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NY state bar report on supermax prisons in the US is out : it's basically torture

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posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 04:44 AM
The document (PDF)

During the past three decades, “supermax” confinement has become a widespread and integral element of prison administration in the United States.

As many as 80,000 prisoners are held in supermax facilities or in isolation units within prisons. These prisoners endure conditions of extreme sensory deprivation for months or years on end, an excruciating experience in which the prisoner remains isolated from any meaningful human contact. Access to a telephone, books, magazines, radio, television, even sunlight and outside air may be denied or severely restricted.

The policy of supermax confinement, on the scale which it is currently being implemented in the United States, violates basic human rights. We believe that in many cases supermax confinement constitutes torture under international law according to international jurisprudence and cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. constitution.

The time has come to critically review and reform the widespread practice of supermax confinement. Courts in recent years have largely deferred to prison administrators with regard to the implementation and expansion of supermax confinement, stretching the limits of constitutionality so that supermax is largely immunized from judicial review. Indeed, as long as a prisoner receives adequate food and shelter, the extreme sensory deprivation that characterizes supermax confinement will, under current case law, almost always be considered within the bounds of permissible treatment.

Although supermax confinement does not produce visible scars or bruises, its impact on prisoners can be comparable to physical torture.

Numerous studies confirm the psychological damage caused by supermax confinement, and the
adverse effects are especially pronounced for mentally ill prisoners.

[Inmates] can go weeks, months or potentially years with little or no opportunity for normal social contact with other people . . . . [They] remain confined to their cells for 22 and 1/2 hours of each day. Food trays are passed through a narrow food port in the cell door. Inmates eat all meals in their cells. Opportunities for social interaction with other prisoners or vocational staff are essentially precluded . . . . [S]ome inmates spend the time simply pacing around the edges of the pen; the image created is hauntingly similar to that of caged felines pacing in a zoo.

Anyway, read the whole report, it's totally disgusting and it needs to change. Yes a lot of these criminals are disgusting, but they are HUMAN BEINGS. Not to mention, more and more people are ending up in jail which shouldn't be there. And at some point, those prisoners that were isolated for so long end up back on the streets... worse than they were when they entered... you want that?

Anyway, have some humanity.

Can't do the torture? Don't do the crime. /sarcasm
edit on 21-9-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 06:13 AM
There is a Chinese text that all kids learn at a young age. Basically, it speaks of people being born pure and innocent, and how they are slowly corrupted over time.

I'm reminded by this. Suffering begets more suffering. There must be a number of people that ended up in supermax prisons because of contributing factors in their lives. Things they had no control over. And as they first entered the system, they had more and more corruption to further their trip in that direction.

By no means am I shedding responsibility for people and their actions. But all you have to do is look at Africa, to see that circumstance and surroundings impact the people it effects. (Somalia, Congo?)

Some of the most disrupted, lawless, and downright inhuman places in the world were not always so. Environment played a large part.

The environment of prison in the North America, is not one that will be doing any rehabilitation, anytime soon...

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:08 AM
Every number available will state, emphatically, that America is the most imprisoned country on the planet. Freedom, it was fun while it lasted. Too bad it ended before my lifetime.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:11 AM
Sadly, I think you'll find that many people are simply too wrapped up in the black/white dichotomy many were raised with to say much more beyond, "criminals get what they get". The concept of the punishment actually fitting the crime or of really being humane in punishment is beyond many people.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:15 AM
finally a report to back up with i've been saying all along.

solitary confinement / supermax prisons are torture.

you can't deprive a human being of all incentives expecting him to become a better man.

for someone disagreeing with that statement, try locking yourself in your room for a weak.

you'll go batsh*t crazy over time.

disgusting this can happen in the land of the 'free', home of the 'brave'.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:20 AM
reply to post by Vitchilo

If they deserve "Super Max" treatment, then they are probably not safe to have much "human interaction" because they are dangerous.

However, if they are not safe to be around fellow humans, why are we keeping them alive? There is a simple solution here, but not everyone has the stomach for it. In my opinion, either someone can be rehabilitated, or they cannot. If they can, then we don't need long prison sentences and super max jails, we just need a good environment for that rehabilitation. I think the youthful car thiefs, and other property crimes fall in that area. I don't think prositution and drugs and tax evasion belong anywhere in prison, and so we are left with the violent offenders with no chance of rehabilitation, and they belong in the ground. If they aren't safe to be around other humans, instead of pacing a cage, just put them to sleep.

In my world, "prison" is a place where no one goes for more than 5 years, and during that 5 years they learn life skills and coping skills and an occupation, and restraint, and respect. They come out better people. Sometimes the military, or a labor unit (chain gang) can be used as alternatives to confinement. Anything that cannot be resolved and rehabilitated in that time frame is handed over to the family of their victims and they get a reckoning one way or another.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:21 AM

Originally posted by kn0wh0w
for someone disagreeing with that statement, try locking yourself in your room for a weak.

you'll go batsh*t crazy over time.

Yep. You'll talk to yourself, etc... it won't take long, especially with no sunlight, no music, no book, nobody to talk to, nothing...

And people can be locked up in these conditions for YEARS... You could put the sanest person in there and he would come out crazy you can be sure of that. The only ones that MIGHT be able to sustain it are highly trained Tibetan monks.

The Soviets discovered this long ago... most of their torture methods were psychological... and they always found new ones... America apparently has found the same thing... experiencing at CIA secret prisons and then trickling down to the US state prisons.
edit on 21-9-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:29 AM
reply to post by getreadyalready

I agree. The current idea of "rehabilitation" is a farce. And the environments that are created to funnel people into this prison system (many of which are non-violent offenders, creating no victims) are what is truly criminal.

Our government has been shown time and again to be involved at the base level of a large portion of "crime" (drugs, gun running, etc). They criminalize behavior that they encourage.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:32 AM
reply to post by getreadyalready

I bet everyone in prison wished that their prison was like that.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by getreadyalready

I know you mods dont want to hear the dreaded "D" word,But if you want to DENY IGNORANCE,you have to face some simple and sobering facts.

As of the end of April, 2010 there were 211,455 prisoners in the federal system (source), and of those approximately 51.5% are there for drug related offenses (source).

In 2007, according to the American Corrections Association, the average yearly cost for a state prisoner was around $24,600 and at that time state prisons held around 280,000 inmates for drug offenses. So that means states spent around $6.9 billion dollars that year on drug incarceration expenses.

It is worth noting that the United States has the highest prison population rate in the world. In the US, 756 out of every 100,000 people are incarcerated.

How many people are incarcerated for drug related offenses?

I figured I would give links to this sobering statistic,to go along with the amount of torture in Prisons,and how our society in the US is perpetrating this. Where half of those incarcerated are in there for drug offenses,and we are now seeing Prescription drug deaths helping to outpace traffic deaths.

Drug Deaths Exceed Traffic Deaths

We have turned a blind eye on it. We have not changed the laws on it. We as a Nation have continued to make a business out of it,IE; Incarceration,torture,and the unwillingness to change the laws on it.

Mods: I placed facts and statistics to back my claims,and am not supporting or advocating drug use. Just advocating change for the ridiculous laws we have on them,that continue to support the torture of human beings in prisons.Its a sad fact.

edit on 21-9-2011 by sonnny1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 08:16 AM
reply to post by sonnny1

I agree entirely. You aren't advocating the use of drugs, nor am I. I've never even considered trying anything, it has never interested me, but I don't think others should be in jail for it.

I have friend from the Netherlands, and she says there is no drug problem there whatsoever. No addictions. The only people that ever get into trouble over drugs are the tourists. She is a pretty, young college girl, and in a country where just about everything is legal, she has never tried any of it.

Clear out the prisons, the the cases out of the courts, get the people put to work doing something productive, and leave room to try and convict the real criminals!

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 08:55 AM
private prison labor contracting is big money for CCA- (the global wackenhutt corp) most military gear is assembled by federal prisoners.. of course -you can refuse to work for 25 cents an hour..but where do you think they will put you? something like supermax..they now install the active denial system in prisons too.
the usa- leading the way in the manufacture of inmates..

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 09:06 AM

Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by sonnny1

I have friend from the Netherlands, and she says there is no drug problem there whatsoever. No addictions. The only people that ever get into trouble over drugs are the tourists. She is a pretty, young college girl, and in a country where just about everything is legal, she has never tried any of it.

i can vouch for the validity of this statement, coming from the Netherlands myself.

imho the biggest problem we have surrounding drugs is a little thing called 'drug tourism'.

people from Countries like Germany, Belgium en France coming over the border to get drugs that are condoned in the Netherlands but illegal where they live.
edit on 21-9-2011 by kn0wh0w because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-9-2011 by kn0wh0w because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 12:09 PM
Im all for an Island or large plot of land for all Lifers.

give them the basic tools to survive, maybe they form a nice society maybe they dont, but at least they get a crack at a SHTF type survival scenario on their own. Its up to them what they make of it.

Large enough wall with automatic gun turrents should keep them in.

cheaper and more humane than what we do now.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 12:24 PM
This reminds me of Plato's Cave.
Life has just become 4 walls for them with food and
water randomly appearing for them. If I was stuck in there
I'd think of suicide or to do an attack like 911 to the prison.
Hey perhaps that's how Al Queda raises their troops!!
I mean their fellow CIA lackeys.
whatever this is worse then animal cruelty.
edit on 21-9-2011 by foreshadower99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 12:25 PM
They are making Monsters,and some day these Monster wil be set Free, in a community near you.
Marion has been lock down for over 25 years, I think.

Cheny and tha Hauburton are behind a lot of this too, there is to much money for keeping people in Prison, it;s a bussiness.

All the real crooks are running this here USof A and they get by with almost anything.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:23 PM
A guy by the name of Bo Lozoff realized after he was released from prison that no one was doing anything to help prisoners prepare for their return to society, so he formed the Prison Ashram Project and dedicated himself to providing support and materials to prisoners who wanted to use their time behind bars as a spiritual retreat, an opportunity for self-refection and understanding about their crimes and about themselves as people. He wrote a book called We're All Doing Time, and it is sent to prisoners around the country free of charge as a self-help guide to examining themselves and the consequence of their actions, as well as what love and forgiveness is all about. Most prisoners haven't got a clue what real love is, and Bo and his people try to show them. I get a newsletter from his group several times a year, and the letters from the prisoners that are published there will open your eyes to the potential that these "evil men" have for turning themselves around and contributing to the common good. It might make you think twice about just executing them all, or ignoring their plight in American prisons because "they get what they deserve".

Human Kindness Foundation

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by Vitchilo

quite honestly, the people who earn "super max" status, had their chance to be good citizens. we should treat these guys, most of which might have a psychological need to do harm, as human beings? no. sorry. i have no problem with super maxes. the Incentive to be a good person is already there, by showing that a SM is no walk in the park. If they commit crimes, knowing they will get the maximum sentence, they deserve it.. oh and did the murderers treat their victims like human beings? nope.

knock off this bleeding heart's why we have some of these problems. men hanged in the town square for heinous crimes back in the day. be glad they get what they get now instead.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by Kingbreaker

There are a lot of factors that go into making someone a criminal.

upbringing, and so on, some of these people due to the areas they grew up in and such poverty they chose a path that seemed to fit their environment, doesn't excuse them, just saying its hard to just right off a human as just an animal to be disposed of.

I am sure rehabilitation is possible, not probable with some, but possible.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:45 PM
reply to post by benrl

Oh I know about all that... but sometimes its just in their nature.. my ex gf's dad was a career criminal since the age of 13, shoplifting, drugs etc.. and it all finally caught up with him... got busted on his 2nd strike... now he's serving life. like in shawshank redemption, sometimes they want to go back...
edit on 21-9-2011 by Kingbreaker because: (no reason given)

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