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The New Yorker on solitary confinement: it's torture

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by apple strudel, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    Annals of Human Rights: Hellhole: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

    Dr. Atul Gawande is a Boston physician who has authored some great essay collections. For example, Better is a series of essays on how to improve individual and group performance, and I highly recommend it.

    Some interesting facts:

    1) we have 25% of the world's prisoners but on ly 5% of its population.
    2) the prison population has quadrupled in the last 30 years.
    3) supermax solitary confinement can involve 23 hours a day of artificial light.
    4) solitary confinement has never been show to reduce violent behavior
    5) In other countries, more social approaches that involve betterment programs actually have shown improvement.

    Why are we treating our own citizens like Guantanomo detainees?
     
  2. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Yup ... confirms why the death penalty is a much better option for these losers.
     
  3. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe we should send them to their virgins. That wouldn't be torture, would it? :D
     
  4. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    So hasn't illegal immigration.

    But, it saves the other prisoners from the violent behavior of the one being placed in solitary.

    Such as?

    Did you mean to say prisoners?
     
  5. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Our prison system is a bit messed up. That's why we should just kill off the murderers and serial rapists / deport all the illegals / let go of all the druggies.

    :shrug:
     
  6. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Yo, hello.

    Prisons in America are like country clubs. Look at what they get, even in max security: 3 squares a day; private/semi-private rooms; free medical; free "career counseling" (both official and unofficial, aka "in-house"); weight training, basketball, COLOR TV; shopping for snacks; conjugal visits (for some).

    Hey!! What's not to like about that?? For a down-and-outer who never got a decent home to live in, institutions like the US prison system is the best thing in their lives. That's why they keep going back, and why more and more are taking up the government on such benefits.

    I say: let's go back to making prisoners do productive work for society while they are in prison. License plates, doilies for the governors' office, calenders for the state/federal office buildings; ANYTHING of value. Make 'em work for the benefit of someone else to pay off their debt to society. STOP THE COUNTRY CLUB LIFESTYLE!!! Then those who get hip to what's what will move on in their lives, won't come back to work for peanuts but rather work even MORE productively in society.

    It ain't brain surgery.


    //
     
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have been here before, but will try again..

    1. The constitution and its interpretation dictates much of which goes on in prison... you cannot deny people meals, there are not a whole lot of conjugal visits nor are there semiprivate rooms.. the reality is that there is overcrowding in just about every prison in the US.

    2. Most prisoners would prefer to do something productive during the day, work or some type of school/vocational training.. boredom is the baine of all prisons and often why there are so many problems. In RI when you are in a less restrictive unit, you can be eligible to work on a road crew for $1.00 a day picking up papers.. for this there is a waiting list and these jobs are considered prestigious. The reality is that people would much rather pick up garbage than sit around all day being bored.

    Smoking is getting banned in most prisons and most prisons are getting rid of weights...

    Despite the rosy rhetoric, prisons are not all that nice and the reason for high incarceration is not for a cushy life style.. the reality is that 1 in 31 men in the US are involved in some type of court ordered supervision. Been in a lot of prisons, never felt like I was in a Country Club....
     
  8. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

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    Of course the ONLY real cure for the high percentage of people in prison is to create good families, with a good family life where the parents and children are productively engaged in their daily lives, and even where the grandparents can feel they are welcomed even to live, if they so desire.

    Good families eliminate the need for prisons. Nobody wants to be a criminal if they have a good family life.

    Peace & Love.

    //
     
  9. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hey Obama "CLOSE GITMO" send them to Supermax a real prison, let them play basket ball with the California Gang Bangers and the Skinheads, get them out of the sunshine, God Willing no more "sea beeze" Praise God no more "lemon chicken"

    Salt air and sunshine is Inhuman Treatment, Oh Jesus, God Be With the Gitmotanians, forgive us God.

    GOD DAMN BUSH
    GOD DAMN HALIBURTON
    PRAISE ALLAH

    CLOSE GITMO SEND THEM TO SUPERMAX ALASKA THE BASTARDS LOVE SNOW

    GOD DAMN CHRISTIANS
     
  10. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    Read the article.

    1) This has nothing to do owith illegal immigrants. The increase of prisoners is from widening the scope of our laws to include imprisoning non-violent offenders, largely drug related.

    2) It actually tends to increase violent outbursts and presents a danger to the guards, the prisoner himself, other prisoners when the prisoner is released from solitary, and arguably normal citizens like you and I if the prisoner is released from prison. The result of solitary is an decreased ability to socialize normally. It makes certain prisoners more prone to violence.

    3) Come on, it's in the article.

    "So the British decided to give their most dangerous prisoners more control, rather than less. They reduced isolation and offered them opportunities for work, education, and special programming to increase social ties and skills. The prisoners were housed in small, stable units of fewer than ten people in individual cells, to avoid conditions of social chaos and unpredictability. In these reformed “Close Supervision Centres,” prisoners could receive mental-health treatment and earn rights for more exercise, more phone calls, “contact visits,” and even access to cooking facilities. They were allowed to air grievances. And the government set up an independent body of inspectors to track the results and enable adjustments based on the data. The results have been impressive. The use of long-term isolation in England is now negligible. In all of England, there are now fewer prisoners in “extreme custody” than there are in the state of Maine. And the other countries of Europe have, with a similar focus on small units and violence prevention, achieved a similar outcome.
    In this country, in June of 2006, a bipartisan national task force, the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, released its recommendations after a yearlong investigation. It called for ending long-term isolation of prisoners. Beyond about ten days, the report noted, practically no benefits can be found and the harm is clear—not just for inmates but for the public as well. Most prisoners in long-term isolation are returned to society, after all. And evidence from a number of studies has shown that supermax conditions—in which prisoners have virtually no social interactions and are given no programmatic support—make it highly likely that they will commit more crimes when they are released. Instead, the report said, we should follow the preventive approaches used in European countries."

    4) You don't lose your citizenship when you go to prison. They are factually both citizens and prisoners.
     
  11. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    Calling them losers is a pretty empty statement. Are they losers or victims of over-zealous laws and prosecution? Remember , the rest of the world does not incarcerate at the rate of this country, so what's the difference? Is there a real need to incarcerate at this rate, or do you just believe everything you hear on the radio?
     
  12. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    It's just alarming that you can shrug after such an statement: you've just condoned dramatically increasing the rate at which we apply the death penalty. We should have a thread discussion the extraordinary extent to which we are de-sensitized and don't mind it. Though I agree about letting go of the druggies.
     
  13. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Group hug time I guess.

    Actually ... I have worked in inner cities for a very long time ... losers is a choice they made a long time ago.
     
  14. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey


    I'm sure the families of the victims of the killers and serial rapists would be just as sensitized.
     
  15. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let the Druggies go, but not the Dealers.
     
  16. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    This is another empty statement. From the sound of it if you're working inner cities you're not trying hard to actually help. I hope that's wrong, though. As for the choice issue, I wish it were so simple and pat, but you've opened the nature vs. nurture argument. That's far from settled. Are you prepared to provide evidence that is not anecdotal to support your position?
     
  17. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey


    ...:confused:

    What are your qualifications to make a statement like that?
     
  18. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    I love how pat and presumptuous this forum is. My own family is one of these families. No amount of torture would bring my uncle, a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, back. Most of us do not support the death penalty or torture because of what it would make us. Fortunately we do not have to worry about the problem since the perpetrator died in the incident, but we're still in the "lock him up and throw away the key" camp.
     
  19. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    None other than my own understanding of the problem. My qualifications are not the issue, the truth value of the statement is.
     
  20. godef

    godef In the Starting Line-Up

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    Have you even read any of this thread? It's about solitary confinement.
     

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