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An essay on Prisoner Mistreatment

Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
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11/4/2010 5:11:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
It horrifies me that we allow prisoners to be treated so poorly. If someone is found guilty of committing a crime then we as a society have given ourselves the right to punish them by locking them up. But we also acknowledge that even someone convicted of committing a crime retains some basic civil rights. Unfortunately our prisons (especially here in the U.S.) are places where people's basic rights are trampled on pretty much as matter of course. Prisoners shouldn't have to fear rape, abuse & murder while they're incarcerated. A civilized nation should concern itself with protecting and maintaining the rights of all of its citizens, be they prisoners or not. A prisoner should be able to pay their debt to society with ample, constitutionally guaranteed, protection from harm. And while I'm getting worked up about the rights of prisoners, let me take a minute to point out the utter absurdity of consensual crimes in a supposedly free society. How can we justify locking people up for committing actions that have no demonstrable repercussions to anyone else? If someone's actions compromise the rights or will of another individual, then fine, punish them. But if someone's actions don't affect anyone other than the person committing the actions, then what business is it of the state's? I'm specifically referring to drug use. I don't use drugs, and I think that drugs can be terribly destructive and dangerous, but I don't see how the state can arrest an adult for doing something to their own body. An enlightened state should warn its citizens about dangerous activities, but it shouldn't be allowed to lock people up for doing things to themselves. I do not want any government making decisons regarding what I can put in to or do to my body. An individual's own body is not the jurisdiction of the state. Although we may find suicide, drug use, abortion, self-mutilation, etc, abhorrent, we cannot as an enlightened society make criminals of people that want to do these things to themselves, so long as their actions don't compromise our rights. Because we find something distasteful is not justification enough for us to deem it criminal.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/4/2010 6:32:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
But we also acknowledge that even someone convicted of committing a crime retains some basic civil rights.
Who is we?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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11/5/2010 9:07:06 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is more of a rant on the drug war than it is on prisoner mistreatment. Honestly, do you care if a rapist or murder is mistreated in prison?
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20000miles
Posts: 53
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11/6/2010 12:56:21 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 9:07:06 AM, darkkermit wrote:
This is more of a rant on the drug war than it is on prisoner mistreatment. Honestly, do you care if a rapist or murder is mistreated in prison?

I have an interest in not being mugged or killed in the street, so I must have an interest in how prisoners are treated.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/6/2010 10:28:49 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/5/2010 1:11:10 AM, Caramel wrote:
I think he is talking about himself and YOU Ragnar.

Then he is incorrect.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/6/2010 12:29:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Reply to Rockylightning

Amen to all of your points! I would just add that a true state of justice is one in which everyone and thing is functioning in accordance with its best nature and role in the bigger picture of life. This means that doing justice is enabling prisoners and drug addicts and other individuals who are failing to live up to their highest human potential and to play a constructive part in the life of their society to begin doing so, teaching them the necessary inner tools. In other words, real justice is not retribution and punishment, it's rehabilitation. And certainly drug abusers need help and rehab not incarceration and punishment. This would be mere common sense in a compassionate and progressive society.

Kudos to you for expressing a degree of decency and insight that many of the folks running our system seem to lack.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.