What All Prison’s Should Be Like

I believe prisons should be designed to be deterrents to crime. Alcatraz was more like what prisons should be. I have never been to prison, but from what I hear, most prisons these days are resorts with all the amenities of a Hilton and more.

A prison should provide a place for criminals the opportunity to change and reform themselves. In order to really change, people need to be able to think clearly and at length about what they have done to get them into prison. In order to change, people also need to provide service to others. Community service.

Prisons should not provide any entertainment other than physical activity. No movies, no television, no music, no talk radio, nothing. Maybe books. However, not just any books, they should be good books, like the bible, or other literary classics. Books with good morals and uplifting stories.

Prisons should not be a burden on society. Prisons should provide many useful benefits to society, aside from just keeping criminals off the streets. A prison should be funded largely or entirely by the labor of the inmates. Prisoners should be doing useful labor. Like all of those jobs that people say Americans do not want to do. Make prisoners do them. Make them serve the country that they have transgressed against. Making roads, stamping license plates, building things. They should grow and harvest their own food. They should clean their own clothes.

Prison inmates should not be getting college degrees while they are in prison, unless they are paying for it with money they earn. A college degree is an excellent thing to get, but how are we helping society when law abiding citizens have a harder time getting money for a college degree than criminals?

Here are some links to information about a sheriff in Arizona and his idea of how prisons should be. I like his thinking.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Tent City Jail
An Arizona sheriff dismissed prisoners’ bellyaching about the heat by pointing out that soldiers serving in Iraq cope with similar conditions.

One thought on “What All Prison’s Should Be Like”

  1. Hi Jonathan,
    I was interested to read your ideas since the son of my dear friend is in prison and I have been writing to him regularly. I have learned a few things about his prison life and thought I’d share them.

    I believe this is because he is in a maximum security prison, but he has no way of earning money. He is required to buff the floors and and do laundry, not just his own. He is not provided with shampoo, toothpaste, razors or deodorant. He is nearly entirely dependent upon others for money to purchase these items. The chaplain can give him a hotel size bar of soap once in awhile , but it is not supposed to be an ongoing thing. Since this particular inmate’s widow mother has no income at all and his other family members don’t have anything to send him because they are helping her, and they don’t seem to care.

    He is in danger all the time. Recently there was a riot at his prison and a prisoner was killed by another inmate. He prays for his own saftey.

    Not much of this ties in directly to the things you mentioned, but I was grateful to learn more.

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