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Should prisoners be allowed to have radical views or radical literature?
Yes
No
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GomJabbar
Jul 25, 2013

by The Finn


http://www.popularresistance.org/pr...t-publications/

Left wing source, I know, but for the purpose of the thread, let's assume what they are saying is factually true, that an inmate was sent to the hole for being an anarchist with no evidence that he was planning on escape, harming guards, or anything like that. And from what they have shown, it would seem that the black cross, other than existing to provide support for inmates, is not a violent organization.

Here is the wikipedia page about the org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarch...k_Cross_Network

Corrections department overreach and wide spread human rights abuse has been pretty well documented on this forums. That said, we do often compromise on the rights of prisoners. Are radical views inherently dangerous enough to warrant discipline?

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Bel Shazar
Sep 14, 2012


From a practical standpoint if you're going to accept condemning thought in the name of safety you really need to enforce reeducation, and that's going to fail when it comes to a public referendum... discipline should require actions or negligence.

Main Paineframe
Oct 27, 2010

the cybernetic hair did not markedly improve his mood


The problem with banning radical literature is very simple: "radical" is a subjective term whose meaning can easily be twisted to ban political minorities or cultural literature. For example, bans on "radical" literature have been used against prisoners who possessed black nationalist literature or even sometimes just newspaper articles accusing prison wardens of racism.

Ddraig
Sep 5, 2005

Sits with a full house

Yes, until Thoughtcrime is actually a thing.


I know prison is supposed to be a sort of hellish experience for most advocates of it, but as far as I'm aware a person's thoughts are their own, unless they go to a psych ward then all bets are off.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

this is me posting irl


GomJabbar posted:

Are radical views inherently dangerous enough to warrant discipline?

If they're sufficiently dangerous that people who are locked and monitored in a cage cannot be allowed to have them, how could they possibly be tolerated in the open where nobody is watching?

Strom Thurmond
Jul 24, 2004

by XyloJW


Ddraig posted:

Yes, until Thoughtcrime is actually a thing.


I know prison is supposed to be a sort of hellish experience for most advocates of it, but as far as I'm aware a person's thoughts are their own, unless they go to a psych ward then all bets are off.

You'd be hard-pressed to find any (credible) mental health professional who would argue for some method of controlling people's thoughts.

Helsing
Aug 23, 2003

THUNDERDOME LOSER

If we actually care about rehabilitating people or even if we just want to have institutions that don't markedly decrease a person's ability to function in society after their release then there's virtually nothing about the modern prison system that shouldn't be dismantled. Warehousing people in overcrowded violent hell holes and then taking away every scrap of independence and dignity is an incredibly expensive and ineffective way for society to deal with most criminals or deviants.

Whether or not prisoners should have their reading or writing scrutinized seems like a bit of a side issue. A lot of those people shouldn't be in prison to begin with, the ones who are should be in a prison system run very differently than the current one.

anonumos
Jul 14, 2005

Fuck it.

This case seems really stupid, because (as reported, maybe biased) he was being shushed for his political speech. Clear violation of 1st Amendment, right?

quote:

his political beliefs alone are described as a threat.

Dead Reckoning
Sep 13, 2011

Napalm sticks
to manchildren



The prison's interest is in minimizing inmates ability to organize outside of approved venues, either as part of a gang or for collective action against prison officials. One of the tenants of radical anarchism is disobedience of laws, something that isn't going to fly in prison. Literature encouraging prisoners to disobey guards, or someone attempting to recruit members for a group which is opposed to the authority of the guards and the prison system as a whole on principle, likely constitute a threat to good order and discipline and the safety of the prisoners. Whether or not the prison officials' actions stand up to scrutiny will likely hinge on details of the inmate's behavior.

Ddraig
Sep 5, 2005

Sits with a full house

Dead Reckoning posted:

The prison's interest is in minimizing inmates ability to organize outside of approved venues, either as part of a gang or for collective action against prison officials. One of the tenants of radical anarchism is disobedience of laws, something that isn't going to fly in prison. Literature encouraging prisoners to disobey guards, or someone attempting to recruit members for a group which is opposed to the authority of the guards and the prison system as a whole on principle, likely constitute a threat to good order and discipline and the safety of the prisoners. Whether or not the prison officials' actions stand up to scrutiny will likely hinge on details of the inmate's behavior.

Which only really serves to highlight the issues with the prison system. It's a terrible system that needs an incredible amount of work done to it. The primary purpose of a prison in modern times should be rehabilitation of people back into society. A violent hellhole might be some people's idea of an ideal prison but we don't live in the middle ages anymore. Sure there's definite issues and violence is always going to be a reality but punitive measures really don't work and there's been countless examples of this. poo poo, not even dog trainers encourage punitive measures anymore.

Zwiftef
Jun 30, 2002

SWIFT IS FAT, LOL

Dead Reckoning posted:

The prison's interest is in minimizing inmates ability to organize outside of approved venues, either as part of a gang or for collective action against prison officials. One of the tenants of radical anarchism is disobedience of laws, something that isn't going to fly in prison. Literature encouraging prisoners to disobey guards, or someone attempting to recruit members for a group which is opposed to the authority of the guards and the prison system as a whole on principle, likely constitute a threat to good order and discipline and the safety of the prisoners. Whether or not the prison officials' actions stand up to scrutiny will likely hinge on details of the inmate's behavior.

But historically prisons have abused this interest by squelching legitimate organizing by prisoners agitating for better conditions. (See the Angola 3)

Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


It would appear that things are pretty much in order in this case. The inmate was imprisoned for violent anarchist activity* and his interaction with other anarchist inmates and anarchist groups constitutes a clear reassociation with organized anarchism. In particular, he is reconnecting with the same Chicago-based anarchist groups that got him into trouble in the first place. As such, the unauthorized conduct is prohibited under anti-gang statutes that have been vetted by the Supreme Court as necessary and lawful restrictions upon free speech.

*The disputed facts of that case are immaterial to the prison policy.

Dead Reckoning
Sep 13, 2011

Napalm sticks
to manchildren



Ddraig posted:

Which only really serves to highlight the issues with the prison system. It's a terrible system that needs an incredible amount of work done to it. The primary purpose of a prison in modern times should be rehabilitation of people back into society. A violent hellhole might be some people's idea of an ideal prison but we don't live in the middle ages anymore. Sure there's definite issues and violence is always going to be a reality but punitive measures really don't work and there's been countless examples of this. poo poo, not even dog trainers encourage punitive measures anymore.
I'm not really following you here. I think that even the most progressive of prisons would intervene if you started organizing a group dedicated to undermining the authority of the guards. No matter what the purpose of incarceration is, the system has to maintain physical and administrative control of the prisoners somehow. Also, I would note that, like every other area of social policy, corrections policies which work in small, homogeneous, wealthy, well-educated countries with low crime rates and strict immigration control do not necessarily work in the United States.

Zwiftef posted:

But historically prisons have abused this interest by squelching legitimate organizing by prisoners agitating for better conditions. (See the Angola 3)
That isn't really an argument that the interest doesn't exist, you're just making the obvious observation that power demands oversight. It's like saying that black people are more likely to be pulled over in the South, and that Alabama's traffic code therefore should not be enforced.

anonumos
Jul 14, 2005

Fuck it.

Kaal posted:

*The disputed facts of that case are immaterial to the prison policy.

Horseshit. If he wasn't violent then the facts are material. Reading anarchist material is not the same as calling for other inmates to attack guards, which doesn't seem to have happened here. He basically HAS been punished for free thinking, not for any kind of violence (from what I've read on the case).

VikingSkull
Jul 23, 2008

BEHOLD THE SCOURGE OF ICE RACK


anonumos posted:

Horseshit. If he wasn't violent then the facts are material. Reading anarchist material is not the same as calling for other inmates to attack guards, which doesn't seem to have happened here. He basically HAS been punished for free thinking, not for any kind of violence (from what I've read on the case).

The article does say, however, that he was trying to recruit others into his way of thinking. So he wasn't just thinking, he was collecting materials, creating materials, and then trying to spread those ideas around. You can't really get away with that in prison.

Zwiftef
Jun 30, 2002

SWIFT IS FAT, LOL

Dead Reckoning posted:

I'm not really following you here. I think that even the most progressive of prisons would intervene if you started organizing a group dedicated to undermining the authority of the guards. No matter what the purpose of incarceration is, the system has to maintain physical and administrative control of the prisoners somehow. Also, I would note that, like every other area of social policy, corrections policies which work in small, homogeneous, wealthy, well-educated countries with low crime rates and strict immigration control do not necessarily work in the United States.

That isn't really an argument that the interest doesn't exist, you're just making the obvious observation that power demands oversight. It's like saying that black people are more likely to be pulled over in the South, and that Alabama's traffic code therefore should not be enforced.

Awesome, you made the obvious observation that prisons have an interest to mistreat prisoners. I made the obvious observation that that interest has been abused repeatedly in the past and present and that prisons cannot be trusted to not mistreat their prisoners to a degree that violates international law.

You're not even making an argument, you're just knee-jerk defending authoritarian policy. Further, your analogy doesn't make sense - if the authorities are doing something that violates constitutional rights (unreasonable search and seizure in the case of Alabama traffic officers, first amendment rights in the case of prisoners) than obviously there's an overriding interest to correct that (ending racial profiling during traffic stops, not sending prisoners to solitary confinement for organizing). No one is saying 'oh prisons violates prisoners rights, open all the prisons!!' as your stupid analogy suggests.

A better analogy is that stop and frisk disproportionately target minority citizens and as such the police shouldn't get to do it

BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

Did my posting make you horny? Did it? Did it make you randy? Oh behave!


At the end of the day, what are the point of prisons?

I mean, you want to punish somebody who did wrong? Could you not beat them instead? Or execute them? Or take their money, their possessions, force them to make reparations if possible, amends if needed? So what is a prison?

A prison is a cage to lock somebody in. You lock somebody in a cage because you feel they are too dangerous to be allowed out of the cage. That is the purpose of a cage--to keep something inside, something that is dangerous. No living being likes being caged. It is bad for a living creature and any caged beast or man wants to be freed of that cage.

Now then, what actions justify locking somebody up in a cage? For what reason do we build the cage? Do you want to live in a society where your justice system is simply "punishing" people by throwing them in cages? Is that going to solve the problem? It strikes me as strangely counter productive. Like somehow the punishment alone is enough to fix the crime, ignoring the fact that the punishment in no way reflects the crime.

What do you want to do with a prisoner? It's obvious that we don't care about rehabilitation because our attempts at rehabilitation are an absolute joke. There's no real genuine desire to fix these people (fix used loosely here), because that would require empowering them, giving them agency to improve their lives or the lives of others, and you can't do that in a prison.

Prisons are horrible, horrible places. American prisons are hot-beds of surprise sex and sexual assault unprecedented in the history of incarceration. It is accepted and almost institutionalized, and society simply laughs at the idea because it is literally too horrible for an average, non-incarcerated person, to actually wrap their heads around. It's too scary and gross and strange, so you laugh it away, but it's a cruel and horrible reality and that means that, anyone who goes to prison for any reason, faces a risk of being traumatized, assaulted, raped, enslaved by fellow inmates, abused by the staff, or subjected to ten thousand horrors when they were sentenced only to one.

That's the problem with prison. Prisons are problems--prisons are horrorshows funded by the state, and they breed harder, more violent, better educated criminals, they breed more violence, they create more broken homes, single-parent households, they are filled primarily with minorities, enabling voting districts to clear out potential rival voting blocks by throwing them in jail, and all of this--I ask again and again--all of this is to accomplish...what?

Who is being served by prisons? What purpose is being done, and what do you--average American, law-abiding citizen--what do you expect your tax dollars to be going towards? What do you expect your justice system to be doing? God forbid, you break a law or find yourself in trouble, what sort of justice do you want to see? Humane treatment based on the severity of your crimes, or a mandatory sentence, a routine trial, and many years stay in a violent, gang-ruled barbaric hell hole?

ekuNNN
Nov 27, 2004



VikingSkull posted:

The article does say, however, that he was trying to recruit others into his way of thinking. So he wasn't just thinking, he was collecting materials, creating materials, and then trying to spread those ideas around. You can't really get away with that in prison.

Except if you're religious.

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Kaal
May 22, 2002

Even trying to narrow it down to specific events is problematic.
Was Danzig or War right or wrong?
Was the Holocaust right or wrong?
It clearly has elements of both. Trying to cast super broad concepts in yes/ no terms is argumentative reductionism.


anonumos posted:

Horseshit. If he wasn't violent then the facts are material. Reading anarchist material is not the same as calling for other inmates to attack guards, which doesn't seem to have happened here. He basically HAS been punished for free thinking, not for any kind of violence (from what I've read on the case).

Awesome, but he needs to prove that to an appeal court, not the warden. They work with what they're given.

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