We have a few chain gangs here, but the bleeding hearts seem to think they serve little use, the business interests gripe about the State taking jobs from ‘good, hard working folks’, the lawyers are, naturally, putting together cases concerning civil rights violations, cruel and inhumane punishment and the ACLU is watching real close to make sure that not one second of labor is used to maintain any predominate civil servants’ yard.
We’ve tried education and released criminals who were smarter and committed better crimes.
We’ve tried minimum sentences and developed a revolving door that pissed off the public by scooting the crooks back on the streets, even if on probation.
We’ve tried therapy and discovered that the cons, con the shrinks, get out and, having learned a bit, commit crimes then plead insanity.
We tried industrial education; teaching the cons skills, like stamping out license plates and pissed off small businesses who eventually got the jobs, turned out cheaply made, lower quality plates and the cons lost a vital supply of weapons to use on each other, which saved the State money by killing each other off.
We put them in boot camp and they learned how to act like distressed military personnel to con bucks off of folks and discipline to perform better crimes.
We heaped them all together in nasty jails and decided to let them sort each other out. We got cons running the jails, joining gangs, running crimes via phone, and tying up the judicial system with tons of frivolous and expensive lawsuits.
We gave them nourishing food, regulated every hour of their day, clean environments, respect, education, jobs, medical treatment, clean clothing, kept them safe from each other, even colorized the jails. When we let them loose, they were more thoughtful when they committed crimes.
We put them in solitary, with minimal human contact, the basics of entertainment, adequate food, clothing, medical and psychiatric care and educational programs available to them. So, they’ve been caught sending feces to people via mail, threatening lawyers, running con games via phone, blaming the system for their attitudes and filing suites.
We’ve treated them like normal folks, put them in minimum security, given them nicer guards, better food, computer access, better clothing, convict run encounter groups, convict run prison government, taken the guns away from the guards, sent them to special schools, given them work permits, brought in social workers, shrinks and educators. They’ve escaped or after release, went right back to beating the crap out of each other on the streets and pulling guns over a bag of chicken wings.
So, what would you have us do?
One guy in Texas runs a tent prison that the cons do not want to ever go back to. That sounds promising. Maybe if they don’t want to go back, they might keep straight.
Prisoners on local chain gang have complained about how bad it makes them feel to be out in public with people jeering at them, wearing leg irons, being forced to work in the hot, hot sun, being fed cold sandwiches and water for lunch, having to get up early to work and not being able to go back until late. It cuts into their hangin’ wit’ da homiez in the big house, sportin’ it up in da yard, actin’ cool before da brothaz, gamblin,’ watchin TV, and smokin’ some weed.
No matter what we do with convicts, someone is going to raise a fuss about it. I figure chain gangs are cool for the repeat pain in the butts, prison industries fine for long timers, education, therapy, various privileges for the short timers, isolation for the incorrigibles, and absolutely no gang activity allowed. Break up the gangs by any means necessary. No Internet access unless under major restriction and their Internet history checked afterwards. No websites. For people like Manson, limited fan mail, if any. For serial killers, limited contact with anyone wanting to make movies about them or write books other than psychological evaluations.
But, make prison uncomfortable and the 3 strikes law and mandatory minimum sentencing needs to be abolished.