This conversation is closed.

What would be the necessary components of an ideal prison to unsure justice and human rights?

In prisons there are many issues including an over population of inmates, budget costs, violence and corruption. If we had the opportunity to create our own realistic prison what would we change in the system? what would we include to unsure our safety and those of the inmates?

More guards and security cameras is a given although it would only be a matter of time before inmates would adapt. Therefore the type of components that i am looking for that are needed for a prison or penitentiary are original ways to rehabilitate the inmates and accommodate the mentally ill and women offenders.

What can we do as the public to unsure justice is being served while considering the rights of others?

  • thumb
    Sep 5 2012: Prisoners would be allowed to be educated along the line of their interests; there would be hours of manual labour or skilled work; there would one hour per week dedicated to watching a TED talk and a discussion after it.
    Sports and use of creative talents would also be encouraged.
    There would also be midweek and Sunday services conducted by a Pastor who would teach the Bible and encourage inmates.

    My aim is to ensure that inmates see themselves as valuable people, and acquire skills or discover talents; when they leave the prison with good self-esteem they are not likely to be repeat offenders.
    • thumb
      Sep 5 2012: To add, I would also like there to be art, maybe even environmentally friendly graffiti art.

      I know there will be guys out there who will say that it's not fair that they get all the good treatment and funding for that kind of stuff while the lower class people gotta meet end's meet without any real special treatment.
      • Sep 5 2012: I agree with you 100%
        It wouldn't be possible to justify why prisoners whom have committed crimes would be granted access to so much that could help further themselves meanwhile there are people in the world who are just less fortunate( the poor, foster children, undeveloped countries etc) and don't have access to proper education.

        Also what makes a prison a form of punishment is not just the fact that prisoners are confined in cells or that they have minimal privacy but mainly because they do not have freedom of choice.

        In society what we value is our freedom of choice therefore giving prisoners choices in ways to rehabilitate them is not necessarily a punishment but in a sense a reward.

        I feel strongly towards helping inmates further themselves both in knowledge and self-esteem although the inmates must know they have been convicted to serve time and know that with every action comes a consequence.
        • thumb
          Sep 5 2012: The other thing is that acquiring knowledge or doing all these activities is good and all, but if they still have the intent on becoming a detriment to society, then we should, by all means, keep them away from society.

          As for what I believe in personally, I was never supportive of the eye4eye idea because it's usually inefficient and flawed, and there's little good that comes out of this mentality. However, I am always supportive of win-win scenarios.
      • Sep 5 2012: very true in terms of specific offenders that have committed perhaps more serious crimes. Therefore those type of offenders most likely have other things influencing their crimes, either it being chemical instability in the brain or something else that either way a program like this would do no good.

        For offenders that have committed crimes because they came from a unstable family or have been influenced by the environment they grew up in or just simply "did not know better" a program like this would do wonders and help our society and future generations tremendously.

        That being said I think I am speaking for more juvenile institutions where they can help delinquents at an early age along with minimum security prisons where the crimes committed may be less violent and more for social purposes such as theft or robbery in order to support his/her family.
        • thumb
          Sep 5 2012: Yeah, I think there comes a certain point/age when some guys just become incorrigible. Actually that's not true. I think all people are changeable, it's just some people require way more time/effort to change than others to the point where we ask, is it worth society's time/efforts to change the person? Cuz we could spend the same amount of time/effort to change 10 more people if we spend the same time/effort to change that one person.
      • Sep 5 2012: now thats a whole other debate i'd love to start, whether people are capable of changing or not.
        Very interesting point of views,
        thank you!
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +1
    Sep 5 2012: FIRST AND FOREMOST: Eliminate the conditions that create the PERCEIVED need for our OVERCROWDED prisons. The inmate population in the U.S. represents the highest rate of incarceration in the world. It is higher than all of European nations' rates of incarceration COMBINED. According to a 2010 Pew Trust report, one in every 28 children in America has a parent behind bars, up from one in 125 just 25 years before. If we continue at this rate, it will be 1 out of 6 by 2035. This does not say that 1 in 125 have parents who HAVE BEEN in prison - which now has a 67% recidivism rate. It says that these parents are NOW in prison.

    Prisons are well-known for turning non-violent offenders (pot smokers) into violent offenders. The criminal justice system is far more likely to arrest a black person for pot or cocaine possession even though they are the least likely (statistically) to use them. The death penalty is significantly shifted against blacks. Education and economics also have a big hand in determing who goes to prison and who does not. And even more horrifying, prisons in USA are becoming privatized by a few big corporations who lobby congress and states for laws that make more than more illegal, in order to create their own profits. Capitalism is the greatest cause of our prison population

    IT IS TIME FOR US TO LOOK AT WHAT WE ARE DOING - looking at the facts and putting aside emotional justifications.

    AT THE SAME TIME, we can treat prisoners better and guide them to better lives. Private rooms with the violent and gang bangers separated from the non-violent. Education is a must. Self-esteem is the greatest need, because lack of creates criminals. THAT AGAIN IS OUR PROBLEM, because our economic policy destroys self-esteem.

    David Lynch has suggestions. Note that TM is free if you simply change the mantra. Why pay thousands for a mantra when "ohm" works as well.

    http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/prisons.html

    Pavlov: Neg reinforcement = bad
  • Sep 8 2012: Harness their labor. Not as in chain gangs, but as in workers to do tasks that serve society but are perhaps "mice to haves" rather than "must haves". Use them to clean up after environmental disaster, farm crops for the needy, maintain public buildings and bridges, and clear waterways. This is how they should payback society. Give them a token amount of money for services rendered, such as $1.00/hour. Offer training opportunities only to those that perform their work the best.