Socially Extinct’s latest post is about prisons, and progs turning their gaze upon them, no doubt intending to ‘reform’ them along their ideological lines.
Like SE, the last thing I want to see are prisons remade along SJW, prog lines.
But I also don’t care for the status quo, in both directions.
That is to say, on the one hand, I think prisoners today have far too many privileges, in terms of things like the ability to communicate with the outside world / have contact with the outside world, through internet access, and the like. If it were up to me, I would severely curtail prisoners’ access to communication with the outside world (other than occasional visits through glass – no conjugal visits; and otherwise mostly communicating with loved ones by letters, the way it used to be), and entertainment, other than libraries to develop their minds and imaginations, and improve their literacy, etc., and maybe a prison band, playing musical instruments or singing in choirs – as was the case in olden days, certainly here in Canada, anyway. I’d make that a reward for good behaviour, rather than an automatic right. And if prisoners are made to do hard labour, they won’t need gyms to stay physically fit.
On the other hand, I do think there are many problems with modern prisons, both in terms of sadistic guards abusing their powers, having too much free reign to indulge in unnecessary levels of brutality against prisoners, and also in terms of prisoners having not enough oversight, and having free reign to victimize other prisoners, making them their ‘bitches’, etc.
I remember when this article came out over a decade ago, I was glad to see that someone on the Right (more or less) was actually concerned about the welfare of prisoners, although unlike Taylor, despite the racial dimensions which I do recognize, I see it more as a case of injustice, period, rather than particularly a racial one. (Prison rape and ‘bitch-making’ is wrong, period, regardless of who does it to whom, even if it happens more according to some patterns than others.) Would that others felt similarly, I thought.
IMO, both prisoners and guards don’t have enough oversight, and I don’t see why prisons need to have two people to a cell, rather than smaller individual solo cells. And given 21st century surveillance technologies available to us, I don’t see why we can’t implement a modern version of Bentham’s ‘panopticon‘, albeit with surveillance cameras rather than round-shaped buildings.
And rather than giving guards too much free reign to inflict violence sadistically, as they please, I’d rather have more formal institutionalized violence, such as bringing back the lash, and administering it for various offenses, with one designated guard doing the whipping at each prison, per shift.
I’d like prisons to be unpleasant places to be, but not in terms of permitting atrocities and injustices such as prison rape, and excessive beatings by guards. Simply in terms of being places of boredom, tedium, without many comforts, with much supervision, and formalized violence when warranted by true misbehaviour.
Surely, as Christians, we should believe in justice, which can be and must be hard sometimes, but we must avoid allowing injustices to occur, as we strive to administer justice.