Abu Ghraib was awful, I had no idea that worse things happened in the US.


Those that have a strong opinion should watch, then post.

Discussion should only include those that have reviewed the video that I linked to, otherwise, it’s just wild speculation, isn’t it?

It’s a 50 minute video. Any bets on whether or not I get a response within 50 mins of this post? I posted it late on purpose. This might get interesting.

Great, an extra t. Hopefully a Mod can fix that. Thanks in advance.

An extra ‘l’ as well.


You didn’t watch the video before thoughtfully posting that, did you? I’ll consider this all wild speculation!

Realistically, how many people are going to watch a 50 minute video without at least some synopsis of what it’s about?

You want me to tell you what to think?

I’m sorry, that was uninformative to say the least.

It’s about torture/abuse in American prisons. With footage.

Did you watch it BBS2K?

Apologies, my comment was flippant due to the silly nature that began in the thread. I’m sorry but I really find it difficult to sit through and watch that whole video. I just watched the first 5 minutes. I saw some degrading things done to prisoners, but nothing I would compare to “abuse”.

“It’s about torture/abuse in American prisons. With footage.”

I’ll echo what a previous member suggested, that possibly you can give us some examples of what the abuse is that you’re offended by. I don’t advocate torture of American inmates, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for criminals behind bars.

The main example is the video. If it’s too long for you, do you have the full picture? No.

Watching it in it’s entirety seems to be too much for you.

Once you’ve seen it, we can talk on the same level.

There is a HUGE difference between priveledge and torture.

I’m no fan of making convicted felons more comfortable than homeless people.

What say you to evidence of beatings, and potentially lethal uses of “less lethal” devices that have been proven to cause deaths?

Joe Arpaio is going to be mentioned here eventually.

I have no love for criminals, but the man is a sadist.

I don’t see BBS subscribing to the same beliefs that Joe Arpaio does. I hope I’m not wrong.

OK, I watched about half of it (insomnia’s a delight).

I don’t know. I just don’t know. I was glad when they revealed that sadistic prison employees had been fired for certain acts, and that suits had been filed over specific events. I’m glad that documentaries such as this are made, to shed light on these problems and prompt reforms (although clearly some “reforms” seem to up the ante rather than solving the problem – pepper spray is not a humane alternative to violence).

I don’t know, though, that it’s fair to just place blame on the people staffing and managing prisons. In some ways they ARE acting out a mandate that the public has given them – I think we DO send people to prison to punish them, rather than reform. I think we’ve given up on reform. We’re sick to death of repeat offenders acting on innocent victims.

And there is a culture of criminality in the U.S. I know somebody who worked as a psychologist in a group home for children, teenagers and older adolescents who were in serious trouble with the law. It’s a big facility, just north of Chicago, nice campus with lots of trees. These kids were real close to doing major jail time, and were given the chance to go to classes there and get some help instead, turn their lives around. Basically “reform school”.

Some of them did reform. Some of them changed their lives. It wasn’t many, but it did happen.

Many others, though, threw chairs through windows during group therapy. Destroyed things. Abused the staff verbally. Refused to cooperate. They couldn’t wait to get out of there in order to get to real jail! That’s what they bragged about, how they were going to prison like their relatives and friends.

The guy in that documentary who said “Well, put someone in a cage and they start to think that’s where they belong.”

Hell yes, some of them DO.

How one goes about sorting out those with potential from those without? I have no clue.

I’d be interested to read what QtM has to say. When the documentary started out in Texas and Florida, it was easy to say “Oh, those people are nuts anyway”.

I know there are other Dopers who’ve been the victims of awful crimes; I have to say I respect their feelings on this as well.

Fixed title.

You had no idea that some prison guards get out of hand? As for me, I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that this kind of thing goes on in prisons. So nice of those Brits to come over here and expose this dark side of the American psyche. We are truly an evil nation-- no question about that.

Actually, I did watch it. I saw your post this morning and was probably the first person to view the thread, I just didn’t have time to type a response after the video was over, had to get ready for work.
I do feel that there needs to be more done to prevent the types of “abuse” that we saw in the video. Although, I’m not going to shed tears for the career criminal who acts up all the time in prison and needs to be straightened out by some hulking prison guards. The abuse that needs to be stopped are the cases they showed in which the inmate seemed to be past giving up and yet they still worked him over and restrained him far past the point of need or necessity.
And that pepper spray job they give to some of the inmates is just crazy. They actually get second degree burns across much of their body, face, genitals, and it is so powerful and effective that it even burns inmates in adjacent cells and the prison workers themselves. That needs to be stopped, especially after I heard that they turn off the exhaust fans and seal the doors with cardboard to prevent any fresh air from entering the cell. I’m ok with the tazer, you get a predictable response and it’s very effective. Just don’t use it every time an inmate looks at you crooked.
All that aside, I doubt that inmates who behave get treated the manner described in the video. I’m willing to bet that 95% of the abuse cases can be traced to the prison guards having it up to here with a certain inmate.
One of the things that makes prison scary is that it’s unpredictable and dangerous. It sort of needs to be that way to make people not want to go there in the first place.

Another thing to consider is that if a lot of these guys were still on the street worse thing would eventually happen to them then what goes on in prison.
Not saying it’s right either way. I also think that in order to get an effective response and a valid criticism of the way some inmates are treated we need to see the whole story, the history of that particular inmate and his interactions with prison officials, not just the end result. Of course, the guards that take things too far and end up killing or maiming inmates should have the law come down on them. I’m sure that not every inmate’s action is met with a proportionate response from the prison and they should be.

Did you really think flippancy was the appropriate response? Sure we all know it goes on. But for fuck sake is that who we want to be?

Channel 4 has run documentaries on all subjects covering all countries. It has shown docu’s that criticise British, Irish, other European countries, Asian, African etc. institutions. It is not Anglo centric.

I realise you may not be use to stations that are like this :wink: but they do exist.

There is no particular anti-US agenda here. They just show progs that they feel their viewers will like. You go ahead and attack the messenger though if that works for you.

I only watched the first twenty minutes of the video, so I know I’m not allowed to post in here… but I’m gonna do it anyways. Feel free to ignore me for my impudence, ** dnooman **.

Prison is a dirty, nasty, crowded place, where punishments for every day infractions are far worse than we can imagine. Wow, never heard that.

I’m not too upset. The threat of going to prison should be a strong deterrent. Guards shouldn’t be allowed to maim, torture, rape or kill their charges, but I have no problem with the humiliation and degradation aspects, if that’s what is required to maintain absolute discipline amongst a population comprised of people who have already shown their inability to follow society’s rules.

How upset are you about the fact that many of the inmates dying are in for non-violent petty crimes and drug offenses?

Granted there are many thugs that deserve all the violence we can give them, but what about the others?