Continued from page 1
The political will as concerns prison, swings with liberal and conservative influence. Conservatives want every aspect of prison life to be punishment. Liberals want humane treatment and rehabilitation. Because liberals never remain in power, prisoners eventually lose any gains they make and conditions usually get worse than before liberal swing improved them. That is, prison life becomes increasingly accommodating to desires of prison administration.
Much of what is done in name of prison security, is like that we see done in name of national security. Shortcut solutions to save time, expense and staff, that infringe rights and humane treatment of others. If some prisoners use telephone communications to run con games on public, with or without outside help, all prisoners are restricted in telephone communication. It is restricted by telephone time allotted each prisoner every month. It is monitored, recorded and restricted to length of call. It is restricted because only collect calls are allowed at rates up to ten times higher than a direct dial or phone card call. This is a blatant infringement on privacy and economic rights of person called and discourages people from accepting charges. In many cases, state gets rebate kickbacks from phone company as part of this monopoly contract.
To restrict profits of smuggling drugs and other contraband to prison staff, (Just Us) visitors often must submit to searches and strip searches which effectively discourages visitation as commanded in Bible. When is last time you visited a prisoner? Wasn't it a special experience?
The same is done with mail. If you send a letter, a money order and a simple gift that is not on an authorized list or appears homemade, entire package is returned with a notice of what is unacceptable. The U.S. Postal Service only takes responsibility for prison mail delivery to prison itself. If mail gets lost or sits on mailroom floor for weeks, there is nothing inmate can do but complain and same for sender. Prison mail rooms should be operated by specially trained employees of U.S.P.S. as they would a small town or village.
Prison food is poor and to save costs, only meets minimal dietary requirements. There are prisons with farms that inmates operate. The fresh farm crops are then sold for profit and inmates are fed canned and spoiled food. When you are living in a din of noise, under constant threat of attack and abuse by staff and other inmates, ever present stress, from which there is no escape save solitary punishment, boosts nutritional requirements. Over time, anyone will become ill, probably everyone.
When an inmate becomes ill, no matter what problem, it is of little concern to administration. They will provide medical attention when it is convenient to them. The prison physician is poorly paid, overworked and may be so incompetent, he could find no other paid employment. Prison malpractice is rule and not exception. If an outsider wants to send an inmate dietary supplements or herbs for a health problem, it is not allowed in most prisons. In some, probably few, it is allowed if it is sent in by a commercial distributor, reducing likelihood of contraband.
Often inmate victims of medical neglect, abuse and malpractice, have to sue system to get help. When they do so, they come in for punishment by administration and staff. More often than not, their case is dismissed on legal technicalities, which only most experienced paralegals can avoid, after many years of filing what courts call frivolous lawsuits. They have to file, just to learn all snares and pitfalls. The courts are in no hurry to adjudicate inmate cases, so they languish in courthouse IN baskets for months and years, forcing inmates to file motions to move their cases. If they win their lawsuits, their condition is usually many times worse than it was when they filed suit and they will get minimal medical attention prison can get away with under court order, or worse, more malpractice.
No matter what your crime may be, imprisonment is always a de facto death sentence. Prison life robs one of health and life force, one day at a time. Most of America does not know this. Most of America does not care, unless a friend or relative gets caught up in great Just Us system. But now you know, dear reader, and with a little imagination you could do much to improve lives of many who were somebody's victims, long before they ever committed any crime. Have mercy on more than two million souls whose lives are long stories of abuse and neglect that never ends.
Freelance writer published on websites and newspapers. email@example.com justanotherview.com