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Prison reform?

middleagedgamer

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The federal government is tied up with such issues as health care reform, immigration reform, fiscal reform, job creation, and (at the judicial level) gay rights.

However, prison reform can still be a top priority at the state level, especially considering that most states are owned, either by the state itself, or by the county. In fact, according to the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are only 175 prisons owned by the federal government.

You don't think prisons need reforming? Then, why don't you read about this case right here.

Well, there is one major issue that would reform prison altogether: Prison rape.

And, prison rape can be fixed with just two reforms:

First, get rid of the weights and other work-out materials. In prison, you have the right to exercise, but not beef up. Replace the barbells and weight machines with simple treadmills, and you can get a nice cardio workout.

This would minimize the likelihood - to the extend allowed by the 8th amendment - of any one prisoner being able to overpower a new inmate, who hasn't had the time to beef up to that level. In fact, senior inmates might actually have it tougher, since newer inmates will probably have done a good bit of lifting before they became incarcerated, whereas longer-serving inmates' muscles will have deteriorated, making the infamous "prison b*tch" system a lot harder to maintain.

Second, give each inmate a cell to themselves, and any interaction between the inmates must be constantly supervised by the prison guards.

Thoughts?
 
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MaggieD

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The federal government is tied up with such issues as health care reform, immigration reform, fiscal reform, job creation, and (at the judicial level) gay rights.

However, prison reform can still be a top priority at the state level, especially considering that most states are owned, either by the state itself, or by the county. In fact, according to the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are only 175 prisons owned by the federal government.

You don't think prisons need reforming? Then, why don't you read about this case right here.

Well, there is one major issue that would reform prison altogether: Prison rape.

And, prison rape can be fixed with just two reforms:

First, get rid of the weights and other work-out materials. In prison, you have the right to exercise, but not beef up. Replace the barbells and weight machines with simple treadmills, and you can get a nice cardio workout.

This would minimize the likelihood - to the extend allowed by the 8th amendment - of any one prisoner being able to overpower a new inmate, who hasn't had the time to beef up to that level. In fact, senior inmates might actually have it tougher, since newer inmates will probably have done a good bit of lifting before they became incarcerated, whereas longer-serving inmates' muscles will have deteriorated, making the infamous "prison b*tch" system a lot harder to maintain.

Second, give each inmate a cell to themselves, and any interaction between the inmates must be constantly supervised by the prison guards.

Thoughts?
I don't know why prisoners should have the equivalent of Club Med workout equipment. I understand that exercise is a great way to reduce stress and burn off excess energy -- but, you're right, treadmills would do the same thing. I wouldn't equate it to creating a fairer playing field with new prisoners who haven't had a chance to beef up, though.

I also agree with you that prisons need reform from what I've heard. Prisoners should not have to be afraid for their lives. And they shouldn't have to be beaten up, robbed, extorted, raped or anything else. There must be a way to disband prison gangs. It would seem to me that prison systems should be required to provide a safe environment for prisoners. Anything less than a safe environment is abject failure, IMO.
 

middleagedgamer

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I wouldn't equate it to creating a fairer playing field with new prisoners who haven't had a chance to beef up, though.
I also explained how it could work vice versa, in the new guys' favor.

I also agree with you that prisons need reform from what I've heard. Prisoners should not have to be afraid for their lives. And they shouldn't have to be beaten up, robbed, extorted, raped or anything else. There must be a way to disband prison gangs. It would seem to me that prison systems should be required to provide a safe environment for prisoners. Anything less than a safe environment is abject failure, IMO.
Hmmm, do you think that an inmate (especially one who is in there for petty crimes, and REALLY doesn't deserve all the crap that comes with prison rape) could potentially force this kind of prison reform, by taking the prison to court, alleging 8th Amendment violations?

"I was only incarcerated for driving with a suspended license, and I even pled guilty because I knew I was wrong! I didn't deserve THIS! Having those guys rape me, and the guards not doing anything about it, was a violation of my right against cruel and unusual punishment!"

The court issues an injunction to the prison to reform their policies, and compensates the former inmate for the emotional distress suffered. Prison life gets reformed for everyone else, game over, and everyone's a winner.
 

MaggieD

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I also explained how it could work vice versa, in the new guys' favor.
Yeah, I know that's what you meant. That's what I didn't agree with. There's more to prisoner abuse than strength. It's the prison hierarchy, IMO.

Hmmm, do you think that an inmate (especially one who is in there for petty crimes, and REALLY doesn't deserve all the crap that comes with prison rape) could potentially force this kind of prison reform, by taking the prison to court, alleging 8th Amendment violations?

"I was only incarcerated for driving with a suspended license, and I even pled guilty because I knew I was wrong! I didn't deserve THIS! Having those guys rape me, and the guards not doing anything about it, was a violation of my right against cruel and unusual punishment!"

The court issues an injunction to the prison to reform their policies, and compensates the former inmate for the emotional distress suffered. Prison life gets reformed for everyone else, game over, and everyone's a winner.
Maybe the ACLU ought to get involved. Why not the 8th Amendment? Isn't it cruel and unusual punishment to get raped as almost an assured part of one's sentence?
 

middleagedgamer

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Yeah, I know that's what you meant. That's what I didn't agree with. There's more to prisoner abuse than strength. It's the prison hierarchy, IMO.
Well, considering that this is a matter of facts and politics, we need more than just a layman's opinion.

How, exactly, do you understand the "prison hierarchy" to work?

Maybe the ACLU ought to get involved. Why not the 8th Amendment? Isn't it cruel and unusual punishment to get raped as almost an assured part of one's sentence?
What is "aclu?"
 

MaggieD

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Well, considering that this is a matter of facts and politics, we need more than just a layman's opinion.
I'm just curious. I support 99% of what you say and you are contentious about my opinion that the prison hierarchy is more responsible for prisoner abuse than weight training? Really? Isn't it your layman's opinion that weight training and strength is majorly responsible for it? Isn't your whole premise a layman's opinion? Or am I confused?

How, exactly, do you understand the "prison hierarchy" to work?
Prison gangs is where I was coming from when I talked about prison hierarchy. There's another aspect to it and that is that the nature of one's crime puts them higher or lower in the pecking order with, for instance, pedophiles being at the very bottom.


What is "aclu?"
The American Civil Liberty Union. They often take up cases as Friends of the Court or Direct Counsel.
 

middleagedgamer

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Isn't it your layman's opinion that weight training and strength is majorly responsible for it?
Perhaps, but I use logic to come to that conclusion.

Even if there IS a "prison hierarchy," how do you expect the hierarchy to teach new inmates to respect this hierarchy? How else do you expect them to conform to the prison "norm?"

The hierarchy may be the legislative branch, but laws are worthless unless we enforce them. Rape is the most common method of enforcement in this prison hierarchy that you speak of, and, in order to rape a "defiant" inmate, one must be physically stronger, so as to overpower any resistance.

Isn't your whole premise a layman's opinion? Or am I confused?
It's a layman's opinion that is supported by logic.

Prison gangs is where I was coming from when I talked about prison hierarchy. There's another aspect to it and that is that the nature of one's crime puts them higher or lower in the pecking order with, for instance, pedophiles being at the very bottom.
You sound like your talking from experience, Maggie?! :p

But, anyway, I could care less about the gangs, as long as they have no way of enforcing their will.
 

MaggieD

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Perhaps, but I use logic to come to that conclusion.

Even if there IS a "prison hierarchy," how do you expect the hierarchy to teach new inmates to respect this hierarchy? How else do you expect them to conform to the prison "norm?"

The hierarchy may be the legislative branch, but laws are worthless unless we enforce them. Rape is the most common method of enforcement in this prison hierarchy that you speak of, and, in order to rape a "defiant" inmate, one must be physically stronger, so as to overpower any resistance.


It's a layman's opinion that is supported by logic.


You sound like your talking from experience, Maggie?! :p

But, anyway, I could care less about the gangs, as long as they have no way of enforcing their will.
You don't have to be physically stronger to rape someone in prison. You just have to have enough backing behind you -- be a member of the right gang -- have others fear retaliation. Do you really think that raping a man is all about the inmate doing the raping is stronger? I don't.

One link says you're more apt to be raped in prison if:

You are young.
You come from a middle-class background.
You are white.
You are not street smart or have no gang affiliations.
Physically you are of small stature.

Here's another quote:
Once a man "owns" another - and it is almost always a black "owning" a white - he is property in every sense. He can be rented out, sold or auctioned, told how to dress and talk, and given a woman's name. That this can happen is essentially unknown outside the prison world. "It would amaze you (as it did me) to see human beings bought & sold like shoes," writes a Texan prisoner. "You can buy a kid for 20 or 30 dollars on most wings!!" writes another. "They sell them like cattle."
rape in American prisons

I'm not sure being "beefed up" would save these people. When it's gang rape, which it usually is, what difference does it make how beefed or unbeefed someone is? Three on one wins every time.
 

middleagedgamer

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You don't have to be physically stronger to rape someone in prison. You just have to have enough backing behind you -- be a member of the right gang -- have others fear retaliation. Do you really think that raping a man is all about the inmate doing the raping is stronger? I don't.

One link says you're more apt to be raped in prison if:

You are young.
You come from a middle-class background.
You are white.
You are not street smart or have no gang affiliations.
Physically you are of small stature.

Here's another quote: rape in American prisons

I'm not sure being "beefed up" would save these people. When it's gang rape, which it usually is, what difference does it make how beefed or unbeefed someone is? Three on one wins every time.
Which is why I also called for separation of inmates without constant supervision.

Besides, that would give the ACLU (if they, indeed, get involved) a second cause of action against the prison: The thirteenth amendment.

The definition you provided does not sound like prison bitches; it sounds like genuine slavery, and, if the guards allow it, that makes them accomplices.
 
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And, prison rape can be fixed with just two reforms:

First, get rid of the weights and other work-out materials. In prison, you have the right to exercise, but not beef up. Replace the barbells and weight machines with simple treadmills, and you can get a nice cardio workout.

This would minimize the likelihood - to the extend allowed by the 8th amendment - of any one prisoner being able to overpower a new inmate, who hasn't had the time to beef up to that level. In fact, senior inmates might actually have it tougher, since newer inmates will probably have done a good bit of lifting before they became incarcerated, whereas longer-serving inmates' muscles will have deteriorated, making the infamous "prison b*tch" system a lot harder to maintain.
Absurd. This has absolutely nothing to do with prison rape; some people are naturally stronger than others. There's also power in numbers. Prison rape has always occurred, even before the advent of modern-day exercise equipment, and before prisoners had the leisure time to exercise. Even back in the days when prisoners were ill-fed and malnourished, prison rape still occurred.
It's just the nature of men.
Locked away from women, they get horny.
Additionally, in all-male environments, a primal instinct takes over, where men feel they have to vie for status by exerting dominance over others. Rape is one way they do this.
Other primates studied in the wild have exhibited this same behavior. It's obviously innate to men's natures.

Second, give each inmate a cell to themselves, and any interaction between the inmates must be constantly supervised by the prison guards.
Completely unfeasible.

And I say this as a person with many loved ones who have done time; several of them will no doubt do more time in the future.
Reform's a good idea, but your first idea is silly and your second one's unfeasible, and rape will never be entirely eliminated from all-male institutional settings, although it's not necessarily as widespread and prevalent as Hollywood portrays it to be, or as most people believe. A very thorough and comprehensive study of the matter by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2007 found that slightly less than one in twenty male prisoners is raped or sexually victimized in prison.
That's a lot, but you know... a woman stands a greater chance than that of being raped in the free world.
Maybe we should work on "reforming" society altogether.
But that would mean reforming the way that men's brains are fundamentally put together, and I doubt too many people would be down with that.

:shrug:
 
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middleagedgamer

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There's also power in numbers.
That's why I gave a second method.

Prison rape has always occurred, even before modern-day exercise equipment was invented.
Prove it.

Locked away from women, they get horny.
That has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. It's about control.

Plus, in all-male environs, a primal instinct takes over, where they feel they have to vie for status by exerting dominance over others. Rape is one way they do this.
And it needs to stop. Period.

Other primates studied in the wild have exhibited this same behavior. It's obviously innate to men's natures.
That's no excuse.

Completely unfeasible.
Justify that claim.

and rape will never be entirely eliminated from all-male institutional settings,
Just like murder will never be entirely eliminated.

However, we CAN impose sanctions against those who do it.

although it's not necessarily as widespread and prevalent as Hollywood portrays it to be, or as most people believe.
Prove it.

A very thorough and comprehensive study of the matter by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2007 found that slightly less than one in twenty male prisoners is raped or sexually victimized in prison.
There are a million and a half people in prison in the United States.

Here is proof of that.

And, that's only just for the present moment.

That means that, at any given time, 75,000 people will be victims of prison rape.

That's still a lot. That's an unacceptable amount.

That's a lot, but you know... a woman stands a greater chance than that of being raped in the free world.
Prove it.

Maybe we should work on "reforming" society altogether.
That is DEFINITELY unfeasible.
 

VanceMack

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Im thinking to the first time offender Prison Rape might be the best motivation that person has at NOT becoming a repeat offender...

OK...not to be flippant...but unless you go to a SuperMax prison format (which I think would be a good idea) you arent ever going to stop it.

Personally...I have a different idea for prison reform. 2 prison systems. System 1 is run like a boot camp. It is a reform prison for non-violent offenders. it teaches discipline, has an education system, skill training, etc. Run just like boot camp. Marine bootcamp...not Air Force boot camp.
System 2...located out in the middle of a deserted area. No guards inside the wires...guards posted on opposite two corners with 50 cal gatlin guns outside of three sets of barbed wire fences and ground sensors. no tunnels...no escaping. Air lift in supplies. Let the inmates set up a community and run the joint. No visitors (OK...Im not heartless...video conferences), no external packages. Rotating guards between prisons and shifts so no alliances could be formed to allow in contraband. 4 man crews reassigned weekly Daily drug esting for the guards and lie detectors. Anyone caught aiding an inmate gets a one way ticket inside. Serve your time and get out. No parole boards. Realistic sentences.Thats pretty much it.
 

middleagedgamer

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Im thinking to the first time offender Prison Rape might be the best motivation that person has at NOT becoming a repeat offender...
I got another idea:

Every morning, at dawn, a prison guard has to give the offender ten lashes with a whip.

That'll encourage him to not become a repeat offender!

unless you go to a SuperMax prison format (which I think would be a good idea) you arent ever going to stop it.
You can't PREVENT prison rape... just as you can't PREVENT murder.

But, the guards can PUNISH the rapist for doing it!

Personally...I have a different idea for prison reform. 2 prison systems. System 1 is run like a boot camp. It is a reform prison for non-violent offenders. it teaches discipline, has an education system, skill training, etc. Run just like boot camp. Marine bootcamp...not Air Force boot camp.
We already have that. It's called "rehab."

System 2...located out in the middle of a deserted area. No guards inside the wires...guards posted on opposite two corners with 50 cal gatlin guns outside of three sets of barbed wire fences and ground sensors. no tunnels...no escaping. Air lift in supplies. Let the inmates set up a community and run the joint. No visitors (OK...Im not heartless...video conferences), no external packages. Rotating guards between prisons and shifts so no alliances could be formed to allow in contraband. 4 man crews reassigned weekly Daily drug esting for the guards and lie detectors. Anyone caught aiding an inmate gets a one way ticket inside. Serve your time and get out. No parole boards. Realistic sentences.Thats pretty much it.
Your basically allowing prison rape to go unhindered.
 

VanceMack

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We already have that. It's called "rehab."

Your basically allowing prison rape to go unhindered.
1-Not sure what rehab programs you are familiar with but that is nothing like what I described
2-Yep...pretty much. Or at least policed and governed from within.
 

middleagedgamer

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1-Not sure what rehab programs you are familiar with but that is nothing like what I described
The goal is still the same: Reform, rather than punish.

2-Yep...pretty much. Or at least policed and governed from within.
You can't do that.

The 8th Amendment won't let you.
 

VanceMack

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The goal is still the same: Reform, rather than punish.


You can't do that.

The 8th Amendment won't let you.
Again...reform/rehab in modern systems is a joke. Take it to the Boot Camp level (optional of course..they can always choose system 2) and you might affect positive long term change.
And thats what constitutional amendments are for.
 

middleagedgamer

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Again...reform/rehab in modern systems is a joke. Take it to the Boot Camp level (optional of course..they can always choose system 2) and you might affect positive long term change.
YOU CAN'T DO THAT!

And thats what constitutional amendments are for.
That requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress, and 3/4 of the state legislatures, and no one is going to support such a radical amendment.
 

VanceMack

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT!


That requires 2/3 of both houses of Congress, and 3/4 of the state legislatures, and no one is going to support such a radical amendment.
I personally cant do anything. Thats my opinion on what should happen. Do I think option two would ever fly? of course not. Supermax prisons are your best bet

Im pretty sure you wouldnt get away with flogging prisoners either...just...since we are suddenly grounded in reality...

I dont know why you think a boot camp type system wouldnt work.
 

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Yeah, I know that's what you meant. That's what I didn't agree with. There's more to prisoner abuse than strength. It's the prison hierarchy, IMO.



Maybe the ACLU ought to get involved. Why not the 8th Amendment? Isn't it cruel and unusual punishment to get raped as almost an assured part of one's sentence?
The rape isn't a part of the government applied sentence for the crime.....

Come on people, your smarter than this.......
 

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But, the guards can PUNISH the rapist for doing it!
Your all about demanding some proof from someone....

Why don't you prove that this isn't being done already?

One or two "alleged" incidents will not be the answer either.
 

middleagedgamer

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Your all about demanding some proof from someone....

Why don't you prove that this isn't being done already?
What kind of proof would you accept?

And, if you wonder, exactly, what I mean by that, here's a couple of videos where an atheist explains what will cause him to convert to Christianity.

Part 1
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 1

Part 2
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 2

Give me a similar list of things that you would accept as proof that prison guards don't already punish inmates for raping.
 

middleagedgamer

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Your all about demanding some proof from someone....

Why don't you prove that this isn't being done already?
What kind of proof would you accept?

And, if you wonder, exactly, what I mean by that, here's a couple of videos where an atheist explains what will cause him to convert to Christianity.

Part 1
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 1

Part 2
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 2

Give me a similar list of things that you would accept as proof that prison guards don't already punish inmates for raping.
 

Caine

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What kind of proof would you accept?

And, if you wonder, exactly, what I mean by that, here's a couple of videos where an atheist explains what will cause him to convert to Christianity.

Part 1
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 1

Part 2
YouTube - How to Convert an Atheist Part 2

Give me a similar list of things that you would accept as proof that prison guards don't already punish inmates for raping.
Okay, so you have nothing.

I wanted proof that prison guards are doing nothing about prison rape incidents.
 

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No, I can probably prove it... if you'll just tell me what types of proof you would accept.


In what MANNER would you accept said proof?
Something that shows that there are ZERO incidents where rape is investigated after a credible report is made.
 
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