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Old 10-26-2007, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Yakima WA
3,111 posts, read 2,359,659 times
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I recently saw a TV show about prison gangs. I am not only disgusted at how crude and violent they are...what really upsets me is that they are allowed to exist in the first place.

Why do we allow prison gangs? Why are they running the prison instead of the guards? My guess is that the ACLU has given prisoners so many rights that they can do whatever they want.

If it was up to me there would be order in the prison system. If a prisoner dares starts or joins a gang, stabs a fellow inmate etc. they would get tortured and/or killed.

Another thing that stood out to me as I saw this show is what monsters these prisoners are. These guys are so over the top violent looking and acting. Even a prison guard admitted today's breed of criminal is much more violent than the criminals of 20 years ago.

I saw a Johnny Cash prison concert recorded in 1969. The prisoners back then were much more respectful, and meek looking and acting compared to today's prisoners. I bet they didn't let the gangs run wild in that more innocent age. Today's prisoners look and act like monsters compared to 1969. It's like they are possessed by the devil. What's scary is that the average looking young men I see on the street today look more tough and threatning than the 1969 prisoners! It wouldn't surprise me if many of them have been released early from the prison system.

It has reached the point where the constitution needs to be changed.. What today's prisoners need is "cruel and unusual punishment". We basically need to pound them into submission until they know what their place is and start behaving themselves. If we do anything less, the status quo will continue which is unacceptable.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:04 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,356 posts, read 10,666,260 times
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Torture? Killing? I think that's a bit over the top. On the other hand, you do make some good points. Here are some others.

Why is sexual predation basically allowed in prison? Outside of prison, you rape, you go to jail for a long time. But in prison it's practically expected. Where's the ACLU on that?

And here's a big one. Why do they provide weight lifting equipment for prisoners? The reason prison inmates look like monsters is because they pump iron all day. No wonder guards and other prisoners get intimidated. Letting them bulk up is like putting weapons in their hands. And how does looking like Arnold Schwartzenegger help rehabilitate a prisoner? Let 'em read books or play video games or something.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
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Why are prison gangs allowed? It's very much because of the Self-esteem and Civil Rights for criminals delusions. We allow this sort of violence because prison is the "safety net" of an individual who can't live in the outside world where politics and environment defeat them.

Instead of living in a society that, in their minds, brings them down to the criminals they are, they chose to live a life of violence, gangs, prison, etc. There's nobody to stop it.Personally, I think these thugs need to be tamed. They need to be re-trained.. but not in the pansy-flower, self-esteem method. Give 'em Hell.


Now, I don't know what prisoners in 1969 looked like - but if Johnny Cash was there, it wasn't Alcatraz. There's no way the system would let a figure like Johnny Cash give a concert live to a bunch of violent criminals. Criminals, yes. Just not the Max-Security ones.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
7,691 posts, read 9,198,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog View Post
Let 'em read books or play video games or something.
Books I can understand. There's a lot to learn from books. Video games?! That's a luxury - that's a reason people go to jail. The jail here just purchased a PS3 and 360 for their inmates.

Commit a crime, get access to a next-gen system. That's nice.

And yes, the pumping iron thing is like giving them weapons. I think you should put them in a classroom setting and teach them - politics, business.. Treat it like a vocational center. Teach them a trade that will allow them to make a living other than crime.

But, habitual offenders should just sit and sit. Maybe a good reading every now and then.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:37 PM
 
1,268 posts, read 1,246,598 times
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I don't think it's fair to say the prison system is "letting" or "allowing" gangs, rape an violence. The issue is that it is so far out of hand that they re powerless to stop it. Inmates who are victims can't speak up because they fear reprisal so it just goes on and on and gets worse and worse.

The prison system is incredibly understaffed/thankless/underpaid/underfunded and in most states just barely keeping things under control 99% of the time.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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The weightlifting thing has always made me wonder too. I understand letting them workout and all, but to let them bulk up like the Hulk makes no sense. I thought I heard somewhere that some prisons were taking out some of the weights so that inmates couldn't lift so heavy and thus couldn't bulk up so much. Not sure though.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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A lot of prisons are badly understaffed. Not to mention that guard corruption has been a major problem in some facilities. How do you think drugs get into prisons so easily? Sure, part of it is stuff smuggled in from the outside by visitors, but the majority comes from corrupt guards. Would you really want to give corrupt guards the ability to 'torture' inmates at a whim?
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:59 PM
 
2,429 posts, read 4,606,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seatown206 View Post
The weightlifting thing has always made me wonder too. I understand letting them workout and all, but to let them bulk up like the Hulk makes no sense. I thought I heard somewhere that some prisons were taking out some of the weights so that inmates couldn't lift so heavy and thus couldn't bulk up so much. Not sure though.
Pulling the weights is a good idea. They'll still be able to exercise, but bulking them up would just seem to be making the inmates more dangerous to the corrections officers.

About a month or so ago, (back when I still had cable), I watched a program showing life inside a prison up in Alaska. Up there the inmate has one chance. If he gets violent then he goes in lockdown for a year. Since they began this policy the number of violent incidents has dropped dramatically.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:25 PM
 
6,758 posts, read 7,182,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuharai View Post
Now, I don't know what prisoners in 1969 looked like - but if Johnny Cash was there, it wasn't Alcatraz. There's no way the system would let a figure like Johnny Cash give a concert live to a bunch of violent criminals. Criminals, yes. Just not the Max-Security ones.

Actually Johnny Cash played at San Quentin prison, which is a max security prison that has an execution chamber on site. Metallica filmed a video at San Quentin and later went back to play a 1 hour gig for the prison population. They were warned by a correctional officer that the prison has a "no hostage" policy, meaning they do not attempt any negotiations with a prisoner who attempts to take hostages. They only go for control with an all or nothing approach in such a situation.
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:47 PM
 
8,972 posts, read 10,712,381 times
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Interesting thread, and reflective of the schizophrenic American approach to incarceration that we've had since the earliest prisons were opened just after the War of Independence.....and that is the two, somewhat mutually-exclusive goals of the system---to PUNISH--and to REHABILTATE. If you think about it, you just cannot do both of these things, and do either of them very well; but we continue to try.

Making everything more difficult is that in recent decades, our society has become so compassionate, liberal, P.C., and non-judgemental, that much of the "guilt" or "shame" formerly experienced by those "serving time" no longer exists. Trying to crack down on a person who honestly is incapable of feeling any responsibility for his crimes won't "rehabilitate" him, it will only anger him. Such is the problem we face in today's culture.

We vacillate back-and-forth from feeling compassion for these unfortunates (remember, it could be one of US) to feeling anger and a determination to punish them. And so it goes. If you anger and belittle, break down and humiliate a person, you can't rehabilitate him. On the other hand, in the violent world of the prison gangs, compassion and kindness is a sure sign that you're "weak". Too much kindness and lax rules invites disrespect.

I don't know how I'd handle it, If I were in charge. But I do think its a societal issue that goes way beyond the individual inmate or the prison cell. Many of our finest, most respected public figures seem to have no more a moral compass than the convicts--they just have better attorneys and press agents.
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