Tuesday, December 23, 2008

About the Topic of Prisons. . .

I really wish that with the need of our prisoners to reduce recidivism rates that one of the wives of some of the recent Alaskan politicians who've been sent to federal prisons would get off their fucking lazy asses and form a political action committee. They could mobilize the families of prisoners to form a group that votes and then grab the attention of politicians who write laws and establish the rights of prisoners and make their voices heard.

One of my husbands' friends is married to a guy who was a corrections officer in Michigan. With the recent budget cuts, a MAXIMUM security prison has no armed guards around the perimeter of the prison! The prisoners know this. The ones who want to go in and never go back and not perp on one another are at the mercy of the prisoners who are there to stay. They have no recreation programs and they have to depend on volunteers. Look, I freak out at my female yearlies and couldn't even get through the last one and went home in tears. When I go into a prison, knowing that I may be subject to a search if they suspect anything, I am terrified. This isn't a volunteer job for pansies. You can't get a lot of volunteers in this. For governments to have the attitude of cutting the prison funding and hoping they can get "free" help from the community is sick and wrong. But then. . . who do you cut help for in the face of budget cuts? The elderly? School kids? Medical care for the working classes? This is why this vulnerable population needs representation.

Why do we have a 75% or higher rate of recidivism? They need recreational programs and counseling in an environment that is scary! If one of these wives would just stand up and form a group, she'd get criticism, then she'd be heard. (They can't criticize if they don't pay attention to you.)

With federal prisoners, I think it is as bad. Same needs. I also think all prisoners need conjugal visits with spouses so they can yes, have sex. It's a great behavioral stimulation and I think that depriving someone of sex for anything longer than six months is a crime. On Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, sex is at the base with needing water and air.

I'm on a tangent here. If a politician's wife got a support group going, she could also address the needs of many of the spouses struggling with poverty, medical care, child care and all the other evils that families deal with. She'd have to accept that people say stupid and cruel things and persevere. I think that politicians are like pageant princesses-- it's to look like you are doing something while being glamorous. We need politicians with a different mettle, who if they screw up, their spouses are going to take a stand, not fold like a bad hand.

By sticking their perfectly coiffed heads in the sand, the wives are not accomplishing some good that only they have the power and the voice to accomplish. Their husbands already have fame-- it is notoriety, but it can be turned into good. It's not about their spouses being guilty or innocent-- it's about them seeing where things are bad and shining their light to make it better.


steve said...

I agree with you about the conjugal rights--after all, I was shocked and stunned by Orthodox Lent.

During the 1980s, "the Reagan Revolution," states shut down mental hospitals and turned them into prisons. We abandoned the goal of rehabilitation and just wanted to lock up people for as long as possible. People were given life sentences for minor drug offenses, thanks to the "Three Strikes, You're Out" laws.

I see a lot of young men being put on the train after they've been released from prison. Some have been very bright--people with a lot of potential. It just doesn't make sense to send them out of prison without any skills to make it in the outside world. The poet Gregory Corso read the classics while in prison in the 1940s. i that even possible today?

Tea N. Crumpet said...

There is a dearth of culture in prisons, that's for certain. In Alaska Joe Schmidt seems to be headed in the right direction by training the kids to do electrical work and they get out qualified to be a dues paying member of a local union. Of course idiot citizens complained about this! "I sure would like to get trained on the state's dime after I screw up." Every bit of money that they get goes back into the state's economy unless they leave for other states! I do not see how this is bad!

I am a woman. When I do not have sex for a week or so, I get mean. I cannot imagine it for men who are on daily cycles. Since I started volunteering in prisons, I quit that O+ nonsense about not having sex for several weeks-- God wants me to appreciate and USE what I have. I make love because others can't!

I think that the logic of depriving someone of their spouse is akin to not letting them shower or eat.

One of the other sad aspects that these people face is that they are limited in their jobs. They can't do medicine and many jobs. After dealing with and dropping out of the UAA Human Services degree, this might be a blessing for that, but it's all about punishing people when they get out. If someone does their time, they should be done.

Adorable Pancreas said...

You've won an award. :)

Merry Christmas!

Ropi said...

Merry Christmas!

Palm Springs Savant said...

off topic, but I just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas.