It is this way because the people responsible to operate it deliberately choose to keep it this way. It is infested with rats because they want it infested with rats. Prisoners are denied medical treatment because they want prisoners to be denied medical treatment.
The individuals responsible for torturing 800 people at a time are clearly much worse than anybody held there. They have names, and homes, and could be arrested in them by New York police on New York warrants, if New York law enforcement could be persuaded to enforce New York law.
The Federal government also has laws covering the behavior of the individuals torturing inmates there. Federal prosecutors have a responsibility to prosecute them. Yet, they are not.
Neither. They are for sequestration. They are a place to put people that society just doesn't want to deal with. Punishment is just a side-effect. This is the reason we put people awaiting trial in the same facilities as people who have been convicted of crimes.
Rehabilitation is not even on the radar.
So, given that the pragmatic benefit of incarceration is protecting the innocent from being victimized, which presumably we all support, we should look if there are other less crude ways to achieve the same goal. I understand that Drug Court and similar programs have had some measurable success. But we can't forget there are very bad people who will treat diversion programs as a joke and an opportunity to continue to prey on others. Those individuals should be incarcerated, not to punish, but to prevent them from offending again. Rehabilitation would be wonderful and the opportunity should be offered, but some persons just don't want to be rehabilitated.
This is not the purpose of incarceration in Germany or the Scandinavian countries. The purpose there is simply loss of freedom for a short while as punishment, and assistance to better yourself for when you're released.
And their low recidivism rates bear this out.
But hey, at least it feels good to some people on a visceral level! Those world-leading incarceration rates won't maintain themselves, you know.
As a non-American, I'll never understand the cultural cognitive dissonance in simultaneously trusting the government to be "tough on crime" - despite all evidence that this approach backfires strongly - and distrusting their intervention in just about anything else.
Not defending the medieval “justice” system in the us, just being clear.
Additionally, a lot of times it makes sense for someone awaiting trial to push the date back as far as possible, in the hopes that witnesses or the prosecution decide not to show at trial or forget the offense. Maybe you can then get off with time served and without a conviction.
Which means jails are "how long can you survive in the worst possible place so your life is not ruined more than it already is". Because America is a fucking shitshow and we just don't give two tugs of a dead dogs dick about basic human rights.
I really hate this country.
This was a major factor of the Ferguson riots which quickly fell out of the simplistic press narrative. The mayor decided to lower taxes and fill the gap by charging people who were arrested. The consequences of that are no surprise.
(Not sure why my GP comment was downvoted. They are different systems with different pathologies).
Well known, well connected guy, busted for sex trafficking children.
But on the other hand, no one should be sexually assaulted and beaten to death.
Look at the current state of American prisons. We crowd prisoners together and make them feel angry, scared, weak, and ignored by the law (except when it hammers them down) for years on end. That makes it much harder for them to integrate back into normal, law-abiding society.
We should be trying to make it as easy as possible for a convict to eventually leave criminal life behind. But our current system does the opposite.
Or cases like the 'Manhattan Five' (and innumerable others) where entire sentences could be spent before being ultimately exonerated.
I'm not saying it should operate like a day spa on the assumption that someone may be there improperly. But if you need to scrape up a shred of humanity, remember that the worst we have to offer may not be the only people in there.
It's very easy for me. Compassion is for all people, not just those you perceive to be nice. I think the inability or extreme difficulty to have compassion towards fellow humans, as you've described here, is a major problem in America today.
We must all work towards a better future by understanding why bad people were bad in the past. This would enable us to build a better future where fewer bad things happen. But you're not going to understand why Epstein was the way he was if you hate him so much you're not going to feel any compassion to someone presumably as tortured as him. By making him into a monster that everyone wanted to die in the first place, then we'll constantly be faced with Epsteins in the future.
> But on the other hand, no one should be sexually assaulted and beaten to death.