Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Our Judicial System is a Joke

The title of this blog may have angered you. It may have piqued your curiosity. You may want to hurl hard objects at my head, but here you are, reading just the same, trying to dispel that little piece of curiosity that begs to know: what in the heck is she talking about?!

This issue is very simple and has long irritated myself. In our development as a society we have decided that every single living being in America (except the undeserving poor) deserves to have "the good life". What is the "good life"? For Americans this would consist of a television connected to cable, three hearty meals a day, and the freedom to workout in a gym (our decision to use this or not, as well). Who else has these freedoms? The prisoners who have broken our laws and thumbed their noses at our rules. And what do they get in return? A structured environment that includes television and weight-lifting. Three solid meals a day.

This is hard to deliberate on. They are humans, so should they not be allowed their human rights? Or does breaking the clearly defined laws of the land negate them from this privilege? Is it a privilege, or society's duty and responsibility to treat even prisoners with courtesy and respect? Do murderers and thieves deserve respect? Do rapists and serial killers equate the luxury of being allowed to watch soap operas or even the daily news that might give them bragging rights on if their crime is featured?

I am not suggesting that we return to the days where prisons as horrible as Andersonville or Alcatraz, maybe Devil's Island or Sing Sing. But surely there should be a clear line drawn in the sand that they are being punished.

What are your thoughts about having "luxuries" in prisons? Should televisions and weight-lifts be allowed as part of the prison routine? Or should we strip them of their luxuries as they strip us of our innocence?


  1. It is a hard subject to tackle. Is having their right to walk free among their fellow humans enough of a punishment? What about those few men and women who have been incarcerated wrongly? I don't want to see a return to the days of a heap of straw to sleep in and a cup of water with a slice of hard bread to eat. I think, personally, that their every waking hour should be filled with training both physical and mental that is designed to heal them and render them fit for society. Length of imprisonment should be determined solely by the success of the treatment. If, in the process, it is determined that they are not salvageable then they should be committed for life to an institution designed to protect the rest of the world from them.

  2. This is one of my pet causes as well. Sometimes it seems that prisoners and illegals have more rights than we the taxpayers who pay the bills. Sure, prisoners deserve some element of basic respect and human rights, but they don't need to have thing cushy either, especially when we consider the cost.

    I think prisoners should be working to pay their way and actually become rehabilitated and if they don't their privileges are deprived. Their should be more of a tier system and not just applicable to the wealthy white collar criminals.

    It's all a mess and upside down if you ask me. Yes, you are right!

    Tossing It Out