Prison Rape Part of the Sentence?


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Joe Demko
March 7, 2003, 12:52 PM
I asked this once before, on TFL, and got some very interesting replies.
I can't help but notice a largish number of posts in the recent threads about sex offenders and John Walker Lindh that refer happily to prison rape. The members who wrote these posts apparently consider sexual assault and beatings from other inmates to be an acceptable part of the prison system.
I believe that by allowing it to happen, we become complicit in it. Would you rape John Walker Lindh? Then why exult in it when somebody else does it? I firmly believe that prison should be a place of punishment and I have even examined the idea of replacing incarceration with physical punishment e.g. canings. Yet I refuse to lower myself to the subhuman standard of cheering on a rapist.
The next time you are tempted to make a smarmy post about some felon becoming "Bubba's date" remember the incredible numbers of gun laws and how easily you can become a felon. Will you still be smirking then?

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spacemanspiff
March 7, 2003, 01:52 PM
you should note that some of us also acknowledged that taliban walker has already experienced being someones prag, and he probably wouldnt be all that dismayed at being turned into another prisoners prag.

Sean Smith
March 7, 2003, 01:54 PM
prag? :confused:

Joe Demko
March 7, 2003, 01:58 PM
Whether or not Lindh is homosexual is not germane.

spacemanspiff
March 7, 2003, 02:06 PM
prag = slang for prison girlfriend

CZ-75
March 7, 2003, 02:07 PM
No, it isn't part of the sentence.

Still, I can't say that I'm unhappy when certain folks become Bubba's "date."

Problem is that there are forgers, con artists, burglars, and other non-violent offenders that are more likely to be victimized.

Predators prey on the weak.

Mike Irwin
March 7, 2003, 02:08 PM
It's no more acceptable as part of the prison system than it is in society in general.

That said, though, preventing rape inside or outside the stir is pretty much a futile effort.

I'm sorry, but we don't "allow" it to happen, any more than we "allow" rapes to happen in other segments of society.

What would you have the prison system do? Release the poor darlings just because of the threat that they might be buggered?

How about the rest of society? How do they deal with the threat?

What would you propose to prevent prison rape? Assign each inmate his own personal guard to keep him safe? Why should prison inmates have that courtesy when no one else in society gets that?

Put each inmate into strict solitary confinement, with absolutely no access to any other inmates? Absolute, long-term isolation could be construed to be cruel and unusual punishment.

Medicate each inmate so he doesn't have a libido, and is incapable of maintaining an erection? Again, could be cruel and unusual.

Castrate them? Maybe after they become sex offenders.

Chastity (sp?) belts? Yow, I don't even want to think about that.

Viking6
March 7, 2003, 02:10 PM
Golgo-13, you're right on both points but it is honestly still hard to drum up sympathy for JWL. I don't think we should have to rely on prison thuggery to feed our need for revenge on those that harshly transgress society. That's the terrible thing about certain crimes, e.g. rape, murder, child molestation, there is little in the way to repair the damage. That doesn't mean they should not be severely punished but you can't unring a bell.

buzz_knox
March 7, 2003, 02:14 PM
It is not part of the system of punishment nor should it be, although some guards have been known to turn a blind eye to such activities for whatever reason.

Don Gwinn
March 7, 2003, 02:16 PM
I manage to be against it without feeling pity for Lindh, Bin Laden or whoever else.

Joe Demko
March 7, 2003, 02:20 PM
As for how to prevent it, I suggest that we could learn a good bit from studying the Japanese penal system. I also suggest that we need to re-evalute how prisoners are segregated and whether some crimes should carry prison time at all (e.g. lots of "crimes" stemming from the War on Some Drugs and the War on Guns).

Unisaw
March 7, 2003, 02:20 PM
Mike,

Very well put. I agree with everthing you said.

BigG
March 7, 2003, 02:25 PM
It's a symptom of the malaise that is our public penal system. Incidentally, we also have a public school system. Coincidence?

Blackhawk
March 7, 2003, 02:30 PM
As for how to prevent it, I suggest that we could learn a good bit from studying the Japanese penal system. Specifically, what aspects of the Japanese penal system would apply?

Mizzoutiger
March 7, 2003, 02:32 PM
I was under the impression that the prison system is now being aimed more at rehabilitation than punishment. This is in line with cable tv installed in prison, gourmet dishes served, access to computers. With all the little niceties the prison system affords the prisoners... what is their motivation for changing and trying to stay out of prison?
The cruel environment the more violent (and longer-term) inmates create is the biggest reason for these guys change their ways.
As far as caning goes... I see no difference between the state officially giving you a beating and the big boys in cell block D doing the dirty work.

Joe Demko
March 7, 2003, 02:42 PM
Specifically, what aspects of the Japanese penal system would apply?
As it was explained to me by a friend from Japan:
1. Prisoners are held singly in their own (small) cells.
2. No casual conversationn with other prisoners or with guards.
3. No reclining on the bunk except during specified sleeping hours.
4. Food, clothing, and shelter are provided (somewhat minimally) but no comforts or luxuries.
5. Very little contact with the outside world permitted.

There are other aspects which are more questionable, guards punishing even minor infractions of rules with beatings, for example. I would be reluctant to copy it wholesale, as our culture and criminals are different from theirs; but they do not have the levels of violence in their prisons that we do. I expect we could learn at least a few useful things from them.

TallPine
March 7, 2003, 03:22 PM
That sounds a lot like what I have been told that military prisons are like - military discipline still applies: push-ups for infractions, etc.

Can anybody confirm or correct that ...?

All I know is what a retired officer told me.

jimpeel
March 7, 2003, 03:27 PM
As I stated at http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=101133 , Lindh shouldn't even be in prison. He did nothing wrong. He gave the grandstanding Attorney General a gift when he plead guilty over the objections of his attorneys.

Before any of you fire up the flaming burners, read the posts at the address above -- all 110 of them.

Wildalaska
March 7, 2003, 03:41 PM
As it was explained to me by a friend from Japan:

I can confirm all that your friend told you is correct..add to it that the prisons are spotlessly clean, and one must wear the prison clothing correctly. Study is also encouraged, TV is limited.


Contrast it to a Thai prison to see what horror is...

WildandnoIhaveneverbeeninoneAlaska

Mike Irwin
March 7, 2003, 03:49 PM
A few small problems with adopting a Japanese style prison system.

1. Legal issues. At the very least, it's doubtful that the courts would allow the stripping of all "luxury" items from long-term prisoners. Courts in numerous states have ruled that inmates must have access to ammenities and facilities such as libraries, TVs, etc.

2. Cultural issues. The Japanese, as a culture, even their prisoners, are a lot more willing to accept harsh punishment scenarios than prisoners/prisoner advocates would consider here in the United States. Also, the overall crime rate in prisons in Japan is a lot lower than it is in the United States, but it's also a lot lower in society in general. The Japanese are also culturally more "coded" to accept, and submit to, authority. That's not the case in the United States.

3. Space issues. Ours is the largest prisoner population per capita in the world. It's hard enough to house all of the violent offenders we have right now. The public committment needed to establish enough prisons to have 1 person to a cell would be prohibitively expensive.

All in all, I suspect that the most useful think that the United States could hope to learn from the Japanese prison system is that there are significant legal and cultural difference that defy taking their prison system pattern and enacting it wholesale in the US.

Mizzoutiger
March 7, 2003, 03:50 PM
Nah, he shouldn't be in federal prison. He should be rotting with all the other Afghan POWs we collected.

NewShooter78
March 7, 2003, 03:52 PM
TallPine,
From what a family member told me of his time in the Brig, its no cakewalk that's for sure. And he did his time in the 60's when society wasn't as apt to care one way or the other about prisoners rights (pre-Attica). The time he did there was enough to straighten him out and convinced him to have a spotless military career after that.

Mike Irwin
March 7, 2003, 03:54 PM
"gourmet dishes served..."

I'd LOVE to hear tell about how prison food could even begin to qualify as "gourmet."

Perhaps...

"HEY! We putta spring uh parsley on your beans. They's gourmet now!"

rebbryan
March 7, 2003, 04:00 PM
my cj teacher is a former prison deputy warden and she said that you only have to defend your body once and they get the idea and it's not like in Oz or what you see in movies. i do smile a little when child molesters go to prison, i hope they get it, and a lot of it :evil: but they probably get killed first, believe it or not there's honor among thieves in prison, they don't like molesters and sickos

Blackhawk
March 7, 2003, 04:02 PM
As it was explained to me by a friend from Japan:
1. Prisoners are held singly in their own (small) cells.
2. No casual conversationn with other prisoners or with guards.
3. No reclining on the bunk except during specified sleeping hours.
4. Food, clothing, and shelter are provided (somewhat minimally) but no comforts or luxuries.
5. Very little contact with the outside world permitted.
Thanks, Golgo. Those changes would eliminate a lot of problems.

They would eliminate the "Crime College" aspects as well as make prisons someplace criminals didn't want to go to or return to.

Suppose rehabilitation might actually have a chance...?

Frohickey
March 7, 2003, 04:05 PM
The 'glee' to having JWL be Bubba's wife in prison is from an unconscious feeling that justice was not served in the sentence handed out to JWL. 25 years in prison?!!! He should be hanged for treason. :cuss:

As for prison, I propose that prison should be comprised of a few hundred flatbed trucks, a sewage tank hookup, a water hookup, a kitchen, and several thousand 10 foot by 10 foot by 10 foot steel cells where inmates are put into, the box welded shut and not opened until their complete sentence is up. No parole.

The cells would have their water and sewage hookups aligned so that the cells can be stacked on top of another. The flatbed trucks are to transport the cells from one place to another, making escape or planning of an escape difficult.

In the cell, inmates can contemplate on their crime, and what it did to the victim/s.

No TV.
No workout equipment.
No cable.
No books
No magazines.
No letters.
No newspapers.
No hard labor.

Ever see the movie, Papillon?

TallPine
March 7, 2003, 04:07 PM
"HEY! We putta spring uh parsley on your beans. They's gourmet now!"

But you have to give the parsley back after the meal so that they can use it again the next day. :D

rebbryan
March 7, 2003, 04:11 PM
No TV.
No workout equipment.
No cable.
No books
No magazines.
No letters.
No newspapers.
No hard labor.

then all they have to do is fight :uhoh: SC prisons took out workout equipment which i totally agree w/, and damn if i still don't have cable but they do, they don't need that. :scrutiny: make em read books, maybe they'll learn somethin

CZ-75
March 7, 2003, 04:21 PM
As it was explained to me by a friend from Japan:
1. Prisoners are held singly in their own (small) cells.
2. No casual conversation with other prisoners or with guards.
3. No reclining on the bunk except during specified sleeping hours.
4. Food, clothing, and shelter are provided (somewhat minimally) but no comforts or luxuries.
5. Very little contact with the outside world permitted.


The Pennsylvania penal system did all this in the early part of the 19th century.

This was decried as inhumane, even back then. Some inmates suffered psychological problems, allegedly.

Still, sounds better than the free-for-all we've got going now

Frohickey
March 7, 2003, 04:41 PM
They can't fight if they are in their cells, alone, with two 10 gauge steel walls welded shut between the two of them, and no opening to see the other guy with.

Edward429451
March 7, 2003, 04:48 PM
Ever see the movie, Papillon?

Yep. Didn't do justice to the book. Excellant read.

moa
March 7, 2003, 07:42 PM
A couple of comments about prisons. There are different classifications of prisons.

As far as I know, a supermax prison is 23 hour a day lock-down. Some with one person per cell.

Others are medium and minimim security. Some are half-way houses.

Prisons are often a microcosm of society in general, reflecting many of societies problems. Ethnic antagonisms abound.

In some ways, the prisoners often run the prison.

A hair raising book to read is "The Hate Factory", which is about the New Mexico prison riot in the 1980s.

Regarding Japanese prisons. On Death Row, prisoners are never told when they will be executed. It is left as a surprise.

Also, who would want to be subjected to Japanese justice system? Jap courts have something like a 99.999 percent conviction rate. It seems that just about all prisoners confess. I wonder why?
:rolleyes:

DeltaElite
March 7, 2003, 08:14 PM
It is not part of the sentence, but it is a fact of life as long as the inmates are allowed to interact with each other.
I can't condone physical, sexual or mental abuse of prisoners.
I sound like a liberal, don't I? ;)

We must defeat our enemies, without becoming just like them.

Drjones
March 7, 2003, 08:20 PM
1. If you don't want to do the time, don't do the crime.

This also applies for my belief that it should be legal to shoot in defense of your property.

Don't do it, and you won't get shot for doing it, and you won't go to jail and chance getting raped for it, either.

Maybe I should patent that idea, eh? :rolleyes:


2. Short of solitary confinement for each and every prisoner (or keeping them restrained at all times) how do YOU suggest we go about preventing other prisoners from raping and beating each other?

Make it illegal? :neener:

Peter Gun
March 7, 2003, 09:06 PM
I dont understand why we have so much interaction between prisoners in the US. They dont have to be alone, but very small groups that do not interact seems to make a lot of sense. Just enough human contact to stay sane, but not enough to form gangs or transport drugs. Doesnt take up more space, just divide the larger spaces. I like the stackable truck container Idea too.

Skunkabilly
March 7, 2003, 09:08 PM
CA Attorney General Lockyer, said he'd love to escort Enron executive Kenneth Lay into prison "with a tattooed dude who says 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey.'"

Yep. That's our attorney general! :rolleyes:

Ed Brunner
March 7, 2003, 09:39 PM
We gun nuts say that since the government can't protect us we need to be armed. If I am in prison, I would expect the govt to keep Spike and Bubba away from me.
A simple selection process could keep like minded individuals together. Sort of like Smoking or Non-Smoking.
Truth is, a lot of people think it is richly deserved.

Hammerhead
March 8, 2003, 12:11 AM
Duke Nuke'em that is.

One of the levels in the game is a prison. On the wall is a sign,

"Silence. Discipline. Remorse."

Regards,
Hammerhead

.45FMJoe
March 8, 2003, 12:19 AM
I personally don't care about them. Stuff happens, you sure won't hear me crying for them. In fact, I'd pass a tear for an old b-body Mopar being crushed before I'll cry for some incarcerated scumbag being raped. Sorry to be so blunt, but I care not. In fact, I say F them. Oh well.

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