Prisons are factories of crime where the convicted, with little hope of returning to “civilized” society, decide to make their way outside the law when they’re released.
The prison conditions don’t help – the cliques, mob tanks and gang corridors prompt violence and abuse between inmates. There are “correction” officers ignoring and even facilitating illegal drugs, consensual sex, rape, torture, and escape; these “law” officers are “instructing” the inmates how the world “really” works. When a prisoner is ill, the institution often fails to provide critical medical attention. Cruel, yes, but not unusual. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have some 40 doctors and 14 psychiatrists to care for about 30,000 prisoners.
When I was a NY federal prosecutor, we investigated and prosecuted prison corruption, wiring inmates and guards we “turned,” but there’s hardly a prison or jail in America to this day that could come up “clean” if carefully scrutinized.
Perhaps what’s worse is that we openly allow and encourage prison wardens to confine prisoners to solitary for indefinite periods. Continue reading