Saturday, April 13, 2013

Texas: More School To Prison Pipeline

I had thought to write a few words on this latest perversion, for it can be called nothing other, this latest perversion to come out of America, specifically Texas. But it would appear that I said all that needed saying back in January last year.

What begins immediately below is just as applicable to the latest report as it was to the original, published under the same header.

Texas: How Many Kids Lives Can We Destroy Today?

I have in the past ran a similar story: Texas: Ticket The Children Not but that article didn't come anywhere near this one below, inasmuch that this story delves into the implications of the consequences of receiving a ''ticket'' or being arrested within the Texas school system.

Simply put, if the child holds his hand up in court and pleads guilty to behaving like a child, then his academic career is as good as over. To say nothing of the rest of his life being marred by a criminal conviction.

Or in the case of the very young, primary school kids, who refuse to answer charges, (because they are not legally binding) will find themselves arrested when they turn seventeen, effectively resulting in, the end of a productive life and career.

But it is the same American psyche running through this over-reaction to childhood behaviour, that runs through every walk of American society, punish, punish, punish, destroy all the lives we can. That they do so for trifles, (destroy lives) matters not one iota.

The whole society is perverted and sick, it's on par with the backward theocratic states of the middle east. In fact it's worse, it's a western industrialised nation, it should know better.

When you read on, just take note of the pettiness of some of the ridiculous things that constitute misdemeanours/felonies that are applied to these kids. Stroll on!  Just what kind of society is it that  does this to its children? link

The crux of both this and the previous article.

The complaint also adds that the problems often don’t end there. If students fail to appear in court, or if their parents can’t afford to pay fines, then the state issues an arrest warrant for them when they turn 17. Thus, these tickets “can follow students past high school into their adult lives with many of the same consequences as a criminal conviction for a more serious offense, including having to report their convictions on applications for college, the military or employment.”

In Texas, Police in Schools Criminalize 300,000 Students Each Year

The "good guy with a gun" seems to do a lot more policing than protecting.
By Steven Hsieh
April 12, 2013

In Texas, hundreds of thousands of students are winding up in court for committing very serious offenses such as cursing or farting in class. Some of these so-called dangerous criminals (also known as teenagers) will face arrest and even incarceration, like the honors student who spent a night in jail for skipping class, or the 12-year-old who was arrested for spraying perfume on her neck. These cases have at least one thing in common in that they were carried out by special police officers walking a controversial beat: the hallways and classrooms of public schools.

As political pressure from both sides of the aisle mounts to increase police presence in American schools, evidence suggests adding armed guards will only thrust more disadvantaged youth into the criminal justice system. Civil rights groups say policing our schools will further the institutionalization of what's known as the "school-to-prison pipeline."

To understand the potential consequences of putting police inside public schools, we can take a look at Texas, where students face one of the most robust school-to-prison pipelines in the country. According to the youth advocacy group Texas Appleseed, school officers issued 300,000 criminal citations to students in 2010, some handed to children as young as six years old.

As the New York Times notes, Texas Appleseed and a local NAACP chapter filed a complaint in February against a school district with a particular knack for criminalizing children, especially minorities. The complaint says Bryan Independent School District of Texas’ Brazos County, disproportionately ticketed black students for misdemeanors, potentially violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Black students accounted for 46 percent of tickets issued in 2011 to 2012, despite only making up 21 percent of the student body.

Most of the criminal citations levied against students were for “Class C” misdemeanors, compelling them to miss classes in order to attend court, and often face addition disciplinary action from the district. As the complaint notes, “These students can then face sentences including fines, court costs, community service, probation and mandatory participation in ‘First Offender’ programs.”

The complaint also adds that the problems often don’t end there. If students fail to appear in court, or if their parents can’t afford to pay fines, then the state issues an arrest warrant for them when they turn 17. Thus, these tickets “can follow students past high school into their adult lives with many of the same consequences as a criminal conviction for a more serious offense, including having to report their convictions on applications for college, the military or employment.”

Advocacy groups add that many behavioral problems warranting tickets in Texas schools seem to be rather trivial for something that can lead to a criminal conviction. For example, some “Class C” misdemeanors under the state’s penal code include using profanity, making offensive gestures, creating “by chemical means” an “unreasonable odor” and “making unreasonable noise in a public place” In other words, yelling, farting, wearing Axe body spray and generally being a teenager is officially illegal in Texas.

Many commentators and several Democratic lawmakers scoffed when NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre suggested in the wake of the Newtown shooting that armed guards in schools is “the one thing that would keep people safe,” notoriously adding that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Yet, not long after LaPierre’s press conference, the White House released a plan calling for an additional 1,000 “specially trained police officers that work in schools.” And just last week, an NRA task force released a report fleshing out its proposal to put armed guards in every school. The head of that task force, former GOP Congressman Asa Hutchinson, announced his intentions to run for Arkansas Governor days after the report was released. Go to page two
Needless to say, there is much in a similar vein throughout this blog and can be found under the relative tags.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fred Reed: Three Short Essays

There aren't many right-wing writers who warrant their own tag on this here blog, in fact I would say Fred Reed is quite unique in that respect.

Three short essays, enjoy, no matter what your political persuasion.

The View from Abroad

The World is not Billy Bob's Rib Pit
March 10, 2013

The United States is the most hated country in the world, followed closely by Israel, and then by nobody. Why? Why not Ecuador? China? Russia? East Timor? The hostility puzzles many Americans, who genuinely believe their country to be a force for good, a pillar of democracy, a defender of human rights.

To the rest of the world, none of this is even close.

If you have lived abroad, as so very few Americans have, the explanation for the hatred is obvious: Meddling. Relentless, prideful, uncomprehending meddling, frequently military, often with horrendous death tolls. Americans, adroitly managed by a controlled press, historically illiterate, incurious, decreasingly educated, either have never heard of the American behavior that angers others, or believe it to have been inspired by virtuous motives. Nobody else thinks so. Add to unfamiliarity with the wider world the constantly inculcated assertion that America is the greatest, most wonderful nation ever to exist, a light to the world, a shining city on a hill, and you get a dangerously delusional state. Especially now. In the past, American economic and military supremacy were such that the US didn’t have to care what others thought. The times, they are a-changing.

It might be wise to compare briefly the view through American and foreign eyes. Consider Iraq. To most of the world, the war on Iraq was brutal, unprovoked, and murderous. More than a few, looking at the ruins of Fallujah, thought of Guernica—of which few in the States have ever heard.

Many Americans do not believe that we destroyed Iraq for oil, empire, and the Israel lobby, as was in fact the case. No. We wanted to topple an evil dictator and dispense the precious gift of democracy. It was a question of goodness. Many apparently still believe that Iraq had something to do with the attacks on New York. Again, controlled press, poor schooling, little curiosity.

Similarly, Americans tend to see the war on Afghanistan as having to do with ending Terror or sprouting democracy—not as the Great Game (“Hanh?”) redux, or the quest for the TAPI pipeline (“Say whuh?”) or Caspian hydrocarbons. (“Caspian? You mean the Friendly Ghost?”) To most of the world, Afghanistan is just another sorry spectacle of American fighter-bombers killing peasants, of gutted children and drone attacks on half-identified targets. This, the merciless use of overwhelming firepower against lightly armed campesinos, is what the world sees, over and over. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan. It isn’t pretty.

I live in Mexico. In countless towns, probably in every city of any size, you see streets named NiƱos Heroes, Heroic Children. In Guadalajara there is a traffic circle with an imposing monument to them. These things commemorate the children who tried to fight the American soldiers invading Mexico City. In that (purely acquisitive) war Mexico lost half its territory. Yet how many gringos know that it ever happened, or when, or for that matter have ever heard of the bombardment of Veracruz or Pershing’s incursion?

Americans who have some grasp of history sometimes say of the Mexican-American War that Mexicans should “get over it.” Some might tell the Jews to get over the Holocaust, or Americans to get over 9/11. It is much easier to tell people to get over what you have done to them than to get over things they have done to you.

Then there is the War on Drugs. Americans believe this to be a campaign against Evil—best conducted, of course, in other people’s countries.

There are other views. Thoughtful Mexicans (all I know, but I haven’t taken a poll) do not see why drugs are Mexico’s problem. If gringos don’t want drugs, why do they buy them? Why don’t they solve their own problems? It is no secret internationally that American students in high school and universities use drugs. Why don’t the Americans put their college kids in jail? And, they say, probably correctly, that Washington, by sponsoring the elimination of big drug lords, caused the current fighting among littler lords to control the trade, thus creating carnage. Predictably, the flow of drugs northward was not affected.

Truculent patriots at Billy Bob’s Rib Pit know none of this. The combination of clueless ignorance and a sort of Walmart-parking-lot arrogance make mysterious to them much behavior of other countries. Consider their view of Iran, an evil Arab country, somewhere, that wants the Bomb so it can blow up Israel and New York. No explanation occurs to them for Iran’s hostility to the US, which wants regime change so Iranians can be democratic and have freedoms. Ask Billy Bobbers whether they have even heard of, much less been in, major Iranian cities like Tehran, Sulawesi, Sidon, or Tbilisi. No. Yet they are sure the inhabitants are dangerous and un-American.

Iranians may perhaps see things differently. They know that in 1953 the democratically electeed prime minister Mohammed Mossadeg (“Mossy what?” they ask in the Rib Pit.) was overthrown by the CIA leaving the Shah (“Is that, like, a person?”), a routinely ghastly dictator, in control. This had much to do with the occupation of the US embassy in 1979, which was sold in the US as evidence of the badness of Iranians.

Later, in 1988, the US Navy, in the form of the USS Vincennes, shot down an Iranian airliner and killed everyone aboard. Americans shrugged it off: Such things were doubtless necessary to stop terrorism. But imagine the outrage if the Iranian navy shot down a US airliner.

Nobody beyond the borders buys our song about spreading freedom and human rights. America has supported countless sordid dictators rulling by army and torture chamber (the Saudis being a current example). We have put many dictators on their thrones, such as Pniochet (“That little wooden guy, his nose got long when he told a lie, right?”) in Chile. (“Isn’t that Texmex soup with beans in it?”) Others notice that the only country that openly and proudly tortures prisoners is…us.

Always, the underlying problem is meddling. Bin Laden’s guys didn’t attack New York because it was a slow morning and they couldn’t think of anything else to do. They were furious at US meddling in Moslem lands. You may think, and I may think, that Islam is a primitive faith not well adapted to the modern world. Fine. I may think that hornets do not have an ideal social organization. But I know better than to poke their nest.

This is why they hate us—meddling, bombing, invading, droning, telling them how to run their countries. No, George, it is not because of our freedoms. Fred Reed

Machismo, Sort Of

Social Philosophy, and the Grape
March 3, 2013

I’m sitting on the veranda and drinking Padre Kino red and trying to figure out purdah. There is nothing like really awful red wine to inflame the wellsprings of cosmic insight, or engender criminally mixed metaphors. The dogs lie about, looking at me strangely. Why? I’m almost pathologically normal, I tell them.

Anyway, purdah is what useless rich Indians, rajahs and sultans and majarogers did with women, which was to keep them locked up in a forbidden part of the palace where they couldn’t ever do anything but play poker and maybe smoke dope and pray to Hindu gods, of whom there are about seven hundred. Purdah was a really dumb-ass idea. I mean, what was the point of having women around if you couldn’t go swing-dancing with them, or talk politics pointlessly because governments only get worse but at least it’s interesting, or lie on remote Mexican beaches and supervise the sunset? But I guess it was hard to get to Michoacan from Hyderabad.

It wasn’t just the Indians. Sultans in Istanbul and satraps or rattraps or whatever they were in Persia did the same thing, stuffing women into harems. What the hell was that for? And you see sort of the same thing today in places like Morocco. Mostly you don’t see women on the street, and when you do they are wrapped up in chadors or burgers or things about like sleeping bags and you can’t really be sure there’s anyone inside. There’s an eye slit at the top, like a World War Two pillbox, but that’s the only sign of life. I reckon Moslems haven’t figured out that the Thirteenth Century ran out a while back. These things can slip by if you aren’t alert.

Padre Kino, the Great Purple Father, may be the worst red wine in Christendom. Instead of grapes they probably ferment old boot soles. If it weren’t for its philosophic properties, I’d use it to poison roaches. more

Your Papers, Citizen
Gun Control and the Changing American Character
February 19, 2013

A staple of American self-esteem is that we Yanks are brave, free, independent, self-reliant, ruggedly individual, and disinclined to accept abuse from anyone. This was largely true in, say, 1930. People lived, a great many of them, on farms where they planted their own crops, built their own barns, repaired their own trucks, and protected their own property. They were literate but not educated, knew little of the world beyond the local, but in their homes and fields they were supreme.

If they wanted to swim buck nekkid in the creek, they swam buck nekkid. If whistle pigs were eating the corn, the family teenager would get his rifle and solve the problem. Government left them alone.

Even in the early Sixties, in rural King George County, Virginia, where I grew up, it was still mostly true. The country people built their own boats to crab in the Potomac, converted junked car engines to marine, made their own crab pots, planted corn and such, and hunted deer. There was very little contact with the government. One state trooper was the law, and he had precious little to do.

I say the following not as an old codger painting his youth in roseate hues that never were, but as serious sociology: We kids could get up on a summer morning, grab the .22 or .410, put it over our shoulder and go into the country store for ammunition, and no one looked twice. We could go by night to the dump to snap-shoot rats, and no one cared. We could get our fishing poles—I preferred a spinning reel and bait-casting tackle—and fish anywhere we pleased on Machodoc Creek or the Potomac. We could drive unwisely but joyously on winding wooded roads late at night and nobody cared.

Call it “freedom.” We were free, and so were the country folk on their farms and with their crabbing rigs. Because we were free, we felt free. It was a distinct psychology, though we didn’t know it.

Things then changed. The country increasingly urbanized. So much for rugged.

It became ever more a nation of employees. As Walmart and shopping centers and factories moved in, the farmers sold their land to real-estate developers at what they thought mind-boggling prices, and went to work as security guards and truck drivers. Employees are not free. They fear the boss, fear dismissal, and become prisoners of the retirement system. So much for Marlboro Man.

Self-reliance went. Few any longer can fix a car or the plumbing, grow food, hunt, bait a hook or install a new roof. Or defend themselves. To overstate barely, everyone depends on someone else, often the government, for everything. Thus we became the Hive.

Government came like a dust storm of fine choking powder . . . more

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Solitary Confinement Policy Bites Colorado Corrections on the Arse

Unfortunately it bit the wrong fellow, for the recently murdered, Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements, had set to and instrumented changes to the very system that invariably killed him, that being the release of prisoners from years in solitary confinement, straight onto the street.

But before you read the article, might I ask you to read my introduction to this previous post, for it is what I have to say there that is the essence of not just that post, but this one as well.

‘He Was Freaking’: Friend Says Clements Suspect Flailed from Years of Isolation

Former inmate dismisses gang-hit theory in shooting death of Colorado Corrections chief
By Susan Greene
March 26, 2013

DENVER– In the weeks before his death, Evan Ebel, suspected killer of Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements, had broken ties with white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew and was debilitated by the transition from prolonged isolation to social contact, according to a friend and former fellow inmate.

In a series of interviews conducted with The Colorado Independent, parolee Ryan Pettigrew dismissed widespread media speculation that Ebel shot Clements as part of an orchestrated 211 Crew “gang hit.” He said that, over the course of the last few weeks, Ebel was growing increasingly agitated in his adjustment to life outside of prison and beyond the tiny “administrative segregation” cells in which he spent years deprived of regular human contact.

“Trust me, this was no gang hit. This was about what was haunting Evan Ebel,” Pettigrew says. “Clements’ name never came up.”

Pettigrew supported his statements by producing dozens of text messages he exchanged with Ebel over the last two months. The messages reveal Ebel as wrestling with anxiety about his freedom and grappling with the urge to ease that anxiety through violence. The texts span from February 1, four days after Ebel’s release from prison on January 28, to March 5, less than two weeks before Ebel is alleged to have killed pizza delivery man Nathan Leon and then murdered Clements before he led Texas authorities on the high-speed highway gun battle that left Ebel clinically dead last week.

Pettigrew, 33, is on parole and studying to become a real estate investor. He was released in August from a ten-year sentence on a witness intimidating conviction. He served most of his time in Colorado State Penitentiary, the state’s highest security prison, where he befriended Ebel.

Ebel was released from Sterling Correctional Facility at the end of January after serving roughly nine years for a series of stick-ups and assaults.

Both of the men served long periods of their sentences in solitary confinement. As practiced in Colorado, so-called administrative segregation isolates prisoners for months, years and even decades with virtually no human contact other than with corrections officers who pass meals through their food slot and escort them to a room where they exercise alone.

Pettigrew and Ebel didn’t know each other face to face. But over their years at the State Penitentiary, they exchanged frequent notes called “kites” sent through an elaborate delivery system called “fishing.” It entails a chain of prisoners passing notes through plumbing and sliding them under doors in cell-block pods.

In their notes, Pettigrew and Ebel discussed books, philosophy, their families, frustrations with the prison system and plans for businesses they would start when they got out.

Life on the Outside

They kept in touch by mail while Pettigrew served out his last months at Centennial Correctional Facility and Ebel served out his at Sterling Correctional Facility. Once Ebel was released, they spoke by phone almost every day during Ebel’s first several weeks on the outside.

“At first he was telling me how he was freaking out, just freaking out,” Pettigrew recalls. “He was saying that he couldn’t sleep and [was] having a hard time eating and being around people. He didn’t want to have any associations with anybody. He was feeling extremely anxious. It was all the same stuff I was experiencing when I got out. He was a lot like me.”

In one text to Pettigrew from mid February, Ebel said he wanted to get into a fight as a form of coping.

“…im just feeling peculiar & the only way i know i know to remedy that is via use of ‘violence’ even if that ‘violence’ be something as petty & inconsequential as a fist fight which id prefer be with someone i can trust as opposed to some renegade civilian who odds are will tell.”

Pettigrew said that, coming from Ebel, he understood the sentiment.

“He told me that he needed to release some anxiety. He needed that violence as a release so he could calm down. He didn’t know any other way.”

The text messages between the two men — and obtained by The Independent — detail Ebel’s plans to get a tattoo and his thoughts about setting up a for-profit website for inmates and for members of the public interested in news with “street cred” about contemporary prison culture. He planned to post correspondence between prisoners and their attorneys, columns authored by inmates, roundups of actions taken by authorities against prisoners and resistance mounted by prisoners in the form of hunger strikes, for example. Ebel’s promotional strategy was to “advertise by way of regular mail and word of mouth (not a problem).” “Maybe we’ll do a whiteboy discount as an additional selling point,” he wrote.

In one text, Ebel said he was spending most of his evenings since his release “reading & talking to folks on the phone.”

Pettigrew said Ebel was living in a house in Commerce City and that Ebel’s father Jack, an attorney, paid at least part the rent. Pettigrew also said Ebel was working as a researcher at a law office.

He said Ebel and several gang members recently had broken with the 211 Crew over disagreements that Pettigrew, who is still a member, would not discuss. Ebel’s apparent suicide-by-cop was motivated by his own struggles, he said, not out of allegiance to his former gang.

Pettigrew sensed early on that Ebel and he didn’t share the same goals for their lives after incarceration.

“I’m trying to get on with my life, leave [the Department of Corrections] behind me and make a living. [Ebel] seemed still pretty focused on what happened in prison.”

Clements Anxious about Abrupt Transitions

Pettigrew laments the death of Clements, a reform-minded chief who was particularly concerned with the negative effects of solitary confinement.

“It sucks for the inmates he was changing the system for,” he wrote last week in a text to The Independent.

“I’d say there [would be] something pretty ironic [if Ebel] killed the guy who was trying to fix things. It’s unfortunate, because Clements was in a position to help,” Pettigrew elaborated in a phone interview Monday.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, in revealing his longtime friendship with Ebel’s father, said in a statement last week that Evan Ebel had a “bad streak” and, assuming he in fact murdered Clements, was “hell-bent on causing evil.”

It’s exactly that kind of violent tendency that Clements was hell-bent on preventing, especially among prisoners being released from solitary.

In an exclusive interview last spring, Clements said that, immediately after Hickenlooper recruited him from Missouri to run the Colorado corrections department, he found disturbing “one very alarming statistic” he said kept him up at night — that 47 percent of Colorado prisoners being released from isolation were walking directly out onto the streets without help reintegrating into social environments and interacting with people.

Clements wanted longer transition periods and step-down programs before setting isolated prisoners free. As Pettigrew tells it, Ebel said he had little help making that transition. He said altercations during his brief period in a step-down program landed him back in isolation.

“You have to ask yourself the question – How does holding inmates in administrative segregation and then putting them out on a bus into the public, [how does that] square up?” Clements said.

“We have to think about how what we do in prisons impacts the community when [prisoners] leave,” Clements continued. “It’s not just about running the prison safely and securely. There’s a lot of research around solitary and isolation in recent years, some tied to POWs and some to corrections. My experience tells me that long periods of isolation can be counter-productive to stable behavior and long-term rehabilitation goals.”

Soon after taking office, Clements launched a study of solitary confinement and decided to close Colorado State Penitentiary II, the state’s two-year-old supermax prison, which was designed and built entirely for isolation. By last spring’s interview, Clements said he had reduced the 47 percent isolation-to-streets release to 22 percent. His goal, he noted, was to drive to zero the number of isolated prisoners being released without step-down programs.

Pettigrew said he thought many corrections officers weren’t receptive to the reforms Clements was making.

“The old school guards in there, they just hated what he has doing and would come down even harder on us. You develop such a hatred not only from being in solitary but from having been pocked with a stick that long.”

‘It’s Hate that’s Building up in You’

Those sentiments were echoed by Colorado State Penitentiary prisoner Josue Gonzales in National Geographic Channel documentary that showed him walking into freedom after five years in isolation.

“I think 90 percent of the people that are locked up here, if they ran into a staff member on the streets, they’d hurt ‘em,” Gonzales was quoted to say in the film.

“It’s hate that’s been building up in you. And you kind of just kind of try to just swallow it down. That stuff builds up. The tension builds up, builds up, builds up, and I still have them thoughts still, though, that I want to basically get into it with somebody.

“Those are the things that I want to get away from. But I still deal with them all the time.” Colorado Independent

Colorado Independent: Suspect in Killing of Prisons Chief Tormented by Years of Solitary Confinement

A Hidden World Of Astonishing Violence: America's Brutal Prisons Re-Up

I am re-upping this 2007 post to accompany the post above.

A Hidden World Of Astonishing Violence: America's Brutal Prisons

This is not a film about prisoner on prisoner violence it's guard on prisoner abuse.
There would be those among society that would say the inmates deserve all they get but, given how easy it is to get arrested and incarcerated in America that's not an argument that holds much water.

There are segments in this Channel Four documentary that feature the testimony of ex cons regarding their brutal treatment by guards including the almost institutionalised excessive use of pepper sprays.
There are also those that cannot speak out like the inmate who died at the hands of the guards whilst serving a six month sentence for shoplifting.

It is said that the measure of a society reflects in the way it treats animals, this is patently obvious when we look say at the Japanese and the way it slaughters, to the world's horror, hundreds of whales, or the regard, or should I disregard that the Chinese treat both animals and people alike.
But another measure of that society is the way it treats those that it incarcerates.

How easy the good citizenry of America might dismiss what goes on behind bars as out of site out of mind, but given that the Prison Nation has a budget of forty billion tax payer dollars, the good citizenry should be asking their congress critters just what kind of person is the Department of Corrections putting back on the street after an inmate has served his time.

There is one thing I can say without fear of contradiction is that having suffered such systematic and institutionalised abuse over months or years the inmate on his release might just tend to be a little more anti-social than when he first entered the system, and just might be inclined to vent his anger and exact revenge on the softer target of society in general.

I have argued before about the bullshit surrounding the limitations that certain states and communities impose on sex offenders. Making a man a pariah and restricting his ability to seek employment or put a roof over his head and in some cases the heads of his family is nothing more than a recipe for disaster and if not a guarantee of re-offending then at least making the likelihood more than probable.

Yet for those that are held in the most inhumane of conditions, the Secure Housing Units or SHU's, often to include the mentally ill, banged up for twenty three hours a day, restricted severely in the kind of stimulating material that is available to them and in some institutions never seeing the light of day or being able to speak to another human being for years on end.

Statistics show that some eighty five to ninety percent of these inmates will one day be released.
Having been abused in this manner for God knows how many years they will be tossed out of the front door of the prison with no aftercare or supervision and with little or no chance of receiving any meds or anti-psychotics that they probably so desperately need, they will be left to their own devices.

Given the choice of who I would want living next door to me, the already violent con that has been incarcerated for years under such conditions or the sex offender, there's just no contest.

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons
by Deborah Davies
Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men

Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first true Penitentiary. In order to encourage penitence - or true regret - in the hearts of criminals, inmates would spend their entire sentence in solitary confinement. On the rare occasion when an inmate left his cell, a hood was placed over his head to ensure his identity would remain anonymous. Ideally, no inmate would ever see the face of another inmate.

Not come very far have we.