xenologer: (human monsters)
Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons: We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why. -By Shane Bauer

Solitary confinement is ruinous for human sanity, which makes it a crappy rehabilitation tool. Additionally, you can end up in solitary for pretty shady reasons.

As warden of San Quentin Prison in the 1980s, Daniel Vasquez oversaw what was then the country's largest SHU. He's now a corrections consultant and has testified on behalf of inmates seeking to reverse their validations. As we sat in his suburban Bay Area home, he told me it is "very common" for African American prisoners who display leadership qualities or radical political views to end up in the SHU. (...)

[A] judge ruled that "a prisoner has no constitutionally guaranteed immunity from being falsely or wrongfully accused of conduct which may result in the deprivation of a protected liberty interest." In other words, it is not illegal for prison authorities to lie in order to lock somebody away in solitary.


Read the whole article before you come say something in the comments. Yes, all four pages.

Date: 2012-10-19 04:32 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] elf
elf: Many Americans have all the virtues of civilized people (American virtues)
Do I have to read it first? (I will. Just not yet; is a busy night for me.)

I've gotten into arguments on forums when "religious freedom" comes up, and I point out that the US prison system is antithetical to my religious beliefs, and I'm expected to just accept it.

I generally get told that there's no anti-prison rule in Wicca and I must be making that up. And my thoughts are generally too tangled and nebulous to argue for long, so I don't wind up getting into it much, but: Pointless imprisonment is against my religion. Revenge disguised as punishment is against my religion. Destruction of people's integrity, willpower, and sense of self is against my religion. Abuses of authority, and especially refusals to curtail those abuses, are against my religion.

I'm not up to reading an in-depth article about the horrific things done to prisoners in the guise of "humane" punishments right now.

Date: 2012-10-19 05:36 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] elf
elf: Many Americans have all the virtues of civilized people (American virtues)
If we don't care what happens to people after they commit crimes, we should just kill them. If we're paying for them to stick around, with the intention of releasing them into the public, they need to be treated in a way that makes them able to *function* in public.

And we need to treat them in a way that makes the jailors and people in the legal system capable of functioning in public, rather than turning them into bullies and torturers who think that social problems are best solved through intimidation.

Date: 2012-10-20 11:56 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] silveradept
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
Reading this account and others, it's always a bit word having to remember that society will happily do to the incarcerated what they believe to be tortuous if it were to be done to them. We have some very bad logic problems when out comes to cruel and unusual punishments.

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