“bang em up”

Mary Beard, classics professor at Cambridge, briefly blogs about “the modern obsession with imprisonment”.

That’s where the “bang em up” mentality seems hopelessly misguided. Most websites today have deplored the idea that a rapist should be let out in under 2 years. WOT 15 months for rape?

No-one stopped to say.. well 15 months in the nick, that means total loss of job, probable mess of any family relationship, disintegration of family itself (ie punishment for them), plus the conversion of a wrongdoer into a hardened criminal (that’s what prisons do). Well done judicial system. Cant we think of something more humane and better and more designed to stop them doing it again? Isnt there something we can do better for the victim as well as the perpetrator? …

[O]verall it has been a bad week for those of us who worry about the modern obsession with imprisonment. The Today Programme also revealed that the maximum penalty for passing off penalty points for speeding onto someone else was life imprisonment (it’s perverting the course of justice).

Have we all lost our marbles?


Psychotropic Drugs & Beatings

This is an “account of life in Special Management Unit at SCI-Fayette in Pennsylvania [which] comes to us via the Human Rights Coalition”. A juvenile lifer (the unbelievable stupidity of putting kids behind bars for life) talks about his experiences.

I have been on Phase 4 for a month now and during that time I have witnessed several mentally ill RHU prisoners threaten to commit suicide. I have observed how RHU prison officials eagerly geared up in black Star-Wars helmet, body pads, shields, pepper spray and stun guns and were just itch’n to use their new toys against mentally ill RHU prisoners during cell extractions. I have witnessed the SMU/RHU counselor and unit manager come on the pod and leave just as quick as they came, without even as much interviewing and evaluating the psyche of the prisoners, let alone addressing their concerns. The Psychologist does the exact same thing. What occurs is that the mentally ill RHU prisoners’ minds deteriorate even worse to the point of insanity from the years of total isolation in solitary, forced cell extractions, beatings, restraint chairs, stripped cells, semi-starvation on food loafs, constant harassment by guards, and psychotic drugs.