Should Life Be Harder For Prisoners?


Ms. Malone
After giving my two cents to the Prison or Poverty thread, i began thinking about something my mum saw on the TV the other day; there was a debate on whether or not Prisoners should get it a lot harder on the inside and whether life should mean life in some cases.

Of course the major argument was that Prisoners have rights too-but what about the victims? Didn't they have any rights?

I also looked up and old email my Dad sent me a while ago about Sheriff Joe Apraio (and there's a site!), he's famous for creating 'Tent City', a prison full of tents, he took away the weight lifting programme, created male and female chain gangs, makes the inmates wear pink shorts and the TV only shows the weather and Disney channel. He's done a lot more too.

Do you think life should be that hard from prisoners and re-offenders? If it was that hard do you think it would keep criminals commiting more crimes when they're released?

Personally, i love the idea the Sheriff has; i know we can't have 'Tent City' here because the weather is too poor, but i love the idea of chain gangs and charging inmates for their lunches. They're there to be punished, not to live in luxury.

Also, i'd like to add that his way of treating prisoners is so popular that he was re-elected in 2008 :D.
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Registered Member
I think life in prison should be tough. I don't think they should be getting paid to do work. I think they should pay to go to jail because we are wasting our money keeping them in jail. There is no need for them to do any recreation things like lifting weights and playing basketball. I think if all jails do that, people would probably not commit crimes cause they will be like man, if i go to jail, i am going to be in my jail cell 23 hours a day. Stricter restrictions would be no visitations at all. It's not fair for the victims family because they won't be able to see their loved one that was murdered.
Depends on the class of prisoner.

If you're talking about serial killers, rapists, child molestors, school shooters and borderline terrorists then they deserve whatever they get in prison. No Disney channel though, that's being too nice so whatever those kinds of people are stuck with now is how it needs to stay. No better, no worse.

People who only smoke drugs and simple assault, on the other hand, really don't even need to be in jail at all, it's just a waste of space that could be used for the real criminals mentioned above.
Yeah, I do think life in jail should be made tougher.

Of course the major argument was that Prisoners have rights too
Sure they are still human beings like the rest of us, but in order for society to function I believe that if you commit a terrible crime you forfeit a lot of your rights.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
In general, I think life in prison is already hard. Just the idea of having lost your freedom is hard. Sure you think about free meals or bed, but you can never choose anymore. You cannot order a different meal nor request. The bed isn't even comfortable. It's not a vacation as some paint it to be.

It would be nice if they did some community service and bring back something to the community. After all, they're being fed/sheltered using taxpayer's money.

However, I'm all for the good programs they offer in prison. It's part of the rehabilitation. It gives them something positive to think about. Some of them use whatever skills they get from this when they try to reintegrate in the society. Projects and other activities may also have positive results for behavior modification purposes. This is better than having a bunch of bored people, depressed, and who knows how else you'll use your time if you're in such low environment. You may get more aggressive, attack others, or use time trying to have lessons on how to commit crime from other inmates, haha.

That said, I heard of some "prisons" where they have "suites" (with kitchen) for VIP prisoners. Or if the prisoner is rich, he bought a property next to the prison and converted it into a multipurpose area for prisoner activities (including sports events he likes). He probably has his own TV with cable channels too. Basically he hasn't really lost anything, not even his freedom as he can still buy and manipulate people and the system. He just moved residence.


Endangered Species
Seeing as the threat of prison is not a deterrent then I dont think they should be any "tougher", what would be the point!

Prisons should be for punishment by the means of taking away ones freedom..... but it should also serve as rehabilitation in the process. By punishing someone further all you do is dehumanise them, once dehamised all a former prisoner will do is continue their life beyond the reaches of societies well-being.

Punishments do not stop crimes, criminals dont stop and think about the consequence of getting caught they believe they wont get caught, so how ever harsh life on the inside is it wont change a thing and repeat offenders will continue and most prisoners are repeat offenders.

I believe if a prisoner is rehabilitated then it is feesible to remove the criminal instinct so they wont commit another crime (not out of fear of punishment...because remeber they dont think they will be caught!) but because they understand that the crime is "wrong".


Son of Liberty
Of course the major argument was that Prisoners have rights too
This is just my personal beliefs, nothing to take overly serious. But I've always felt very strongly about: "No they dont.... the moment they infringed upon another persons rights they forfeited their own".

No way in hell do I feel Prison should be luxurious at all. I mean I hear about things like "Club Fed" situations where inmates have state maintained golf courses on the premesis, tennis courts, all the other high end hobbies that me as a law abiding citizen has next to no access to. These are the kinds of prisons that the White Collar Crooked CEO's and other pencil pushers go so that they arent mixed in with the general populace that would otherwise rape them with a broom handle.

TO me its all BS, Prison should be Prison, exactly that.

No TV.
No Weights
No Computer
No Extracurriculers

Just a Cell, some recess, and Books.

I dont mind the free meals, I do agree they definitely should NOT be gourmet meals... but something that would be approved minimum by a legit Dietician. Something equivelant to the Elementary School Lunches.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
I agree with Bananas that prison should be more about rehabilitation than about punishment, but I do think that a lot of prisoners have it too easy. I'm not saying put them all in solitary confinement. But I think they should have to work and take classes for their luxuries like TV, lifting weights, and other recreational activities.


Certified Shitlord
I don't think they should be getting cable or luxuries like that. Prisoners should get decent food (Nothing fancy, but livable), a bed, bathroom, and some sort of athletic facility like a basketball court. This allows them to eat, exercise, and sleep, the basics of human life and that's all. None of this upgrading to softer beds, cable TV, that's going to encourage some of them to get arrested (it beats the life some of them are living). The only thing that should get upgraded in a prison is the security.

Prison should represent a life no one wants, it's very image and prospect should act as a deterrant. These days, many criminals either have friends inside or they feel safer or stronger while locked up.


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Prisoners do have expenses, and where they aren't forced to work, they can. They also make very little for their labor (19 to 40 cents an hour). How well they are treated varies with the state and the prison, but I know nobody who wants to be in prison. A great deal of the costs associated with keeping someone locked up, is taken up by keeping them locked up, as opposed to providing them with luxuries. To some degree, those costs increase as you make prison more insufferable, as that could lead to a decrease in how much prisoners cooperate.

There is a great deal of subjectivity when it comes to determining if a prison is too pleasant to be in, or else too awful. It also varies wildly with circumstance: e.g. who all is locked up in the prison, who are the guards, is the prison overcrowded? Furthermore, the fewer privileges prisoners have, the fewer things prison staff can take away, and hence the less tools they have to promote cooperation. In general, I would say prison should be appreciably worse than freedom, but also tolerable.
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