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Prison Activism What's going on? How to become involved.

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  #1  
Old 04-24-2017, 12:40 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Default Big question: What works? Where are success stories?

Has anyone ever made a prison system work for all the stakeholders, and made the changes stick?

How did they do it?

To me, something that works is where the correctional officers are safe from the inmates, the inmates are safe from the correctional officers and from each other, and the inmates will sometimes be better citizens when they come out than when they went in.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
Has anyone ever made a prison system work for all the stakeholders, and made the changes stick?

How did they do it?

To me, something that works is where the correctional officers are safe from the inmates, the inmates are safe from the correctional officers and from each other, and the inmates will sometimes be better citizens when they come out than when they went in.
That is a tall order you're asking for at this point in time. Personally, I think the problem stems from poor funding. Most correctional officers aren't paid worth a crap. Then, they aren't screened worth a crap. They, they aren't trained worth a crap.

The second problem is that there are not enough rehabilitation programs in prison for inmates to come out as better citizens.

And, the third is that even with rehabilitation, society in general is not conducive to giving an inmate a second chance at life.

Those are just three things off the top of my head and only the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:20 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
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I think the idea of a prison that 'works for everyone' is a contradiction. The whole point of having jail is to make things unpleasant for those who are locked up - otherwise why would we have jails at all, except for the quite small number of people who are truly dangerous? So I don't think jail can ever 'work' for prisoners.

The second fundamental problem is that when some people have power over others there will inevitably be abuse in at least some cases, and the more the institution is 'out of sight', the more abuse there will be. So there will always be some prison staff who treat prisoners badly.

Our goal should be to reduce the prison population by about 80%, close most of them, and provide people who do wrong things with other ways to make amends, to get help, to improve their lives. In the US that isn't even an ambitious goal, as the country already locks up 5-6 times as many people as a % of population as do most other 'western' countries.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:14 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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I agree with your goals. Who has come closest to succeeding at them?

"Works" doesn't mean the inmates will be happy! I'm thinking of a close relative whose mental health problems led to the locked ward. She hated every minute of losing her freedom, came out with a working set of meds that let her pursue a normal life, and agreed it was what she had needed. If prisons worked that well everyone would be better off.

So who's got success stories?
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:31 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
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Does the silence itself answer the question?
As you probably know, there are countries that put relatively few people in jail, if that's what you're getting at....
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