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Tags criminal justice issues , criminal justice system , jail and prison incidents , jail and prison issues , Oklahoma incidents

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Old 4th November 2019, 03:47 PM   #1
JoeMorgue
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Hundreds of Oklahoma Inmates Freed

Quote:
(CNN) - Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates left prison Monday before their original sentences were over. And bipartisan lawmakers couldn't be happier.

In the largest mass commutation in US history, at least 462 non-violent inmates were released, officials said. A total of 527 inmates had their sentences commuted Friday, but 65 of them have detainers and will be released later.
CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/04/us/ok...ion/index.html
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Old 4th November 2019, 03:51 PM   #2
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Penal reform is a very good thing.
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Old 4th November 2019, 09:42 PM   #3
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Good
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Old 4th November 2019, 09:54 PM   #4
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Excellent. Humanity really needs to reexamine its approach to crime and punishment.
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Old 5th November 2019, 04:18 AM   #5
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Turfed out of prison into Oklahoma? That may count as cruel and unusual. If given the choice it would take a long time and much thought and writing of pros and cons lists.
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Old 5th November 2019, 09:18 AM   #6
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The enduring problem is that Americans (USAns) love demonizing criminals and yanking them out of society; but hate paying basic needs or ensuring safety amongst the imprisoned.
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Old 5th November 2019, 09:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
The enduring problem is that Americans (USAns) love demonizing criminals and yanking them out of society; but hate paying basic needs or ensuring safety amongst the imprisoned.
Which is surely unique to America. Every other country loves its prisoners and treats them so beautifully they don't want to leave.
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Old 5th November 2019, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
The enduring problem is that Americans (USAns) love demonizing criminals and yanking them out of society; but hate paying basic needs or ensuring safety amongst the imprisoned.

They're there to be punished, not coddled.

A number of years ago, one of the official Dungeons & Dragons magazines published a piece about some prisons banning tabletop RPGs for reasons such as they involve gambling (use dice) or encourage the formation of gangs (social groups), or not allowing RPG magazines to be delivered to inmates because they contain maps (of fictional locations). Some readers responded with outrage that the magazine would care about inmates, and objected to the very idea of the prisoners being allowed entertainment of any kind. They're apparently supposed to spend their entire sentence staring at blank walls or engaging in hard labor.
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Old 5th November 2019, 11:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
They're there to be punished, not coddled.

A number of years ago, one of the official Dungeons & Dragons magazines published a piece about some prisons banning tabletop RPGs for reasons such as they involve gambling (use dice) or encourage the formation of gangs (social groups), or not allowing RPG magazines to be delivered to inmates because they contain maps (of fictional locations). Some readers responded with outrage that the magazine would care about inmates, and objected to the very idea of the prisoners being allowed entertainment of any kind. They're apparently supposed to spend their entire sentence staring at blank walls or engaging in hard labor.
That was the initial idea, actually.

If you are ever in Philadelphia, I recommend. https://www.easternstate.org

Learn who put the "Penitent" in Penitentiary.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:03 PM   #10
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I'm not convinced that the US penal system has....philosophy or goal.

This move is probably a good thing.

The numbers are interesting:
Quote:
Of the hundreds of inmates who had their sentences commuted:
-- The average age is 39.7 years old
-- 75% are men, and 25% are women
-- They had been incarcerated for three years
-- They were being released an average of 1.34 years early
That's would seem to be a lot of people convicted in their late 30s, which is pretty weird.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:12 PM   #11
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Just like with deinstutionalization, releasing prisoners without adequate follow up by the authorities and expecting them to handle themselves, can easily lead to a cycle of going in and out of prison. This is especially true for people with psychiatric issues (especially ADHD/ADD), a history of drug abuse and those lacking education. These people are already more likely to commit crimes but also be caught and convicted.

In Sweden the cops have notionally been quite tough on drugs, but over the years they have been forced to effectively ignore repeated drug users because they don't have enough resources (principly police officers) to go around catching and prosecuting them.

They are too busy dealing with the gangsters who are shooting it out on the streets (or in one extreme recent murder, executing a nurse holding her recently born baby with a gunshot to head, presumably because her husband was connected to organized crime).

Unfortunately a large portion of drug abusers, who often lack the ability to keep a stable job, pay for their addictions by commiting crimes like theft. So in a sense, by ignoring the petty drug abusers, because they can't afford to bother with them unless they are pretty much caught red handed while committing another crime, they push the costs onto society.

Even then, Sweden is very safe (with the exception of 2-3 dozen areas, none of them in the northern parts of the country) despite right-wing media constantly trying to push the narrative of out of control crime.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
They're there to be punished, not coddled.

A number of years ago, one of the official Dungeons & Dragons magazines published a piece about some prisons banning tabletop RPGs for reasons such as they involve gambling (use dice) or encourage the formation of gangs (social groups), or not allowing RPG magazines to be delivered to inmates because they contain maps (of fictional locations). Some readers responded with outrage that the magazine would care about inmates, and objected to the very idea of the prisoners being allowed entertainment of any kind. They're apparently supposed to spend their entire sentence staring at blank walls or engaging in hard labor.
The level of wellbeing, feelings of safety and satisfaction of prisoners is strongly related to the level of order, violence and disobedience in penal facilities. It's certainly possible to rule by fear, with whips and guns, but it's a recipe for crime and brutality both inside and outside the prison walls.

This is why it's not shocking that societies that treat prisoners with callous brutality are permeated with the same. Brutality brutalizes both the brutalized and the brutalizers alike.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
The level of wellbeing, feelings of safety and satisfaction of prisoners is strongly related to the level of order, violence and disobedience in penal facilities. It's certainly possible to rule by fear, with whips and guns, but it's a recipe for crime and brutality both inside and outside the prison walls.
It is also cheaper and uses less resources to have inmates "satisfied" - or at least, not dissatisfied to the point of uprising. Maximum security is expensive.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
They're there to be punished, not coddled.
They're there to be separated from a society they have caused damage to, not pushed to become even more devastating.
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Which is surely unique to America. Every other country loves its prisoners and treats them so beautifully they don't want to leave.
At one point in Iowa, they changed it to require prisoners to pay for their meals.

Because, you know, people in prison have the money to pay $10 a day for their food.

So the inmates get to pay to be in jail!
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Old 5th November 2019, 12:59 PM   #16
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In Britain, if a person who was the victim of a miscarriage of justice actually manages to get through the hoops and be awarded compensation for the years of their lives they spent in jail (this means actually proving your innocence, so in effect if they haven't found who really did it or you don't have an unbreakable alibi, you're out of luck), they will then deduct board and lodging for these years from your meagre compensation.

It's monstrous.
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Old 5th November 2019, 01:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Just like with deinstutionalization, releasing prisoners without adequate follow up by the authorities and expecting them to handle themselves, can easily lead to a cycle of going in and out of prison. This is especially true for people with psychiatric issues (especially ADHD/ADD), a history of drug abuse and those lacking education. These people are already more likely to commit crimes but also be caught and convicted.
This is one of the big issues with the US system in my opinion. Not only do we punish them while in prison we essentially keep punishing them by not letting them fully reintegrate.
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Old 5th November 2019, 06:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
It is also cheaper and uses less resources to have inmates "satisfied" - or at least, not dissatisfied to the point of uprising. Maximum security is expensive.
Yes. Stressed, anxious and highly under-stimulated people don't exactly make for safe and secure environment especially when many of these individuals already have a low threshold for when they resort to violence.

That's why aiming to keep prisoners content with their situation, for example by allowing leisurely activities, saves both money and lives in the long run. Making their lives miserable on purpose as a form of punishment does the opposite, and is especially counterproductive because many of these people will released from prison eventually. Producing people who feel embittered, resentful against public authorities and potentially traumatized by their experiences in prison is not a good way to encourage a law-abiding mentality.
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Last edited by Arcade22; 5th November 2019 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
That's why aiming to keep prisoners content with their situation, for example by allowing leisurely activities, saves both money and lives in the long run.

The Knights of the Dinner Table comic book has a supporting character named Crutch, an ex-con who accidentally* discovered role-playing games and became a dedicated player and GM. At one point early in his story he commented "If I had known about these role-playing games when I was in prison, those years would have flown past."




*The local biker bar had also become a gamer hangout. Crutch and a ex-con friend overheard some people talking about a Wild West RPG, thought they were planning an actual bank robbery, and tried to get in on the action. When they realized what was actually going on, the friend left in disgust, but Crutch realized that he really wanted to find out how the story ended.
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Which is surely unique to America. Every other country loves its prisoners and treats them so beautifully they don't want to leave.
Of course it's not unique to the US. But the US has both the highest incarceration rate amongst first world nations as well as one of the more egregious prison systems (also for first-world nations) - including significant issues with overcrowding and long-term solitary confinement (which has been associated with severe psychological damage as well as notably worse rates of recidivism). US prisons frequently do not live up to even US standards.

Last edited by Shadowdweller; 6th November 2019 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 6th November 2019, 12:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
At one point in Iowa, they changed it to require prisoners to pay for their meals.

Because, you know, people in prison have the money to pay $10 a day for their food.

So the inmates get to pay to be in jail!
****, in Guatemala we don't get fed at most prisons. Family or friends must bring you food.
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