18 November 2013

Learning to think differently

"Lock them up and throw away the key." I've heard that line too often, and it has been an overused refrain in the American system of corrections. Two recent articles would have us think differently, but it means we have to look beyond our own borders (and think outside the box!) to gain some new perspective.

Take a look here for a look at what's happening in Europe.

And what happens if you have a jail with no one to put in it? Look what Sweden is doing here.

I find these somewhat ironic because the jail in my town--bright spanking new--but whole sections of it aren't used. They can't afford to staff it, and a number of officers have been laid off due to budget cuts. The city doesn't even house its own people in there. Instead, it contracts with smaller and cheaper jails in the neighboring cities.

And then there's the brand new jail built on the Native American reservation that looks nice on the outside, but they don't have the funds to run it. What are people thinking??


Sherry Peyton said...

our entire system is warped and always has been I think. Worse they are setting up these private prisons run at a profit, and from what I hear they are utterly awful. Our whole thinking is so backward. We should be putting a lot of money into our systems and it should be to help people find their way out of the morass of poverty and lack of education which starts this unending cycle of locking people up again and again until they die.

Shannon said...

And since "corporations are people," and the people must eat, how difficult will it be to break the damn cycle?? Aggravating, to say the least.

Thanks, Sherry. It's good to have ranting company!

Tamara Swerline said...

I retired in August from the Arizona Department of Corrections. Our own son is incarcerated for this, the second time. He has been housed in a "corporation" prison. I cannot believe how they warehouse so many persons in such a small area. I am dismayed at the indifference shown by administration in private prisons.