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What does the prison system of America say about Americans?

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    And 50 percent of Chicago Mayors can expect to end up in prison. ROFL

    But seriously there are problems with our prison systems. One is that we shouldn't throw people in jail for buying or selling drugs. We could drop our prison population by %15-%20 from just that alone, hell if we legalized most of those drugs we would destroy the underground market, put a quarter million people to work and gain a 50-100 billion dollars in tax revenue. Other problems include prisoner abuse, high levels of sexual abuse and spread of infectious diseases.

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  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks License Number 137596Registered User regular
    I dont have evidence of the following though. I was told once a good way to stay safe was to immediately join up in a narcotics anonymous meeting, break down in your introduction and say you got hiv from a dirty needle. this pretty much makes you bullet proof and left alone. prison is a gossip farm, the word will get out and it cant be confirmed because the medical records are pretty confidential still. I havent been able to confirm that and I would like to hear if anyone knows.

    Wouldn't this just make you a potential target for rapists who already have HIV?

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  • mr_michmr_mich Registered User regular
    I dont have evidence of the following though. I was told once a good way to stay safe was to immediately join up in a narcotics anonymous meeting, break down in your introduction and say you got hiv from a dirty needle. this pretty much makes you bullet proof and left alone. prison is a gossip farm, the word will get out and it cant be confirmed because the medical records are pretty confidential still. I havent been able to confirm that and I would like to hear if anyone knows.

    Wouldn't this just make you a potential target for rapists who already have HIV?

    Depends on whether you think HIV-positive prison rapists care enough about passing along the bug.

    Also, it would certainly cut down on that alleged 40%-guard rape number someone mentioned earlier.

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  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    It says we're a brutal people. It says we're cruel. Unforgiving. Mostly it's further evidence that the idea of this society being "post-racial" is utter bullshit.
    It says society loves it's pound of flesh and that stirring up populist rhetoric against a change to a sensible prison system is far too easy because of that.
    It also says that, as a nation, we're really happy to get irrationally scared because bad things might happen (probably to our kids). We're also really happy to forget that the actual chance of $badThing is somewhere below 1% over the course of a lifetime in most cases.

  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote:
    And 50 percent of Chicago Mayors can expect to end up in prison. ROFL

    But seriously there are problems with our prison systems. One is that we shouldn't throw people in jail for buying or selling drugs. We could drop our prison population by %15-%20 from just that alone, hell if we legalized most of those drugs we would destroy the underground market, put a quarter million people to work and gain a 50-100 billion dollars in tax revenue. Other problems include prisoner abuse, high levels of sexual abuse and spread of infectious diseases.

    Ah, but you're forgetting the private prison system. They make more money on the number of prisoners they have (slave labor is profitable, of course). So much money, that they can bribe politicians to make things like "3 strike" and "zero tolerance" laws.

    Just recently there was a case of a judge in the juvenile court system ruining the lives of several young boys because he was getting kickbacks from the detention center.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41733263/ns/today-today_people/t/mom-blames-kickback-judge-her-sons-suicide/#.TpJ5VLKID4Y


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  • ProfsProfs Registered User regular
    This is incredibly sobering stuff.

    One bright spot; the ACLU has apparently stirred up enough indignation over this and it looks like the story's got some traction. The FBI's planning an investigation and the fucker in charge has pledged to make changes. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/10/baca-reopens-old-cases-amid-claims-of-deputy-brutality.html

    Nice to see some good 'ole public shaming is still possible.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    We like to punish others to make ourselves feel better.

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    It says that the US is backwards and corrupt. That it will happily stuff people into overcrowded, private prisons that earn their owners millions and create precious jobs. It shows a vindictiveness, that any perceived wrongdoing against an admittedly corrupt system is to be punished as brutally as possible. It shows that the poor are victimized for minor drug crimes and the rich can defraud people of billions and go free. It shows that politicians can spew rhetoric about being "tough on crime" when the most basic analysis shows that such methods do not work, and that the utterly ignorant population supports these policies.

    It says everything that is wrong with the US. That it is a country and society utterly rotten to the core, that the "land of the free" hasn't been for some time, and that every effort is now made to make it appear better to the casual observer, rather than fixing the real and fundamental problems.

    It says that things are going to get worse.

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  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Over at Sfdebris, in a review of an episode of Babylon 5, where the 'death or personality' and capital punishment were discussed, he brings up some interesting juxtapositions. The entire clip is an excellent discussion on justice, punishment and the purposes it serves, but the information starting around 2:20 regarding prison rape are excellent.

    Rape is generally considered one of the most abhorrent crimes by society in general, almost as bad or in some cases worse than murder. However, there is also the attitude that if you go to prison, you will probably be raped, and should expect to be raped, and this is a deterrent for potential criminals. In addition, there isn't much being done or support for trying to stop/prevent prison rape, even the anti-prison rape legislation is mostly about collecting statistics on prison rape rather than trying to do anything to stop it. On one hand, you've got Rape=most abhorrent crime and on the other hand, you've got prisons where rape, sexual slavery and forced prostitution are considered commonplace.

    The punishment for writing a bad check can become physical and emotional violation, and society is okay with this. What does this say about society?

    The full thing is below and is well worth a watch.

    http://blip.tv/play/AYKWsj8C.html

    Caedwyr on
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  • Dr Mario KartDr Mario Kart Registered User regular
    A different take - I think our prison system indicates that a large majority of the population have bought into the idea that a society doesnt have to take care of their citizens. They've bought into the false notion that they have a choice whether or not to pay for the needs of the downtrodden. "I shouldnt have to pay for someone's health care.", someone says. They ignore negative externalities. Things like crime. Worst case, someone who has resorted to crime now gets food, shelter, clothing and healthcare paid for by the taxpayer through the prison system. No choice.

    So in their ideological shortsightedness, we've crafted policy such that we'd rather take care of our citizens in the most inefficient, expensive and harmful way possible.

  • Indica1Indica1 Registered User regular
    I'm really surprised nobody disagrees here, this forum always seems so full of people who believe in The Rules. Goes to show how horribly fucked up the prison system is.

    How we ever let it get to a point where people are making a profit off of others being incarcerated I'll never understand. Everything is for sale.


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  • TheOrangeTheOrange Registered User regular
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high.


    To me, I think the problem is that most Americans honestly don't believe they'll ever have to actually deal with the jail/prison system. So they're fine with whatever any given sheriff or warden wants to do, and they laugh about prison rape. Because it's something that happens to other people. Without considering for a minute how many things they probably do that could land them in there. Hell, we just had a guy sentenced to prison time because he caused an accident while texting (that accident happened to kill a baby). Ever texted while driving? Ever? Well, you could have wound up in prison. Shit's not funny.

    I mean, it shouldn't be funny anyway, due to human decency...but with terrible people, you have to make it personal.

    And it's not just prison. I remember reading a paper on prison rape, complete with an example of a guy who was raped in jail after being mistakenly arrested. Wrong name, wrong place, wrong time. Got sorted out, but not before he contracted...it might have just been hepatitis, but I think it was HIV. But, you know, it could never happen to the "good" people. Lord knows the average upper-middle class conservative fan of law and order never smoked pot, right?


    (For anybody unfamiliar with our system, the main difference between "jail" and "prison" is that jail is where people are held either prior to a trial or after being convicted of relatively minor crimes with short sentences.)

  • override367override367 misogynist/MRA/socially irresponsible Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    The terribadness of prison is probably downplayed in most tv (or rather, misplayed: eg they talk about prisoner on prisoner violence and rape in a greater degree than it exists, but it's very rare than any form of media fictional or nonfictional talks about the growing fact that we have for profit slave labor camps in this country disguised as prisons, or the numerous other wrongs with our prison system that people generally aren't even aware of), the thing that's really downplayed is jail.

    Jail is a place for people who haven't been convicted of anything and the state must assume are innocent. Jail violence both person on person and guard on person is ridiculously common. You are treated like human garbage in a large chunk of jails in this country.

    It's just... it's just disgusting

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    Why are prisoners treated horribly? Because it's more profitable.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • TwoQuestionsTwoQuestions Registered User regular
    What does our prison system say about us?

    We're sadistic monsters who've demonized our fellow citizens to the point where no punishment is too great. We'll be lucky not to have public executions à la the end of Braveheart before the decade is out. People will still bitch about violent video games/movies/whatever, as actual human beings are being literally torn apart on Pay-Per-View.

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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    “The prison industrial complex is a system situated at the intersection of government and private interests. It uses prisons as a solution to social, political and economic problems. It includes human rights violations, the death penalty, slave labor, policing, courts, the media, political prisoners and the elimination of dissent.”

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high.

    The thing with prison rape and abuse it's the variation in rates between prisons is HUGE.

    Or, to look at this the other more horrifying way, prison rape is not that hard to stop, it's just many prisons in the US don't bother.

    The US department of corrections (or whatever it's called, can't remember) has been gathering a bunch of data on this the past while and releasing really simple easy recommendations that have shown to drastically reduce rape and abuse in prison. It's just most states have no interest in following them.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high.

    The thing with prison rape and abuse it's the variation in rates between prisons is HUGE.

    Or, to look at this the other more horrifying way, prison rape is not that hard to stop, it's just many prisons in the US don't bother.

    The US department of corrections (or whatever it's called, can't remember) has been gathering a bunch of data on this the past while and releasing really simple easy recommendations that have shown to drastically reduce rape and abuse in prison. It's just most states have no interest in following them.

    If there's one thing that history teaches about rape, it is that it's really only a crime when it's done to those we consider human.

  • GlandmineGlandmine Registered User
    I kind of get the impression that there's a ton of money to be made warehousing human beings at the lowest possible cost and getting a workforce that isn't going anywhere on a sub-migrant wage while you're doing it. It's easy to see how this contributes towards terrible conditions and apathy on both sides of the bars.

    I think what this says about America and Americans is that there's this modern myth in effect where everybody gets what they deserve. "Poor people are lazy." "Successful people are hardworking visionaries, maybe you or your kid could join their ranks." Consequently, if somebody's in jail then as far as a lot of society is concerned they're an animal who belongs there. Who gives a fuck about those guys? Often this'll be accompanied by a pound-me-in-the-ass-prison gag, or some joke about Bubba the buttrape boogyman. The thing is that I think a lot of people who go along to this are afraid of ending up in prison or having to visit a loved one in jail; this line of thought just allows them to believe that prison is something that only happens to other people. This is total pop-psyche crap on my part, but I dunno, that's my read on it.

  • TwoQuestionsTwoQuestions Registered User regular
    V1m wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high.

    The thing with prison rape and abuse it's the variation in rates between prisons is HUGE.

    Or, to look at this the other more horrifying way, prison rape is not that hard to stop, it's just many prisons in the US don't bother.

    The US department of corrections (or whatever it's called, can't remember) has been gathering a bunch of data on this the past while and releasing really simple easy recommendations that have shown to drastically reduce rape and abuse in prison. It's just most states have no interest in following them.

    If there's one thing that history teaches about rape, it is that it's really only a crime when it's done to those we consider human.

    Prison rape isn't a problem to many people, it's a feature. Whatever we can collectively do to inflict more punishment on those damn dirty criminals is always good, no matter how low we have to sink in order to do it.

    To the 'tough on crime' people, mercy, humanity, and compassion are vices we can ill afford.

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  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    Television and movies do not accurately portray prison life, no. This does not mean that rape is not a constant in prison, however, depictions of prison rape in popular media do not closely correspond to reality.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high. To me, I think the problem is that most Americans honestly don't believe they'll ever have to actually deal with the jail/prison system. So they're fine with whatever any given sheriff or warden wants to do, and they laugh about prison rape.

    This.

    Also, the victims are men. Male victims of rape, whether in prison or out of it, don't tend to garner much sympathy.


    mcdermott wrote:
    (For anybody unfamiliar with our system, the main difference between "jail" and "prison" is that jail is where people are held either prior to a trial or after being convicted of relatively minor crimes with short sentences.)

    Jail is where you're held before you're offered a jury trial.
    Prison is where you're sent after you're pressured into waiving your jury trial.

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Has there been a time in the United States when the legal system was about reformation instead of punishment? At best the current setup could be seen as something of a deterrent, just not a very good one. What options do people getting out of prisons have? If they had some marketable skill before being incarcerated and can find an employer willing to hire them then maybe they can rebuild their life to some degree, but many people end up in the system before they can develop these skills, and I am not aware of prisons offering much in the way of self-improvement. I am fortunate to have been born into a situation where this is not a personal concern, but it's one hell of a screw job to people born into bad situations.

    Basically our prison system is awful, and the awfulness is compounded by many factors including poor quality schooling and some segments of popular culture glorifying bad decisions.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Derrick wrote:
    zepherin wrote:
    And 50 percent of Chicago Mayors can expect to end up in prison. ROFL

    But seriously there are problems with our prison systems. One is that we shouldn't throw people in jail for buying or selling drugs. We could drop our prison population by %15-%20 from just that alone, hell if we legalized most of those drugs we would destroy the underground market, put a quarter million people to work and gain a 50-100 billion dollars in tax revenue. Other problems include prisoner abuse, high levels of sexual abuse and spread of infectious diseases.
    Ah, but you're forgetting the private prison system. They make more money on the number of prisoners they have (slave labor is profitable, of course). So much money, that they can bribe politicians to make things like "3 strike" and "zero tolerance" laws.

    Just recently there was a case of a judge in the juvenile court system ruining the lives of several young boys because he was getting kickbacks from the detention center.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41733263/ns/today-today_people/t/mom-blames-kickback-judge-her-sons-suicide/#.TpJ5VLKID4Y
    Let's not forget about the police officers' and correctional officers' unions. Any time anyone tries to do any type of reform, those unions rise up and start dumping money and endorsements into any candidate willing to come out against it. Why? Because from their perspective, it means less money for them, and fewer years where they get to pull in $160,000 right before getting their pension.

    They're evil, greedy fucks who don't give a shit about society, who are just trying to line their own pockets. So, the next time you hear someone say "most cops are good, it's just a few bad apples," remember that their money and their voice is going to support all of this, and that--at best--their excuse for not speaking out against it is that they don't want to "rock the boat."

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high. To me, I think the problem is that most Americans honestly don't believe they'll ever have to actually deal with the jail/prison system. So they're fine with whatever any given sheriff or warden wants to do, and they laugh about prison rape.

    This.

    Also, the victims are men. Male victims of rape, whether in prison or out of it, don't tend to garner much sympathy.

    We don't give much sympathy to ANY victims of rape in this country.

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  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    edited October 2011
    just a handful of things I think most people don't know about prison rape (and certainly wouldn't pick up from TV):
    • most adult inmates who reported sexual abuse in the prison setting claimed to have been victimized more than once
    • women are disproportionately victimized in prison: they account for 7% of inmates but represent 21% of victims of inmate-on-inmate rape and 32% of victims of staff-on-inmate rape in prison
    • Rapes are more likely to occur overnight (midnight-6 am) compared to "abusive sexual contacts" (groping/molestation), which are more likely to happen during the day.
    • Female guards perpetrate the majority (61%) of staff sexual misconduct
    • Male guards perpetrate the majority of staff sexual harassment (79%)
    • 28% of inmate-on-inmate rapes result in injury

    these are all bureau of justice statistics data. The 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act requires them to collect this information annually.
    edit: I agree wholeheartedly with enlightenedbum.

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  • ShivahnShivahn Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    It's very, very real. Probably not quite as common as it's portrayed on TV (where it's pretty much assumed that going to prison means getting raped), but the odds are still pretty ridiculously high. To me, I think the problem is that most Americans honestly don't believe they'll ever have to actually deal with the jail/prison system. So they're fine with whatever any given sheriff or warden wants to do, and they laugh about prison rape.

    This.

    Also, the victims are men. Male victims of rape, whether in prison or out of it, don't tend to garner much sympathy.

    We don't give much sympathy to ANY victims of rape in this country.

    While that's true, I don't want to take away from how lightly we treat rape of men. I mean, it's a legal impossibility in many jurisdictions.

    It's just something that most people don't even care about. Or find funny. And in prison, people find it downright hilarious and treat it as the best thing ever.

  • BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote:
    Has there been a time in the United States when the legal system was about reformation instead of punishment? At best the current setup could be seen as something of a deterrent, just not a very good one. What options do people getting out of prisons have? If they had some marketable skill before being incarcerated and can find an employer willing to hire them then maybe they can rebuild their life to some degree, but many people end up in the system before they can develop these skills, and I am not aware of prisons offering much in the way of self-improvement. I am fortunate to have been born into a situation where this is not a personal concern, but it's one hell of a screw job to people born into bad situations.

    Basically our prison system is awful, and the awfulness is compounded by many factors including poor quality schooling and some segments of popular culture glorifying bad decisions.

    Prior to the 70's there were at least some rehabilitative focus then the "What Works" paper came out in 74 and the country started shifting to the right and that was the end of rehabilitation.

    Our current system is on management keep people out of the public sphere for as long as possible unfortunately the public doesn't like prisons to have anything that could be perceived as "recreational" (these things tend to reduce violence) so many are losing gyms and commissaries.

    If our inmate population wasn't so large we would probably go back to the penitentiary system.



  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    (For anybody unfamiliar with our system, the main difference between "jail" and "prison" is that jail is where people are held either prior to a trial or after being convicted of relatively minor crimes with short sentences.)

    Jail is where you're held before you're offered a jury trial.
    Prison is where you're sent after you're pressured into waiving your jury trial.

    That's one way of putting it. The bulk of residents of a jail will be people who are, theoretically, still presumed innocent. Which is what I try to drill into idiots who support Sheriff Joe; the guy runs a jail, not a prison. But 99% of the time, I still run into the same "will never happen to me, so fuck 'em" attitude anyway. You're obviously a terrible person if you even get arrested, m i rite?

    I will point out that, at least in some jurisdictions, I'm pretty sure short sentences can be served in jail rather than prison. The cutoff is usually a year...so a jail will house both those awaiting trial, and those convicted but serving less than a year.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    I will point out that, at least in some jurisdictions, I'm pretty sure short sentences can be served in jail rather than prison. The cutoff is usually a year...so a jail will house both those awaiting trial, and those convicted but serving less than a year.

    Right. Your point about Joe Arpaio is spot-on. People in jail have, with limited exceptions, have neither faced trial nor pled guilty. They're waiting for their trial. Even people who don't care about the civil rights of convicts should care about the civil rights of people in jail, because they're largely innocent (in the "until proven guilty" sense).

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    Wikipedia wrote:
    In the United States, "jail" and "prison" refer to separate levels of incarceration; generally speaking, jails are county or city administrated institutions which house both inmates awaiting trial on the local level and convicted misdemeanants serving a term of one year or less, while prisons are state or federal facilities housing convicted felons serving a term of more than one year. On the federal level, this terminology has been largely superseded by a more complex five-tier system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that ranges from low security "Prison Camps" to medium security "Correctional Institutions" and finally maximum security "Penitentiaries". Federal prisons can also house pre-trial inmates.

    It would be cool if the OP at least had a link or even the name of the beaten man that was referenced. I assume the story I found of 'Gabriel Carrillo' is the one in question.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    Oh good, all prisoners are helpless minorities who were pressured/coerced into waiving their rights.

    ...except "pedophiles."

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    lazegamer wrote:
    Wikipedia wrote:
    In the United States, "jail" and "prison" refer to separate levels of incarceration; generally speaking, jails are county or city administrated institutions which house both inmates awaiting trial on the local level and convicted misdemeanants serving a term of one year or less, while prisons are state or federal facilities housing convicted felons serving a term of more than one year. On the federal level, this terminology has been largely superseded by a more complex five-tier system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that ranges from low security "Prison Camps" to medium security "Correctional Institutions" and finally maximum security "Penitentiaries". Federal prisons can also house pre-trial inmates.

    It would be cool if the OP at least had a link or even the name of the beaten man that was referenced. I assume the story I found of 'Gabriel Carrillo' is the one in question.

    Forgive me, I was in a hurry when I was making the OP but I will gladly add this information (and thanks for the news link actually, I had trouble finding an article about the situation).

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    TheOrange wrote:
    I'm really having hard time absorbing that rape stuff I see on TV; I mean, I'm saudi, we behead people and all that, but in prison? For some odd reason, everyone is nice, gaurds seem bored most of the time, and prisoners are obssesed about a card game called balot. I've spent six months there, and honestly, no mention of rape. So why is it such a real threat in the US? or did it just appear real because of TV?

    I'm in the same boat (deja vu). In Taiwan, we're pretty fucked up in this area--we recently reintroduced capital punishment a few years back, and at least I remember that we have some ridiculous practices attached to it (people are excuted solely by a "surprise" shooting to the back of the head or heart, it's the one time it's okay to tip--by leaving a 500 NT note in your shackles or something). But even with the leftovers of the White Terror, which is something America was not so insane as to emulate in its own right, at least there's some degree of concern with the situation and jails.

    Even with our own ongoing problem of corporate corruption, the idea of jails serving the profit motive, pushing aside the whole punitive vs. corrective debate, is pretty repugnant, demanding a sort of cognitive dissonance that would result in people being strung up politically--perhaps a consequence of the genuine reform-minded politics that the DPP did introduce, even if they collapsed on them shortly after. Being obssessed with money making is one thing, but at what point do jails basically serve that purpose? It's kind of mind bogling, like trying to make money off public kindergartens, because, hey, why not?

    The violence in the jails seems to be a catastrophic failing from this.

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    So let me get this correct, in America, when you use your civil rights to protest peacefully, you can have those rights abused, get your ass handed to you by a police officer, then sent to jail, where before you have had a chance to defend yourself in the court of law you can be beaten and sexually harassed/abused even though you are supposed to be presumed innocent - which may even happen to those come pay you a visit. And that wouldn't be an isolated incident.

    I suddenly have a whole lot more respect (and I already had a lot of respect for them) for your various protesters, especially the Occupy Wall Street protesters. That takes some courage to stand up to that level of repression. Maybe we should review what happened in Egypt and is still happening, they had horrible as fuck jails/prisons as well.

    Are you sure you are still free? I've been wondering if we in Canada are actually free to speak our mind, the police have been more and more using a play book that was developed in the US at Atlanta protests years ago and refined since then IIRC. Its one thing to claim freedom and another to actually be able to practice it at an effective scale.

    I am not looking forward to Harper's Cons building more prisons and making harsher verdicts by law for drug related violations.

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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    Yeah if anything Canada is becoming more like the US when it comes to our prison system.

    Its a shame.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    I don't really know much about the prison system in Australia. This is of some concern since "out-of-sight out-of-mind" begets the problems we're talking about here.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    I don't really know much about the prison system in Australia. This is of some concern since "out-of-sight out-of-mind" begets the problems we're talking about here.

    Australia is the prison system. Didn't you learn your history?

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  • AnteCantelopeAnteCantelope Registered User regular
    I don't really know much about the prison system in Australia. This is of some concern since "out-of-sight out-of-mind" begets the problems we're talking about here.

    Australia's prison system seems to be fine in general, but bad for Aborigines. According to the 2010 census, there are 170 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, which is about a quarter of the imprisonment rate of white males in the US, obviously a lot less than black or hispanic males in the US. The bad bit is 1,892 prisoners per 100,000 adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

    The prisons don't seem too bad, checking for controversies in Wikipedia gives things like 'prisoners given access to violent video games'. The wiki pages for a few high security prisons say that each cell gets its own TV, and that the prisons have tennis courts, swimming pools, soccer fields, and so on. I found a few places where inmates earned TAFE certificates, which would be pretty useful, especially considering most jobs here don't do a police check (my current job did, and it took over 10 weeks for them to clear me, so I guess if everyone did it the job market would get pretty clogged up). I found no mention of rape or beatings, although one prison had a high death rate, I think 8 deaths in 6 months, a few years ago.

    Really, the imprisonment rate for Aborigines seems to be the only significant problem.

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