From what I understand, there's really no getting away from it either. There's the myth that you just have to stand up and fight and they'll leave you alone but it's not really true. You might fight off the one guy today, tomorrow there will be four of them.
Even the young kids coming in who might be gang members and think they are 'tough' or connected end up getting it, their outside status really ends up meaning very little.
Not to seem like I'm derailing what the author of the article is talking about, but the fact that he doesn't mention what will likely be the most brutal part of anyone's experience in prison makes the other advice seem almost trivial and irrelevant by comparison.
Anecdotal: When I went through police training several years ago, one of our instructors was a former jail capitan. I've never met anyone in my life who took sexual assault and sexual assault prevention more seriously.
Makes it clear that what happened in Abu grab was not just some bad apples but and underlying acceptance of such behavior at home.
It is shameful.
1. Innocent people do get convicted
2. Prisoner suicide
3. Inability to integrate back into a less violent community
4. A prisoner code that requires you to participate in violence or be subjected to it
For a sobering account, check out Shaun Attwood on YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/derickatt
He served in Maricopa County Jail under super Max and medium security. The stories of violence from medium security are just as violent as any fictional movie you've seen.
Our prisons seem to be trying to fight fire (violence) with more fire.
It's a horribly unethical game we're playing with people's lives that seems to provide little comfort to our society or the victims.
I'm fairly sure if you took anyone with this view and forced them to have a conversation with you where you presented various scenarios (such as some low-harm and impact crime prisoner ending up getting repeatedly raped), they might change their mind, but actually getting people to listen with an open mind to alternative points of view is amazingly hard in the current charged climate where every issue is a political one.
Aye, they view it from a purely punitive perspective, rather than a punishment + rehabilitative perspective. In other words, zero thought or care is given to what happens in prisons or how those prisoners will reintegrate into society. They're dehumanized down to that action: shoplifter, murderer, etc.
If you remove the humanity from the person, you care less about anything to do with them.
American prisoners seem to have some narcissistic pride in how "bad" they are. Being the gangster type is glorified, and they're given a bit too much freedom in prison.
In Russian prisons, any ego is quickly dealt with, there's more discipline, and prisoners are afraid to come back. I remember a prisoner interviewed in an American prison having a very blasé attitude and saying "yeah, I get out in a couple of weeks, and then I'll probably be on the streets for another week before I'm back in here. That's just the system maaaaaaan."
You also seemed to have missed the recursive pattern in her statement. "I'll probably be on the streets," infers - to me at least - that she'll be homeless and/or without the prospect of any employability. This facet, right here, explains the recursive nature of repeat offenders.
Approached another way: Was she originally in for theft, which could be a felony, and keeps landing in jail because she can't get a job with a felony on her record and, therefore, has to steal to survive?
Disbarment from employment because of a criminal past is an example of how, even though the debt to society has been paid (e.g.: prison time, fines, etc.), the person is still - punitively punished - until they die.
Now to finally address the Russia question: How do you think the quashing of the ego occurs in there, if - indeed - such action occurs there? Somehow, I highly doubt that discipline is the reductionary answer and that it includes far more unsavoury contributors than simple discipline.
Put another way, a lot of military forces in the world have rigid discipline training but that doesn't mean that the ego is quashed.
Now, having said all of that, the problem is manifestly far more complicated, I do admit, than my simple explanation.
For example, when jails and prisons are run by for-profit corporations and they're only paid per head, then there's - likely - an unnecessary influence in the sense that the city, state, county, what-have-you will need to keep the prison population at a certain level to maintain the business' profit maintained, to continue to retain their services. The for-profit design, in this regard, is such that a reduction in crime (and, as a byproduct, criminals) doesn't bode well for the system.
Is it any wonder, then, that the three-strikes law[s] aren't desinged around three gross offences but one gross offence (e.g.: felony shoplifting) and two minor (misdemeanor) offences?
Then, there's the societal implications of the devaluation and dehumanisation of life in society. Reduction to a simple action is how a person is defined. So, if we do this, then we are implying that this is all the person is - forever. That's it. Paid your debt by serving 30 days for stealing a candy bar? Too bad, still a shoplifter.
I agree that the issue isn't very simple but I think the majority of the corrosion that enters is far more societal-based than anything else.
It wasn't a direct quote — I paraphrased from memory. As I recall, she wasn't homeless. By being "on the streets", I think she meant she'll be consorting with other common criminals, possibly dealing in drugs and sex. She gets in with the wrong crowd, offends, is incarcerated, gets out, rejoins the same crowd, etc.
I don't have any grand answers to this big complex problem. My point is I still believe in punishing criminals (proportionately).
If you have an unruly kid in the class and you send him outside, if he is able to pull faces at the other students or in any way undermine the teacher's authority, he will endure the punishment and then continue to be unruly because his spirit is not broken.
I don't think adults are any different. The key difference between cultures (at least what I could glean from these documentaries, so this is totally unscientific) is that the Russian authorities do not give an inch, so the inmates have no choice but to surrender their pride and learn their place.
Empathy doesn't work with everyone. Anders Behring Breivik is an example; he commits a truly terrible crime, and now he is mocking us from the comfort of his cell which has more amenities than in the homes of many innocent and hard-working people in Eastern Europe or South-East Asia.
Mental, physical and emotional fortitude is one thing as a side effect to the ends, but to make it as an end is perverse, I think.
I see prison as obviously both punishment and isolation, to varying degrees for different crimes. Making it about just isolation doesn't solve the problem with prison, it just trades problems stemming from overbalancing punishment for ones overbalancing isolation.
> Does the repeat shoplifter, which can't be trusted to stop, deserve life in prison then?
1) Accept the cost to society of letting a person run around stealing from various different businesses, probably over the course of years. Not only do those businesses lose money, but it makes their employees' work experience more unpleasant, and adds to a general low-trust atmosphere among strangers.
2) Accept the cost to the shoplifter of putting them in a miserable environment where they won't be able to thrive as a person.
Either dispersed costs for lots of people who aren't responsible for the wrongdoing, or concentrated costs to the one person who is doing the objectionable actions. I loosely favor the former... but this is a constrained example, and the available options kinda suck. (Not dissimilar to real life in that way...)
If you can actually get the shoplifter to stop their bad behavior, then the options and attendant tradeoffs change.
One needn't look very hard, /r/ for example, to see examples of this. People lauding, revelling, and even rejoicing in the suffering of criminals is kind of par for the course there.
Well, if they aren't separated, they do things to each other. This should be unsurprising. It is unavoidable.
They are also a bad influence on each other.
All Americans should be ashamed of the state of their prison system.
Homosexuality is rampant in state prisons. No one is raping to get laid. If someone gets raped it's incredibly likely it was over a large debt or because they were a snitch or pedo but even then its super rare.
And its not a myth that if you stand up and fight people leave you alone. Its never about winning or losing in a jail fight. It's about whether you stood up for yourself and whether or not you kept your mouth shut about it afterwards.
Please stop making shit up on forums. You clearly don't know what prison is like.
Oh and I was 18 when I went to state prison. So its not a matter of being young or not. Rape just isn't super common. It only has such a reputation in there because people like you talk out of there ass about it.
it was because they get ganged up on by a group, his head put in a toilet while a guy sits on the seat on top of his head, while the other rape him.
it had nothing to do with the guy's size. didn't matter how big he was.
He says rape does happen, but it's the exception rather than the rule. Obviously he's discussing the UK; maybe things are different in the US.
This is bad news for everyone.
Is this true of minimum-security prisons too?
Such action should be grounds for termination.
But yes, you need a good culture to start with, and you need trained personal to establish that.
As screwed up as our justice system is, having rights of the accused (such as to review evidence before it's presented and needing unanimous votes for a conviction) makes these errors less of a concern in the US. Not impossible, but less likely.
The UK have a few limits on what can be bargained...
No justice justice system is perfect, but I'm generally pretty bummed by of what we hear coming out of them..
I also think our criminal justice system is in need of some reform, but this number by itself doesn’t say anything.
What % of defendants are actually guilty? What portion of that 90% are for offenses that in better circumstances wouldn’t call for prison time?
One major problem with plea bargains in the US is that we don't know, because plea agreements themselves are sealed. Also, there is very inconsistent oversight of these plea arrangements.
It's worth knowing that the prosecutors have incentives to convict as many people as possible while defendents often don't know the strength of the case. Prosecutors and cops can also lie to get a confession. Combine the two and you can get a lot of innocent people to confess just doing basic math on what they're offered vs what they'll probably get for fighting back.
The remaining 10% (at most) mostly (>80%) are convicted of running away from youth services, about half the time with help from their parents (which is a crime, for children, "statusdelict"). For the remainder the vast majority committed theft, and there are single digit children who committed serious crimes. And while the cells are slightly nicer, not much nicer. The doors are very much locked. Also if the staff judges there to be any risk of you damaging your room, yourself, or they just think you did something wrong, you may spend an arbitrary amount of time in an isolation cell, in 2018 inspections reported cases where 2 weeks isolation cell was done.
You have no rights as a child before the law. You do not have the right to a lawyer. You do not have the right to demand proof. You do not have the right to not be incarcerated if you're innocent (yes, really). You do not have the right to even know what your punishment is. If you're under 12 you do not even have the right to speak during your trial, and above you only have the right to be heard. You do not have the right to know what you're accused of (which may be nothing at all, just that "your development is in danger"). You do not have the right to not be punished twice for the same crime (effectively meaning incarceration can be arbitrarily prolonged, during and even after they've finished, on the say so of the "educators" at the "institution"). You do not have the right to appeal a decision (the judge must allow that, yes, really, needless to say, this is extremely rare). Sentences are carried while an appeal is hanging or being carried out (often you don't have the right to attend your appeal). You do not have the right to education. You do not have the right to books, or library, tv, contact with the outside world, or ...
Those "educators"/guards who tell the judge to extend or not extend your incarceration are employed by companies who have a direct financial incentive to demand extensions (they're paid per "filled bed" and treatments provided). The same is true for the investigators of child abuse. They're paid per investigation ... and per treatment provided.
Needless to say, the system is rife with abuse (and youth services choose the side of the "educators" who commit the abuse in all examples I could find). In several cases in the past 5 years these people got caught sexually abusing children, in one case they got caught pimping out minors.
(As for actual crimes: total number of serious crimes (technically involuntary maslaughter): 2. Theft with violence or other violence was between 20 and 40 for the whole year. Total number of MOF (crimes) cases < 200. Total number of inmates: ~4000)
NEVER EVER cooperate with youth services. Any of them at all. Any kid is MUCH better of in even a very abusive relationship than in the "care" of these assholes. If you think they will physically survive the abuse, I would literally ask you to lie to child services, and to the police to protect children from them. This is the only moral action, and you are protecting those children from a much, MUCH, worse fate.
What you will not find there is any requirement for any kind of proof (not that it matters because there is no appeal process, so they're not exactly making sure they follow this in practice).
Or, for "MOF" ("crimes", knowing that by far the most common youth crime is running away from youth services):
They're in the Dutch language.
And here is a report on what is done with the kids, again in Dutch:
Meanwhile, they have appointed the person in charge of complaints about Youth services ... head of youth services. "Bruno Vanobbergen", who lied in Parliament about the reports he had received. Apparently there is nothing wrong at all !
Here he is doing just that:
(This leaked out because one of the parlement members had just adopted 2 kids with his partner and heard their stories about their situation in youth services)
Just a point to consider: this is dependent on what you mean by "are guilty". The incentive to encourage plea deals by courts, prosecutors and attorneys, along with a perceived leniency of outcomes among many in law enforcement has contributed to the practice of over charging. This is especially true for certain categories of crime, drug charges being one of those categories. So while I would agree that most people charged are guilty on some of the charges, I posit that most people charged may not be guilty of all charges initially levied against them.
A useful reminder that this is about prison in the UK. I suspect this little touch of sympathy is absent in the US.
I'll take those over tea.
Don’t trust, don’t fear, don’t ask for. (Не верь, не бойся, не проси.)
I find myself asking whether other forms of rehabilitation can be more effective than prison terms.
Once you get over the dehumanisation and anxiety of being locked in a box helplessly for many hours at a time, the most challenging thing is navigating all the complex systems and processes for doing anything (e.g. finding a time to go to the gym, doing your washing, collecting meals) - there are deeply engrained and often arcane / nonsensical rules around these things.
- When doing washing, speak to the washing billet (different prisons have different systems around this). When the washing in front of you in the queue is finished, it's your responsibility to put it in the dryer or queue it up. When drying, you must fold the washing which you take out before putting yours in, and take it to the person who's nametag is attached on the bag.
- The "screws" (guards) are "dogs" (the worst kind of thing you can possibly be). Never be seen to have any more contact with them than is absolutely required. The line here gets a little tricky and difficult when you start applying for jobs and trying to improve your living situation by petitioning for a single cell etc. How much contact you have with them before you are a "dog" yourself basically depends how much time you've done and how respected you are yourself.
- Never call someone "boss" (this is what a lot of people call the screws, somewhat ironically) or "champ", because it rhymes with "tamp" which is a shortening of "tamperer", as in "kiddie tamperer".
In Australia I think the prisons are closer to UK than US, although we are going down the route of privatisation and the system is deteriorating in a similar way to the UK.
The strangest thing is how calm it can seem on the surface most of the time around the prison yard. A casual observer could think it's a holiday camp. Right until some guys pull you into a cell and beat the shit out of you or cut your face with a knife because of some minor infraction or rumour.
I'm not judging, just found it interesting.
Also, long term solitary messes peoples mind. Whatever issues you have, they will go worst.
Actually, I think solitary is a punishment partly because it's not just "solitary" but because they also disallow books, writing material, etc. It's more of a sensory deprivation environment.
Write a blog post about you experience once your done..
(Maybe keep a physical diary)
And make sure to stack up on oatmeal before you get started.
I think you only go to solitary if you're a high profile security risk or commit a crime in prison.
I think you mean that the lack of line breaks is not to make the comment shorter in vertical space.
More line breaks, or at least one single line break, please, I understand you now, for readability and politeness towards other peoples eyes, would actually take more vertical space.
But I got it, better use line breaks next time. Or don't make long comments anymore, ever.
At least not in winter time.
Or if it is winter, only on weekends.
No, better just abstain from it.
:edit Now that you say it, the line breaks don't show in the comment! go to google -->Oh I need two blank lines! Dang. Ok!
Still something wrong. better give up the Internet, it's healthier overall.