Author Topic: Colorado's Supermax Prison  (Read 7931 times)

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Offline CrAz3D

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Colorado's Supermax Prison
« on: October 18, 2013, 08:11:36 PM »
I'm watching The Interrupters and they were talking about Ameena Matthews who is daughter of Jeff Fort, who is apparently some epic Chicago gangster (Nixon invited him to his inauguration, apparently.....thats epic)---rivaling Al Capone for noteworthiness in re being a gang leader.

Anyway, Fort is apparently in ADX w/"no human contact" (NHC) orders. While googling all this, I found that UDenver's law school has a clinic that is fighting this intense solitary conditions as "cruel and unusual."

My thoughts: Why? The people w/NHC orders are proven time and time again to be some of the most dangerous people alive. We apparently can't kill these people (for whatever reason), so locking them up and almost literally throwing away the key is all that can be done to protect society. Even prisoners and correction officers deserve protection.


Discuss why NHC is bad/good. If bad, what do we replace it with? Obviously, we have to have an alternative before simply putting these people back in gen pop.

Offline rabbit

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 09:29:02 AM »
Social contact is one of the guaranteed human civil rights according to the Geneva convention.  Locking a person in a room and not letting them interact with other humans is basically psychological torture.  A replacement would be actually treating people, ie with counseling.

Offline CrAz3D

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 10:09:51 PM »
Quick Google suggestions Geneva Conventions only apply to conflict. Like war shit. It doesn't seem to apply to domestic crimes.

Even so, if not solitary, we need a legit alternative. What is that alternative? Death? I'm cool with that, but those that oppose solitary (generally seem to) oppose the death penalty.

So, if we can't kill these people and we can't prevent them from interacting with people, what do we do? What is the practical alternative.

Offline Blaze

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 12:56:19 AM »
Quick Google suggestions Geneva Conventions only apply to conflict. Like war shit. It doesn't seem to apply to domestic crimes.

What does it say about you when you treat your own people worse than your enemy?

Even so, if not solitary, we need a legit alternative. What is that alternative? Death? I'm cool with that, but those that oppose solitary (generally seem to) oppose the death penalty.

So, if we can't kill these people and we can't prevent them from interacting with people, what do we do? What is the practical alternative.

You seem to think killing people is the only way to treat criminals.  rabbit already proposed a really good alternative:

A replacement would be actually treating people, ie with counseling.
And like a fool I believed myself, and thought I was somebody else...

Offline while1

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 12:39:30 AM »
Unfortunately, I don't think a some people with all the best counseling in the world can be fixed, in particular sociopaths and psychopaths.
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Offline Sidoh

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 04:29:59 PM »
Then they should at least be made comfortable. It's not like they made a bad decision that turned them into a sociopath. They're that way because they're biologically predisposed to be that way. They deserve pity more than scorn.

I generally agree that prisons should be more about rehabilitation than punishment.

Offline Blaze

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 04:36:37 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't think a some people with all the best counseling in the world can be fixed, in particular sociopaths and psychopaths.

I also believe it's impossible to cure everyone, but I know for certain that there are people that need help that just aren't getting it.
And like a fool I believed myself, and thought I was somebody else...

Offline while1

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 07:04:17 PM »
I think rehabilitation when it comes to drug related offenses (specifically using, and not dealing) is the most effective treatment.  However, I think that it's rehabilitation and adapting to life once out of prison that is the most important part.  The way the US criminal justice system works, unless your Michael Vick (dogfighting NFL player- sick fuck), serving time pretty much means once you're out, you're screwed... and the chances you'll be back in prison is high.
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Offline iago

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 02:21:45 AM »
Also, tackling the core problems in society would be a good step forward. I recall Justin Trudeau getting crucified in a local newspaper (the Winnipeg Sun) for suggesting that criminals should be pitied, not hated...

Offline CrAz3D

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 08:56:54 PM »
My thoughts are re prisoners that are beyond treatment. I'm talking about people that kill because that's what gets the job done (e.g., Mexican drug cartel folks). Otherwise, I, like Sidoh, generally agree that prison/jail should be rehabilitative (though it should also be punishment).

I've never heard of the pity v. punish idea before. Interesting. I suppose I agree with it WRT people that are have diagnosable conditions. I disagree with in WRT people like cartel leaders that know right v. wrong, but know that death = money. Even so, what do we do with the sane and insane serial killers other than solitary or death? There is no rehab. We could just give them enough drugs to knock them out for the rest of their lives, but that's expensive (and the inevitable argument is "what kind of life is that!?")

So, again, what is the alt to death/solitary for people those people that deserve such treatment?

Offline Sidoh

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 09:54:57 PM »
Even then, there's still some argument to be made that drug cartel leaders are a product of their biological predispositions and of their circumstances. I agree that something has to be done with criminals in order for society to function, but I think people tend to be more sanctimonious on this subject than I'm comfortable with. In short, I think criminals either helpless in any effort to resist doing bad, or they aren't, and we should teach them how.

If they're mentally incapable of resisting their affinity for crime, then we should pity them and treat them with some dignity. I do think that they have to be kept separate from society for the most part, but the answer is not to let them rot in prison.

If they are capable of resisting an urge to commit crime, and are also open to being trained to do so, then we should treat them. If they're not willing, throwing them into prison and treating them like dirt isn't going to make it more likely.

Offline CrAz3D

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 09:25:02 PM »
back to the OP: is it death or solitary or drugs? those seems to be the three options (and, again, drugs are expensive).

those people obviously cant be allowed to interact with people freely, so we must restraint them in some way. what way is "humane" enough?

Offline iago

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 05:35:23 AM »
Drug cartel leaders - much like the booze running from organized crime during the 1920s - are a product of prohibition. Prohibition creates insane demand, and look where that's gotten us.

As a first step, legalization and treatment instead of prohibition and punishment needs to be explored.

Offline rabbit

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 09:12:54 AM »
back to the OP: is it death or solitary or drugs? those seems to be the three options (and, again, drugs are expensive).

those people obviously cant be allowed to interact with people freely, so we must restraint them in some way. what way is "humane" enough?
death costs more than anything else, even life terms

if you want to bring cost into it, then death is off the table for being too expensive, leaving solitary or drugs.  If standard psychological treatment doesn't work, seems logical to offer the choice of psychiatric treatments before locking them up.

Offline nslay

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Re: Colorado's Supermax Prison
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 01:44:09 AM »
Drug cartel leaders - much like the booze running from organized crime during the 1920s - are a product of prohibition. Prohibition creates insane demand, and look where that's gotten us.

As a first step, legalization and treatment instead of prohibition and punishment needs to be explored.

Yeah, but a lot of those drugs really should be illegal. You can just drop dead from cocaine or methamphetamine ... these drugs have some serious cardiovascular side effects. And you wouldn't need to try very hard to drop dead from these either (even a very small dose of amphetamine can make your heart flutter ... and that's just ADHD medication, not meth). Not to mention the CNS effects (psychosis being the scariest). That's not anything like alcohol, tobacco, coffee or over-the-counter drugs.

I'm really not sure how you deal with the drug issue. Legalizing it would reduce the number of prisoners, while exposing the public to very dangerous substances either directly or indirectly. If you thought DUI was bad, some of these drugs induce psychosis ... which is scarier than DUI. I would not want to be around someone disconnected from reality (far more removed than a drunkard).

EDIT:
It came to mind that if you legalized at least some of these drugs, the crime rate may actually increase (because someone detached from reality can do some really strange things). So it's not clear to me that there would be a decrease in prison populations.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 08:41:48 AM by nslay »
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