Ending prison abuses

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  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    June 5, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    There has been "home confinement" (or "house arrest") for centuries in one form or another. Then there the possibility of capital punishment for proven or confessed killers, restitution and legal costs for thieves, robbers and other criminals, paid for by the offender not society. Why do we always punish society twice: the criminal commits a crime against society and then, when found guilty, the state commits another social crime in the enormous financial cost to society of ineffectively imprisoning defendants.

    This article shows another problem with imprisonment, this time to many of the imprisoned, and it is a huge one. Part of the punishment is not to be raped, stabbed or beaten by fellow prisoners who are violent offenders in or out of prison. It is shameful that any nation should have tolerated this aspect of incarceration or who have permitted its continuance.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 5, 2012 3:49 p.m.

    Meanwhile, ALEC is out there pushing lawmakers to privatize prisons and make all of them for-profit businesses. Of course, they also push for tougher laws and mandatory minimum sentences. They need all the customers they can get, after all.

    If you, dear reader, have not heard of the fake "charity" called ALEC, an organization of powerful corporate forces that have enormous influence among Republicans in state legislatures throughout the nation, you need to get busy and learn about them.

    ALEC is probably the biggest threat this nation faces other than the Muslim extremists. And maybe, because they hide among us, they are even more dangerous.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 5, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    Great article about the dismal track record in rehabilitating offenders. I have often wondered why is it we need to have the highest incarceration rate in the world to ensure our freedom. I agree with comments that petty crimes lead to jail time which leads criminal activity on a larger scale down the road.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    June 5, 2012 1:44 p.m.


    When was the last time a car dealer was put in prison for communication fraud?
    How many business owners are in prison for violating pollution laws?
    How many mine owners are in prison for failing to keep their mines safe and someone dies?
    How many bankers were put in prison over creating a recession by gambling with other people’s money?
    Prisons punish the crimes of the poor, most of the crimes the wealthy commit are not even illegal because they pass the laws.
    And when wealthy person steals and is sentenced under white collar crime statues they do not serve the time in a general population state prison.
    And they do not usually serve that much time.
    How can we put anyone in prison under such an unfair system?

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    June 5, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    In my view, one of the biggest reasons these thing happen are the guards.
    First of all; there are a number of these crimes that are committed by the guards.
    Why was it necessary to pass a law making it a crime for a guard to have sex with in inmate even if it is consensual?
    And secondly they are either totally incompetent in their jobs. In which case they need to be fired.
    Or, they just do not care, and look the other way.
    I suspect some of them are paid to ignore what happens.
    How else is it explained how drugs find their way in?
    How can anything happen, where the guards have total and complete control of an inmate’s daily routine.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 5, 2012 1:21 p.m.

    When you congregate a large number of people who have demonstrated contempt for law and order you can't expect them to treat each other with love and compassion.

    The best way to avoid the abuses that must inevitable occur in prisons is to stay out of them.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 5, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    @Doug S
    What happens with a perp is a victim. Example: I get charged with a drug possession. I go to prison and I'm repeatably raped. So on top of being imprisoned, the time for the crime, I'm also victimized, potentially with memories I would retain for life. Adult men raping adult men isn't a memory you are going to just forget. It might take a lifetime of trying.
    In my humble opinion a non-violent offender non-sexual offender should not be in a prison environment. At least with those types of people.

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    June 5, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Just as sexual predators are placed in prison to isolate them from society, so they should be isolated to an area where they can only prey on each other. Our prisons are full because of so many repeat offenders. Individuals will re-abilitate themselves given incentives designed to convince them that they don't really want to be there where there is no TV, no recreational facilities, no classrooms, no "bleeding heart" people apologizing for sending them to prison in the first place. Eat, sleep, work, and serve their time will do wonders toward rehabilitation, ultimately reducing the prison population. Dedicate your pity to the victims, not the perps.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 5, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    More comprehensive penal reform is needed. In the first place, we send too many people to prison rather than having effective alternatives. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, by far - it's not even close. Are we such a bad people, far worse than any other country? I really don't think so. The other concept is more focus on the human level rather than just warehousing people. The way the U.S. deals with its law breakers is really scandalous.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    June 5, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    We cannot discard human beings and their humanity just because they are in jail or prison.
    We need a universal condemnation followed up by decisive efforts to stop abuse in prison.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    June 5, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    When those who come out of prison are traumatized the chances that person is "fixed" from their criminal behavior would be reduced. According to the article some Quarter Million people are annually raped in prison. Not only would this traumatize the victim, but to have to live in that kind of environment isn't doing anyone any good. And before everyone jumps in: "But they deserve it!" I would ask does someone EVER deserve that? Maybe a few people, but overall a huge NO.
    how to fix this problem: a) reduce the prison population b) identify sexual predators in prison and isolate them. Neither of these options is being done.