Archive for the ‘Law & Order’ Category

Straved For Sunlight; Starved For People

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I know that calls on our compassion seem endless. We’re global now, and have global pain – famines, fires, the worldwide callousness and cruelty of our fellow human beings. There are ways of helping, though, when the anguish is closer to home.

Our prison system shames us as a people. Freedom is our watchword; it’s truly The American Declaration as well as The American Dream, and so, taking away freedom is the form of punishment we have chosen for people who are guilty of crimes against others.

But – the deprivation of natural light and the use of protracted periods of solitary confinement without a sense of day or night, is inhuman and I believe constitutes a torture like water boarding or any of the punishments of other countries – branding, flogging, etc. We should decry our own.

Some people think that solitary confinement saves prisoners from the rape or extortion of other prisoners. Surely there’s a way of protecting people against these horrors without the necessity of solitary, which has been decried by prisoners as worse than either.