151 Comments

Ta, Robyn. A small improvement is better than none.

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Bureau Of Prisons Seeking To Criminalize Social Media Access By Inmates | Techdirt

https://www.techdirt.com/2024/04/09/bureau-of-prisons-seeking-to-criminalize-social-media-access-by-inmates/

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I get it- people with severe dementia are quite liable to wander off in confusion, which to a prison guard would be seen as an escape attempt (because they probably are no longer even aware why they are in jail in the first place. Dementia fucking sucks.) I see it happen a lot at my sister's group home.

Maybe the answer is not to put people with severe dementia in prison.... but that's right, we closed all the mental hospitals. That said, per my sister with schizophrenia who spent about a decade inside one of them before they were closed, they were about the same as a prison. Group homes are a better solution when they're adequately staffed and funded (which is almost never.)

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And yet the AZ system has 100’s of vials of pentobarbital for executions.

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How do you keep people trapped in showers for hours on end?

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founding

I worked lockup for 10 years. Does our system need a complete overhaul? 100%. The War on Drugs/Brown people, 3 strikes, militarization of cops, Private prisons, trash them all.

But there are predators who need to be removed from Society. Abolish prisons is like Defunding the Police, an unrealistic pipe dream and a club for the Right Wing to bash us with.

The Scandinavian model is a great idea but I don’t see it here with the racism and wealth inequality

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Isn't it funny how so many of our biggest problems can be traced back to the racism and inequality? Hmmm .....

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In my personal prison reform, only those incapable of being reformed in some way would go to prison. So, people like Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Peter Navarro . . .

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Most people who are convicted of crimes will not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. So they will eventually be released and become our neighbors, co-workers, etc.

The question then becomes, what should happen to those people to ensure the best outcome for not only those released from prison but those of us who will be their neighbors, co-workers, etc?

I would argue harsh sentences and dehumanising conditions are not the recipe for an optimal outcome for any of us. Nor is making it nearly impossible for the convicted to find housing or gainful employment.

Do I have that recipe? I do not. But I know what we’re doing now ain’t it.

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Agree.

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There is no perfect recipe but word on the street is if you actually care about recidivism then swede have pretty good take on it. Turns out its also humane.

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That's the problem. American society at large rejects humane treatment of criminals. That's how they can do what they do with impunity even though it's widely known about. That's why prison rape jokes are still a thing. We have this pervasive attitude and idea that being someone who has committed a crime makes you a sub human, not worthy of protection. It's largely a cultural issue.

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Lots of things make you a subhuman, like voting Republican, preferring dogs to cats, or liking vinegar-based barbecue. Some crimes count, others don’t

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I'm with you on all three. Crimes most vile.

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In college, I had a "Psychology and Law" class, professor Craig Haney. Best class I ever had in anything. Turned me adamantly against the death penalty.

We took a field trip to Soledad State Prison here in lovely California. I would politely describe it as "hell on earth"; it was like nothing I could have imagined. But that being said, I also got to meet a few of the inmates on that trip, and I would NEVER sign on to the idea of "prison abolition". Are you fucking kidding me?

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𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐬 . . .

"Prison . . . come for the smell, stay for the noise"

"Prison is for lovers"

"Prison . . . Share The Wonder"

"Find Yourself Here . . . Prison"

"Discover Your Own Backyard: Prison"

"Prison, as big as you think"

"Prison: Come as You Are. Leave Different"

"Prison: The Way Life Should Be"

"If you're looking for a merry land, go to Prison!"

"Land of 10,000 Prisons"

"Prison: Feels Like Coming Home"

"Prison: You're Going to Love it Here"

"Everybody is somebody in Prison"

"You've Got a Friend in Prison"

"It's high noon in the lone star Prison"

"Prison: Stay Just a Little Bit Longer

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{applause}

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Of course, the USA still doesn't have a passable system for taking care of non-prisoner people with mental illness, and still allows the police to taze and kill them when they become difficult to 'control'

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My dad had a reputation as one of the toughest sumbitches in the Idaho Department of Corrections. He was a lieutenant, which in the Idaho system was roughly the equivalent -- from the perspective of an inmate -- of a god on earth. He wasn't tough because he abused inmates or humiliated them. He was tough because he met with every inmate who arrived on his compound and told them, point blank, what his expectations of them were. If they met his expectations (and those imposed by the courts) they could expect, in turn, a positive evaluation to the custody review committee, Board of Pardons and Parole, or sentencing judge. If they didn't, they could expect to stay in prison. His word carried that much weight.

What is the best way to maintain security and order in a prison? Treat inmates like human beings.

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founding

I used to yell “Gentlemen, get ready for yard!”.

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A little respect goes a LONG way.

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It seems like a lot of our prison guards don't go into the biz because they have an overwhelming desire to shower others with respect.

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I've spent my entire life around prisons and jails. The best run ones are the ones that treat inmates with respect. That doesn't mean they coddle them -- it just means they treat them like men.

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founding

“ I’m not your friend but I e don’t have to be enemies. I didn’t put you here and I can’t get you out but I can treat you like a man as long as you hold up your end”.

My speech to new fish

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Sadly, I surmise (from reading Wonkette non-comments) that there are many of the "overseer" class involved in corrections in the US.

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I think more of them would be in the "otherwise working at McDonalds" class. Entry-level COs aren't paid much, and the hiring pool isn't the best and brightest. Lots of turnover, so the cream rises very quickly.

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I remember after Richard Pryor made "Stir Crazy," which was filmed partly in the (at that time the only) state prison in Florence, he joked that Arizona had no blacks because they were all in the state pen. That's true to a certain extent in most states. Arizona doesn't have as high a percentage of blacks living there as a lot of other states, but the percentage of black prisoners is much higher.

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It always is and those who advocate for harsh sentencing and punishment use that as “proof” that Black people are criminals. Yet we know that overwhelmingly Black people have little or no good legal representation. AND are constantly unjustly accused of crimes they did not commit. Or not informed enough about their rights and told that by confessing to a crime they did not do would give them leniency only to, sadly, learn otherwise.

Listened to a Moth story about a 16 yr old Black child be accused of killing his mother because he came home and found her murdered. He served 15 years, tried as an adult and mourning the loss of a beloved parent. No one ever bothered to even investigate THAT murder so double indignantly.

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Unlike many here on the 'kette, I do support at least a theoretical version of the death penalty*, but I am 100% against torture - and that's what solitary confinement, and confinement in truly inhumane conditions, amount to. Torture - outside of ticking-time-bomb scenarios that basically do not exist in the real world - is unjustifiable.

*happy to explain at greater length, but I won't bore anyone about that unless asked.

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founding

Firing squad

Quick and to the point. Old School

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Yep, that works. I've devised what I think is the closest you're going to get to a 'humane' version of the DP: general anaesthetic followed by... whatever method of instantly stopping brain activity seems most efficient (there are several options). Tarp, drain and bleach for quick cleanup.

For extra humanity points, you can tell the prisoner before the anaesthetic is administered that there's a chance they might wake up, because the governor might call - and that's not even a lie. So that can tamp down the panic before the propofol drip starts.

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However the company’s that manufacture that do not want to be associated with killing inmates.

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Yes, there is that.

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Despite my job, or maybe because of it, I do not support the absolute prohibition of capital punishment. While, as a general rule, I think most criminals are either generally good people who made some bad decisions, or people (whether good or bad) who don't know any better than to make bad decisions, I have met a few truly evil people . . . people who simply can not be trusted to operate in our society. Not all of them were killers, either.

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founding

I’ve taken kids out to the playground in leg irons and belly chains with “Kill Cops” on their forehead. Cartel trigger men who massacred entire families

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It takes all kinds to form a community. FYI my arguments against the death penalty are all practical and often grounded in philosophy (i.e. some things cannot be known for certain, so don't do anything irreversible if you have a way of avoiding it.)

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Apr 9·edited Apr 9

My stance against the death penalty is partially moral, partially philosophical, but primarily fiscal. Death penalty cases cost more money and hog up more judicial resources than nearly any other kind of court case (perhaps a far reaching RICO might cost more over time), mostly because it can be appealed again and again. Death penalty cases can cost millions of dollars to the state. Why waste taxpayer money on that when it costs more than keeping them in prison AND you can avoid an irreversible mistake?

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Because people with dementia can't wait to get into those cushy nursing homes. /s

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