Author Topic: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.  (Read 4662 times)

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Offline Mr. Consideration

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"San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« on: January 14, 2008, 10:11:06 am »
Last night, there was a program on the BBC where Louis Theroux went around San Quentin prison in the United States. I was very shocked by many aspects of the documentary, from the ample availablity of drugs and narcotics, the fact that most offenders re-offend and end up back in prison and the insane amount of Racism inside. Not to mention the Draconian appearance of the Prison itself.

In the yard, every race kept itself seperate from the others, and racism runs rampant. For example, inside the prisons there is a gang named the 'Barbarian Brotherhood'. These are basically a White Supremacist group who impose horrific punishments on other prisoners who refuse to remain seperate from other races. One prisoner was stabbed by the gang for borrowing a Black prisoner's dominoes. On the other hand, one prisoner was an ex-Nazi Lowrider and is now in a homosexual relationship with a transexual Jewish man.

The constant offend and re-offend meant that something like 80% of prisoners that leave San Quentin will be back in there again. In fact, a large portion of the prison was given over to people who broke thier parole. Most people in the prison will slip in and out of institutions for thier entire lives.

The prison was, in parts, insanley cruel. Many Prisoners were kept in tiny, dingy, dark cells with no conversation or entertainment for 23 hours a day. It is hard to describe the conditions, but I must have led a sheltered life because I always believed prison was not anywhere near as bad as that.

It is my belief that this highlights the need for reform in the Prison system; some people re-offend just to get back in prison. Therefore, it is not serving as a deterent....Nor is there any oppurtunity for advancement and eventual rehabilitation, which is what I believe prison shoult be about. Incarceration in terrible conditions is an outdated system.


/Discuss.


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Offline Ultramarine

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 02:36:25 pm »
   Sorta like American History X, during the prison scenes where all the races are seperated from one another (or maybe all Prisons for that matter). By far those are the most insane conditions I have ever heard of for a prison. What kind of sick twisted bastard would make a place like this for prisoners. Even prisoners deserve more than this, if anything a place like that is designed for people who are the worst of the worst. A death penalty is better than living in a place like that. Those poor prisoners :'(.
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EDIT: That's where it becomes rape if you were wondering.

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Offline PatMan33

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 02:38:56 pm »
They weren't really separated in American History X, the different races just gravitated toward their own kind. It's just like high school.

Offline Ultramarine

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 02:51:14 pm »
They weren't really separated in American History X, the different races just gravitated toward their own kind. It's just like high school.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the Highschool social grounds. Thanks for correcting me PatMan33
Kid: Oh wow I'm being deflowered by a grown woman!
Mother: By the way I'm your mother
Kid: OH GOD NO

EDIT: That's where it becomes rape if you were wondering.

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Offline Kishmond

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 03:25:55 pm »
Cruelty is not so much of a problem (It's supposed to be bad, okay?), but if behavior is just getting worse there's no point in ever letting them out. You'd think a prison would be easy to regulate, but apparently not...?
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Offline sgore

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 07:06:33 pm »
Well, although it is depending on the crime, criminal and state, overall we in the States tend to have a criminal system based less on rehabilitation and more on punishment. To some people that feels like the way to go, and I suppose those people are entitled to their opinion, but the backlash of something like that is the fact that there's nothing stopping the person from ending up right back there. When society gives up on someone, it's somewhat hard for them not to give up on themselves and fall back into the same patterns. The whole set up kind of bothers me.

Time outs aren't really effective punishments whether you're 5 or 45. Not usually at least...

What are the prison systems like out there?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 07:09:16 pm by sgore »
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Offline Quantum Burrito

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 04:15:31 am »
Cruelty is not so much of a problem (It's supposed to be bad, okay?),
NO. Not ok! It's supposed to prevent them from committing other crimes. From reports of this place it isn't.

Besides, being cruel to someone is wrong. We send someone to prison for it. What message are you sending out when the system uses the tactics it forbids to punish people? These kinds of things are what make criminals resent the system, and keep on committing crimes.

Quote
but if behavior is just getting worse there's no point in ever letting them out. You'd think a prison would be easy to regulate, but apparently not...?

THINK ABOUT IT.

If the behaviour is getting worse, then something about the prisons methods has to change. Punishment of criminals, as is usually performed, is a thousand-year-old system, that has been watered down. We need a new approach. Like, you know, helping them. If you can find out why someone committed a crime, you can try and treat them, make them not want to commit it again.

And don't give me crap about 'giving prisoners an easy time'. Stop thinking like a caveman. Mindless cruelty will fix nothing. The point of prison is to prevent recidivism. There is no debt to society, we don't just put them in the hole for the sake of putting them in the hole, it is supposed to stop them doing it again.

There's an old saying, I think you should remember: "Two wrongs do not make a right."
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In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist ... But in playing a game ... we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
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Offline stuck

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2008, 07:28:59 pm »
Stop thinking like a caveman.

(Ad hominem)10



We can agree that the prison system needs reform. Not only is it costly, but it is ineffective. The true question is which way we should take it. I see a few possibilities for newer 'treatment'.

An Orwellian-type system would work rather well in smaller governments. Commit a crime and that person is under close scrutiny for a period of time. Kind of like modern probation, but more technologically advanced. Now, while this is genuinely a threat to civil liberties on the whole and can be abused by a corrupt government, I believe it can work well for small-scale agencies (think Vatican sized). While this does certainly mean a restriction of liberties, how is that any different from prison? Current prisoners do not possess much liberties anyways. This method would certainly be much cheaper than full scale prisons. Its tendency to be abused is also about equal. Public outcry against it might be particularly marked, if only for the risks involved for the non-convicts in the country. However, once we achieve that point in automation and surveillance, it can be much more effective than prisons. 'Convicts' would go about their regular lives as they should, but only doing activities deemed good. This may mean getting a legal job or going to college or doing community work or helping others. The idea is, in the real world they have a good chance of realizing that living without ill intentions may be a rewarding experience, so they would be discouraged to slip back. Also, the though of sacrificing your private life for a crime is something few criminals would take, for even in prison there is private time.

People sometimes bring up the idea of training criminals. On the surface, this seems like a good idea. But, then the criminals are being given special treatment over plenty of honest people that are working in order to obtain that education. While training may guarantee employment, it may also mean an increase in crimes due to people wanting to get their way in. I've even read an article that claimed criminals are given medical precedence, and offenders offend again in order to get free health care. If I recall correctly, they even sued the prisons for not giving them doctors!

If worst comes to worst, I suppose you could just send offenders into exile. :D


Offline Quantum Burrito

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2008, 07:10:21 am »
Stop thinking like a caveman.

(Ad hominem)10


Learn what ad hominem means. I was not arguing that a point was true because he was thinking like a cavemen, I only advised him to stop it.

Edit(again):

Sorry for the original 'retard' comment. I don't know where that came from, and it was very stupid of me.

But, it still was not ad hominem. Being a dick, yes. Not ad hominem. Thinking like a caveman? Probably, yeah.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 08:40:49 am by Quantum Burrito »
Quote from: The Will
In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist ... But in playing a game ... we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
tl;dr. But with all those shiny symbols and numbers it's probably awsome.

Offline stuck

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2008, 01:08:07 pm »
Ad hominem means that you are not attacking the opposition's point, but rather the opposition. By claiming that the opposition is thinking like a caveman, you attack the opposition by ridiculing him as of substandard intellect. Saying that the thought is medieval as opposed to the person is medieval are two entirely different things. I'm sure you meant that the thought was primitive, not the person, but next time choose your words carefully. It will save a lot of grief in the long run.

Offline Luminar

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2008, 01:13:19 pm »
Logical fallacies abound, and we aren't even playing mafia.
Quantum, seriously, ratchet down the aggression a few notches. It seems whenever someone disagrees with you, you go into shouting and heckling mode. No-one here is out to get you or put you down, so your habit of posting vehemently furious attacks on anyone without a concurrent opinion isn't going to endear you to anyone if you keep it up.

Offline Quantum Burrito

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2008, 04:21:05 pm »
Logical fallacies abound, and we aren't even playing mafia.
Quantum, seriously, ratchet down the aggression a few notches. It seems whenever someone disagrees with you, you go into shouting and heckling mode. No-one here is out to get you or put you down, so your habit of posting vehemently furious attacks on anyone without a concurrent opinion isn't going to endear you to anyone if you keep it up.

Eh? Logical fallacies? Maybe no-one noticed, but there was more to my post than 'stop thinking like a caveman', which is an attack on a way of thinking (i.e. what was being argued). Even if you interpret this as a direct attack on character, you can only accuse me of ad homniem if there was no argument in my post. And there was.

Ad homniem is misused like that a lot, it's important to realise that one sentence in a post, or essay, or newspaper article, or whatever, does not invalidate the rest of the text. That argument can only be used against an 'argument' with no content beside the insult. Otherwise, discarding the argument is committing 'ad hominem', because you don't like people who insult other people.

"That man insults people, don't listen to him!" Is of the same calibre, argumentatively, as "That man is a liberal, don't listen to him!"

Anyway, "shouting and heckling mode". Again, it doesn't really matter argumentatively, but I can say that the reason for it, is that I was responding to someone who wanted to justify cruelty on the basis of "It's supposed to be bad, okay?". I guess I go into "imagine the person you're arguing with is an idiot mode" when I see 'arguments' like that. Still, my point stands. Mindless cruelty achieves nothing, even if it is supposed to be bad.

I am actually capable of having civilised discourse, without heckling. Or at least, I am in real life. If the guy had actually tried to justify his position, I might not have replied so vehemently. But the way it was phrased did seem to indicate intellectual laziness. Which I hate, due to it being the cause of a lot of bad things. I.e., the current terrorism laws in the UK. If the citizens had actually thought about this, we would have had widespread objection to the laws, and they would not have been implemented. However, citizens just kind of thought "Terrorists? They're bad. This'll stop them? Oh, OK then.".
Quote from: The Will
In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist ... But in playing a game ... we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
tl;dr. But with all those shiny symbols and numbers it's probably awsome.

Offline Luminar

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2008, 12:06:06 am »
Don't try to justify it. It's not ok to do that crap even if you sprinkle it into your post and go "Ah but that wasn't the main content of it, so it doesn't count." - don't do it at all. There's no reason for it and it does the reverse midas touch on debate.

The last word of it: Cut out the heckling entirely.
If you still have anything to say on the subject after this, it means you haven't listened. Back on topic.

Offline Yuu

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2008, 02:43:54 am »
That kind of prison is actually quite subtle compared to other prisons across the world. :-\ But still, that place is still not logical. A prison is a place where criminals must learn to live in a way that, if they are released, they will never think of doing something that will make them enter it again.

Offline 762

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 08:21:49 pm »
QB, if living in a Draconian prison, devoid of human contact for 23 hours a day, in constant fear of gang violence, isn't enough to make you want to live a more virtuous life (if for nothing else than to avoid going back), then what will? What's your alternate proposal? Punishment is an effective behavior modification tool used to prevent unwanted behaviors from occurring again. Maybe these people just don't want to be members of society. Then how do you try to fix them?

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Offline Quantum Burrito

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Re: "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." Prison Debate.
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 03:22:15 am »
QB, if living in a Draconian prison, devoid of human contact for 23 hours a day, in constant fear of gang violence, isn't enough to make you want to live a more virtuous life (if for nothing else than to avoid going back), then what will? What's your alternate proposal? Punishment is an effective behavior modification tool used to prevent unwanted behaviors from occurring again. Maybe these people just don't want to be members of society. Then how do you try to fix them?

Eh, did you read anything? People deliberately commit crimes to go back there. It's the kind of society that criminals adore, and as civilised citizens we should abhor.

And as for what will; call me a bleeding-heart, but I think we should be using psychologists. Those who refuse to change can stay in the hole forever.
Quote from: The Will
In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist ... But in playing a game ... we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
tl;dr. But with all those shiny symbols and numbers it's probably awsome.