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Comments made by Centurion

Producer's Perspective: What I Learned In Prison

Prisons insure the public safety by taking those that harm others out of society and isolating them where they can no longer threaten the public. To state that prisons don't insure public safety is nonsensical. If you're in a prison, you cannot possibly commit crimes out in the public.

My bias, which I freely admit, is that I spent 20 years as a California prison guard.

Your bias, which you rarely reveal, is that your kid is doing time in a California prison.

We're just not gonna find common ground Cyanne, so I am I'm done here.

February 6, 2010 at 6:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Producer's Perspective: What I Learned In Prison

I am a RETIRED prison guard, Ms Bird. I no longer have a dog in the hunt. You could close all the prisons tomorrow and I would still receive my pension.

The bottom line is and has always been, public safety. None of the books you cite, none of the studies you cite, and none of the rehabilitation programs you are so fond of can guarantee the public that they will be safe from people who are not incarcerated.

As for slave labor.....inmates work on an average of 6 hours in a day, for the most part don't work very hard, and receive free room and board and a very small wage for their efforts. They also get reduced sentences for their labor, so they comparing them to slaves is a pretty dishonest argument.

On one point you and I agree. Prisons are extremely expensive. There is a whole lot of corruption and ineptitude at the top. Just like any other large bureauocracy.

The medical system is pretty bad as well. CDCR doctors are, by and large, afraid to treat inmates for fear of being sued later, so they are currently sending hundreds of them a day statewide to outside hospitals, often in ambulances, which costs a whole lot of money.

Parole is in lieu of confinement, and was instituted to save the state money by releasing inmates before completing their sentences. If thse guys would report to their parole officers as required, stay off the drugs, and stop beating their wives and girlfriends when they get out, there wouldn't be so many "technical" parold violations.

Again, for me....for most of us, it is about Public Safety. The responsibility to defend the public from people who steal and rob and maim and rape and kill, for most of us, outweighs the perceived notion you and your friends have that these guys are being horribly mistreated.

But Hey. We're about to release a bunch of em even earlier than originally planned. That should make you pretty happy.

February 6, 2010 at 9:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Producer's Perspective: What I Learned In Prison

Oh Contrare.

Prisons work because they incapacatate criminals. Criminals can't prey on the general populace while they are in prison. They prey on each other, sure. They prey on staff members at times as well.

But not on the public at large.

As for rehabilitation. That concept is all well and good, but true rehabilitation must come from within. It begins with acknowledging one's actions, accepting responsibility for them, and then with working to change one's thought process and one's behaviour.

Our system is not conducive to that. The plea bargaining, the court process, and the endless appeals (many based on frivelous claims not relevant to guilt or innocence), are not conducive to rehabilitation, because they are at odds with the acceptance of responsibility. You can't accept responsibility while at the same time you are copping to a lesser charge and/or actively fighting your conviction.

The mindset that so many of these guys have..."nobody saw me do can't prove rights was violated".....these concepts have to change before the individual can change.

I don't like prisons either. They are expensive to operate and dehumanizing, both for those incarcerated and for those who choose to work in them.

There just doesn't seem to be any reasonable alternative.

February 5, 2010 at 11:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Producer's Perspective: What I Learned In Prison

Great article producer. Reminds me of a similar experience.

I once spent 7 hours discussing the animals in the San Diego Zoo, and I happen to own two cats, which makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject.

More recently, I actually toured the zoo. It is situated on 500 acres of land within the City of San Diego. It ain't the wilds of Africa, but it ain't the Roman Colliseum either.

I observed the animals interacting with each other and theri keepers.

I am firmly convinced that most of these animals....if given potty training....some socialization skills...maybe just a little more affection....would make excellent house pets, especially for families with young children.

I's like....real expensive to keep them in the zoo and all.

Oh yeah. Those zoo keepers. They deserve every penny they earn.

Frank, if you say that inmates are placed in ad seg at CIW as for overflow housing, I won't argue. I do have to say however, that after 20 years and 5 California prisons, I never saw anything like that. In my experience, ad seg placement was always for disciplinary reasons, protective custody, or, as you stated....."pending and investigation."

1union1 (aka Ms Bird), Well of course a prisoner dies in a California prison every day. With a population of over 170,000, individuales, many of whom abused drugs and/or alcohol for most of their lives, one would naturally expect this to be the case.

Don't get me wrong. Prisons are not nice places. Abuses do occour at times. But the fact is, inmates have far more to fear from each other than by abuse or indifference by staff.

February 5, 2010 at 3:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )