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'" (HRW) However, it is unreasonable to expect the prison officials to go out of their way to prevent rape, as the Human Rights Watch report seems to suggest. Only about one quarter of prison inmates are raped during their sentence, and the majority of these have some trait which provokes the victimization, such as being intellectual, white, young, effeminate, or a child-molestor. (HRW, 2) One cannot expect the guards to prevent all hatred and abuse in a system where violent criminals are all locked in together, and it seems inevitable that a certain brutal Darwinism will emerge. One rape victim, who tried to commit suicide after having been repeatedly brutalized over a six-month period, wrote about the system guards, "The opposite of compassion is not hatred, it's indifference." (Hrw, 1) This is precisely true, however the difference between the HRW or ACLU standpoint and that of a rational person is that no rational person would suggest having compassion for criminals. Prisoners do not deserve compassion, even though ideally the prison system would refrain from outright brutality and hatred, indifference seems to be a perfectly valid approach. After all, many of these criminals are there because they raped women or children - the government did not have an obligation to take preventative measures to stop those rapes, nor does it have an obligation to prevent prison rapes (though it should probably prosecute them and apply the death penalty for repeat offenders).
The final so-called right of prisoners is the right to access legal aid. This is somewhat absurd. Most people do not have free legal aid, and there is no reason why prisoners should. According to the ACLU, "prisoners may challenge disciplinary sanctions imposed on them under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." However, luckily new laws have recently been passed that help to limit the inmates ability to file suit against the prison system. Inmates may now be held responsible for their own fees, and may be punished by the system if the courts do not find in their favor but decide the litigation was frivolous. This is an important step in preventing criminals from tying up society's resources even more in their legal whinings about treatment, or in foolish attempts to get their sentences revoked.
In conclusion, it bears repeating that the only way to prevent crime among the lower classes and indigents, those who do not have health insurance or spa memberships, or even a warm bed and a T.V., is to make prison seem even worse than life on the street. Crime should be made a true last resort, only barely preferable to death, because prisons are truly frightening punitive measures. To this extent, any right that can be stripped from prisoners probably should. They should not be allowed free medical and legal attention, and they should certainly not be allowed to make and spend money in jail on luxuries such as snacks, exercise equipment, or televisions. At best they should be fed sufficient nutrition to survive, and given survivable living quarters... however, if the world were an ideal place, the worst of these villains would be put down before issues of fair treatment even arose.
ACLU. "Prisoners' Rights." ACLU Position Paper. American Civil Liberties Union. Fall 1999. http://archive.aclu.org/library/PrisonerRights.pdf
Acoca, Leslie. "Defusing the time bomb: understanding and meeting the growing health care needs of incarcerated women in America." Crime and Delinquency. January 1998.
A v44 n1 p49(21)
Crime and Delinquency, Jan 1998 v44 n1 p49(21)
AP News. "Missouri Pulls Video Games from Prison." USA Today. Tech. 2 December 2004. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-12-02-mizzou-prison-games_x.htm?POE=TECISVA
Courtroom Television. "Flat-Screen TVs Arrive in Oregon Cellblocks." CourtTV. News. 3 May 2004. http://www.courttv.com/people/2004/0503/tvs_ap.html
HRW. "No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons." Human Rights Watch. Report. 2001. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/prison/report.html
NCH. "People Need Health Care." Bringing America Home. The Campaign. 2004. http://www.bringingamericahome.org/health.html
Smally, Suzanne. "A Stir Over Private Pens. (privately run prisons)" National Journal. 1 May 1999. v31 i18 p1168(1).
or, more precisely, the fear of the State, which boils down to the same thing.
Who happens to be involved in a somewhat atypical program at the only prison in the State of Oregon that has this program, while Oregon is the only state in the union to have permitted such extravagance.
The vast majority of prisons do not allow personal televisions.
Though "inadvertent failure to provide" which stems from procedural difficulties or the prison not noticing the problem, is not actually illegal. (HRW, 3)
1994 study conducted by the California Department of Corrections revealed that approximately 18% of women prisoners had tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis," which is actually somewhat frightening since it is an airborne disease and many of these infectious criminals will be eventually release to rejoin (and infect) their children who will be still attending public schools... This is a good argument, in itself, for the death penalty.[continue]
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