their lives in tiny little cages, with only a few hours each day for exercise and/or work. They are forced, coerced, or sold into sexual slavery for decades. Gang violence and racial violence is rife in prisons, and spills over into the community at large once the offenders are released (and still have grudges against one another).
    When you stick a bunch of scum together and allow them many luxuries and freedoms in prison what do you think is going to happen? If you stuck normal people in a facility where there was one or two people per room, they basically have the same luxuries they do on the outside and they can have conjugal visits, most people would call that a dormitory and would not act like subhuman scum.


    Yet many people seem to think that they deserve whatever happens to them in prison, and that they forfeit the most basic human rights the minute they are convicted of any crime. Many people make light of the situation. Whenever some unlikeable famous person is sentenced to prison, the "Don't drop the soap" jokes are the first thing that come to many people's minds (and I'm not excluding myself). But should we really be making light of their situation? The conditions they face are horrid...probably not all that different from living in Josef Fritzl's basement.
    Whats sad is the whole dropping the soap thing is what many people fear about prison. If your some ignorant little **** who thinks he is the baddest many person on the block he does not worry about this until its too late.


    When convicts are sentenced to prison, rape is not a part of their sentence. But for many of them, it might as well be. This is a clear violation of their 8th amendment rights. Furthermore, the prison rape jokes are not commonplace in any other developed country, so obviously it IS possible to prevent it.

    The entire premise of our justice system is flawed IMO. The default punishment for any serious crime is X amount of time in prison. But that misses the point of prison. They are there A) to be rehabilitated so that they are able to reenter society later on, and B) to be excluded from society to prevent them from endangering others.

    Goal A is such a miserable failure that it's hardly even worth commenting on. Goal B misses the point, because most of the people in prison never posed any danger to anyone to begin with. Does a guy who steals a car, or commits insider trading, or possesses child porn, or drives while intoxicated really need to be excluded from society and sodomized in the ass?
    Many people consider crime prevention outside of prisons to be of a higher priority.


    Would it hurt society to instead punish them with house arrest, an ankle bracelet, a cash fine, and limited visitation rights?
    Even non-violent criminals deserve to be put in prison.Bernard Madoff for example deserve prison.

    IMO prison should be the option of last resort, only for the hardened criminals whose mere presence in the outside world represents a danger to society.
    Prisons are places of punishments. We as society have deemed certain crimes worthy or incarceration. Your pro-junkie/weed should be legal bias clouds your mind.

    And even then, they should be prevented from hurting one another. When the guards allow them to hurt each other, that's really no different than the government hurting them itself
    I knew you were a scumbag sympathizer.


    As long as inmates are allowed to socialize with each other, have the same luxuries they do on the outside and many other things individuals are not really going to fear going to prison. Its like sending a child to his room as punishment when he has a phone,tv,computer,video games and all kinds of toys,how is sending him to his room a punishment when he has the same thing on the inside? It isn't a punishment its a joke.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  4. #4
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    Re: Prison reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    This is a topic that never seems to get much attention, since the vast majority of people in this country have never even been inside of a prison and have little sympathy for criminals. But the conditions in most American prisons are absolutely barbaric.

    Prisoners are beaten by one another every day. They are forced to live most of their lives in tiny little cages, with only a few hours each day for exercise and/or work. They are forced, coerced, or sold into sexual slavery for decades. Gang violence and racial violence is rife in prisons, and spills over into the community at large once the offenders are released (and still have grudges against one another).

    Yet many people seem to think that they deserve whatever happens to them in prison, and that they forfeit the most basic human rights the minute they are convicted of any crime. Many people make light of the situation. Whenever some unlikeable famous person is sentenced to prison, the "Don't drop the soap" jokes are the first thing that come to many people's minds (and I'm not excluding myself). But should we really be making light of their situation? The conditions they face are horrid...probably not all that different from living in Josef Fritzl's basement.

    When convicts are sentenced to prison, rape is not a part of their sentence. But for many of them, it might as well be. This is a clear violation of their 8th amendment rights. Furthermore, the prison rape jokes are not commonplace in any other developed country, so obviously it IS possible to prevent it.

    The entire premise of our justice system is flawed IMO. The default punishment for any serious crime is X amount of time in prison. But that misses the point of prison. They are there A) to be rehabilitated so that they are able to reenter society later on, and B) to be excluded from society to prevent them from endangering others.

    Goal A is such a miserable failure that it's hardly even worth commenting on. Goal B misses the point, because most of the people in prison never posed any danger to anyone to begin with. Does a guy who steals a car, or commits insider trading, or possesses child porn, or drives while intoxicated really need to be excluded from society and sodomized in the ass? Would it hurt society to instead punish them with house arrest, an ankle bracelet, a cash fine, and limited visitation rights?

    IMO prison should be the option of last resort, only for the hardened criminals whose mere presence in the outside world represents a danger to society. And even then, they should be prevented from hurting one another. When the guards allow them to hurt each other, that's really no different than the government hurting them itself.
    As far as I'm concerned we might as well pay them welfare if we keep the system the same.

    Once you commit a crime in this country, your pretty much forever labeled with the scarlet letter of it and have limited ability to improve upon your past
    failures.

    There should be an option for educational rehab while in prison as well as a clear record for first time non violent offenders after they complete their sentence with good behavior.

    As much as I think some deserve it, rape shouldn't be a part of serving time in prison but thats what you get when you don't pay guards anything worth a ****.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Prison reform

    We've made some good steps by making the sentencing guidelines advisory, but there's still a lot to do. I think that the problems of prison assault are too attenuated from a direct government action to constitute an 8th Amendment violation, but I do agree that it's a serious problem. As we continue down the road of decriminalization, things should get better.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Prison reform

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Why should anyone have any sympathy for these people?
    Because not everyone who commits a crime is a monster. And even if they were, there is no reason to treat them as badly as they treated others.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    Thats because inmates run the prisons,guards are merely there to keep the inmates inside.
    That is NOT how the system should work, which is exactly what I'm talking about. Guards should be responsible for protecting inmates from one another. If they allow inmates to "run the prisons," then they aren't doing their jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    When you stick a bunch of scum together and allow them many luxuries and freedoms in prison what do you think is going to happen? If you stuck normal people in a facility where there was one or two people per room, they basically have the same luxuries they do on the outside and they can have conjugal visits, most people would call that a dormitory and would not act like subhuman scum.
    Have you ever heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    Whats sad is the whole dropping the soap thing is what many people fear about prison. If your some ignorant little **** who thinks he is the baddest many person on the block he does not worry about this until its too late.
    So you think that becoming a sexual slave for years is an acceptable punishment for grand theft auto?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    Many people consider crime prevention outside of prisons to be of a higher priority.
    And you don't think that a guy who has been beaten every day in prison might be a little embittered when he gets out, and therefore more likely to commit violent crimes (even if he never committed a violent crime in his life before going to prison)?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    Even non-violent criminals deserve to be put in prison.Bernard Madoff for example deserve prison.
    Why is locking people up in a tiny little cage with rapists the default punishment for any misdeed? Bernie Madoff is not a threat to anyone if he's under house arrest instead of in prison.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    Prisons are places of punishments. We as society have deemed certain crimes worthy or incarceration. Your pro-junkie/weed should be legal bias clouds your mind.
    Drug crimes are the best example of the injustice of our "justice system." But they aren't the only example. If people aren't posing a physical threat to other people, there is no reason to put them in a cage. Prisons should be reserved for rapists, child molesters, robbers, murderers, and some assailants. Beyond that, there aren't very many common crimes where putting them in a cage is necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    I knew you were a scumbag sympathizer.


    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage
    As long as inmates are allowed to socialize with each other, have the same luxuries they do on the outside and many other things individuals are not really going to fear going to prison. Its like sending a child to his room as punishment when he has a phone,tv,computer,video games and all kinds of toys,how is sending him to his room a punishment when he has the same thing on the inside? It isn't a punishment its a joke.
    We don't have to give them a phone, tv, computer, video games, and all kinds of toys. But I don't think it's too much to ask that we not let them rape each other and beat each other senseless, and that we don't lock them in cages unless they truly need to be isolated from society for society's protection.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-23-09 at 01:41 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Prison reform

    He's already stated that he has no problem with someone who spends a night in jail because of a minor charge getting raped. He says that if they're in jail, they're criminals and they deserve what they get.

    I don't think you're going to win him over.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Prison reform

    Kandahar,

    You bring up some excellent points. I too believe our criminal justice system is outdated and inefficient. I believe many of the injustices you speak of could be effectively mitigated by removing many of the liberties prisoners enjoy. For example, why in the world would anyone allow dozens of violent criminals to commingle with one another in an open field!? I don't know how many times I've seen prison riots or violent assaults occur in "the yard" and the solution to this seems painfully obvious (don't allow them to freely and openly associate with one another) yet it remains a problem.

    I think the solution is two fold: stop giving prisoners liberties they don't deserve and restructure the justice system in a way that accurately reflects the severity of certain crimes (as you have suggested).

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    Re: Prison reform

    Is prison meant to reform or punish?

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    Re: Prison reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Kandahar,

    You bring up some excellent points. I too believe our criminal justice system is outdated and inefficient. I believe many of the injustices you speak of could be effectively mitigated by removing many of the liberties prisoners enjoy. For example, why in the world would anyone allow dozens of violent criminals to commingle with one another in an open field!? I don't know how many times I've seen prison riots or violent assaults occur in "the yard" and the solution to this seems painfully obvious (don't allow them to freely and openly associate with one another) yet it remains a problem.
    Because the vast majority of prisoners aren't serving life sentences, and it is in society's best interest to not have 500,000 people going insane from lack of interaction before being released back into the public.

    Quote Originally Posted by B L Zeebub View Post
    Is prison meant to reform or punish?
    Both, and more.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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