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View Full Version : Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S.


subgenius
8th May 2004, 09:49 AM
By FOX BUTTERFIELD

Published: May 8, 2004

Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.

In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison or a new unit within their prison. In Arizona, male inmates at the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix are made to wear women's pink underwear as a form of humiliation.
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The corrections experts say that some of the worst abuses have occurred in Texas, whose prisons were under a federal consent decree during much of the time President Bush was governor because of crowding and violence by guards against inmates. Judge William Wayne Justice of Federal District Court imposed the decree after finding that guards were allowing inmate gang leaders to buy and sell other inmates as slaves for sex.

The experts also point out that the man who directed the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq last year and trained the guards there resigned under pressure as director of the Utah Department of Corrections in 1997 after an inmate died while shackled to a restraining chair for 16 hours. The inmate, who suffered from schizophrenia, was kept naked the whole time.

The Utah official, Lane McCotter, later became an executive of a private prison company, one of whose jails was under investigation by the Justice Department when he was sent to Iraq as part of a team of prison officials, judges, prosecutors and police chiefs picked by Attorney General John Ashcroft to rebuild the country's criminal justice system.
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In a 1999 opinion, Judge Justice wrote of the situation in Texas, "Many inmates credibly testified to the existence of violence, rape and extortion in the prison system and about their own suffering from such abysmal conditions."

In a case that began in 2000, a prisoner at the Allred Unit in Wichita Falls, Tex., said he was repeatedly raped by other inmates, even after he appealed to guards for help, and was allowed by prison staff to be treated like a slave, being bought and sold by various prison gangs in different parts of the prison. The inmate, Roderick Johnson, has filed suit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the case is now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, said Kara Gotsch, public policy coordinator for the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Mr. Johnson.

Asked what Mr. Bush knew about abuse in Texas prisons while he was governor, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, said the problems in American prisons were not comparable to the abuses exposed at Abu Ghraib.
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In Utah, in addition to the death of the mentally ill inmate, Mr. McCotter also came under criticism for hiring a prison psychiatrist whose medical license was on probation and who was accused of Medicaid fraud and writing prescriptions for drug addicts.
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http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/08/national/08PRIS.html?th

Troll
8th May 2004, 10:44 AM
"The corrections experts say "

Which corrections experts? Who are they and what made them experts? Experts on your posts have determined that none of them are actually a valid read. But since I said experts, I must be correct, huh?

Yes we have some prisons that are "controversial" like the pink undwear one, note thatone is just that and not plural, nor is it indicative of widespread policies, but that does not even come close to the crap you're trying to spin here about it being common place in the US prison system. I've seen you take some sad routes before but this is just getting silly.

tamiO
8th May 2004, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by subgenius
By FOX BUTTERFIELD

Published: May 8, 2004

Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/08/national/08PRIS.html?th

This is what I was thinking about and discussing with friends the last few days. I have a friend, female, who was taken into the back room of the county lock-up and beaten. My brother was beaten to a pulp by policemen back in 1975. Took his head and bashed it into the concrete of the highway over and over, nearly killing him.

I am glad that we are going to be much tighter with the prisoners of war from now on, but I hope that this incident in Iraq somehow brings attention to our prison problems right here in our country. I am glad that this reporter for the New York Times wrote the piece and that it got published. I hope some other media outlets keep the buzz going.

subgenius
8th May 2004, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by tamiO


This is what I was thinking about and discussing with friends the last few days. I have a friend, female, who was taken into the back room of the county lock-up and beaten. My brother was beaten to a pulp by policemen back in 1975. Took his head and bashed it into the concrete of the highway over and over, nearly killing him.

I am glad that we are going to be much tighter with the prisoners of war from now on, but I hope that this incident in Iraq somehow brings attention to our prison problems right here in our country. I am glad that this reporter for the New York Times wrote the piece and that it got published. I hope some other media outlets keep the buzz going.
"Sad...and just silly..." unless you want to face reality, remember history, and fix problems.
People don't get the concept that this can be the greatest country on earth, and still need improvement.
Thanks for sharing, I'm sure there will be people (see above) who will argue that its just a minority, etc, which of course is no help to the victims. Or the future victims.
We can do better, much better.

(I needed to add I hope you noticed the connection between what happened in Iraq and here....some of the some people and the privatization of corrections. And as far as it getting any better, there is no political mileage in justice for the imprisoned. Until we elect people with a concept of the value of justice rather than vengence.)

LucyR
8th May 2004, 05:12 PM
Fox Butterfield?? Odd.