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May 3, 2007

A certain crime, a certain prison?

As a popular saying goes, "Let the punishment fit the crime" do you feel that a certain crime should land you in a certain prison? For example, should white collar criminals be locked up with street criminals. Or in other words, should murderers be locked up with felony theft cases? Or should convicted murderers be commited to a specific prison of their own? Should a stock insider trader spend ten years in a prison, bunking next to a child molestor.

My view on this is that there should be some separation between prisons. I believe that an illegal stock trader should be required to bunk with some guy who raped 14 little girls (or whatever the match should be). This would ideally create a safer prison system as a whole. Reason being is that the less dangerous prisoners, while they should still be under maximum security (for risk of escape), should not be placed into an area in which he/she will most likely learn more criminal activites. Also, gang kingpins who are doing a life shot will not be able to pass information on to lower gang members who may only be in for a few years.
While criticisms may say this is costly, it would pay for itself in the long run by reducing gang violence and future crimes on the streets.

Cruelty and Capital Punishment

As I was looking over our captial punishment materials for class, I thought back to a couple of articles a read a few years ago, I believe from a "Taking Sides" book. I found them very interesting. The two authers contradicted eachother on which form of punishment was more cruel: Capital Punishment or life imprisonement.
Arguments for the capital punishment side include:
- causes obvious death
-mental anguish of knowing the exact day you will die
-errors during the execution procedure
-incarcereation on death row (the most extreme solitary confinement in prison),

Arguments for the life imprisonment side include:
- causes a long. drawn out death (usually from sickness)
- spend what could be more than a half a century in a cell 23 hours a day
- mental instability caused by this isolation

I personally feel that the death penalty is far crueler than life imprisonment. The sheer thought of knowing the exact time I was going to die would make me loose my mind in a heartbeat. While it may be more cruel, I still feel that the death penalty should be kept on the table as it is today. I feel that because of its cruelty, it does have a high deterance rate. Also, a certain amount of cruelty should be allowed, given the prisoner on death row most likely also cruelly killed another human.

I decided I would extend this debate to the class, in hopes to start a debate itself.

Mitch Metty

May 1, 2007

Newjack Vs. Army Basic Training

As I was reading Newjack, I started to think back about how it was for me at basic training for the US Army. Ted Conover brought back memories for myself because the training was similar in ways, but also had its differences. Conover overall, thought it was difficult to get used to a strict routine and have the instructors yell at them constantly. With the numerous amount of inspections of their clothes, along with their rooms, it was a stressful time. The main reason for this is to break down the person as a normal civilian and to then rebuild them as a corrections officer who is alert and pays attention to detail. I dealt with the same things. We would get yelled at constantly, have inspections, and go through physical training. I had it worse though. Unlike the correction officers academy that tries to build a good corrections officer, I was trained to be a killer, a warrior. That may sound barbaric, but the bravery and courage of fighting wars demands a lot from a person. The atmosphere of breaking down the civilian that all of us know and to build a warrior was not easy. I had went to Fort Knox, Kentucky, one of the only two places with all men. Because of us all being men, the training we had was more intense and harsh. While I was going through basic training, there were times where I hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. I cried on occasions. The good thing about the corrections academy is that at the end of the day and on weekends, they could go home and back into civilization. I on the otherhand stayed in the barracks for 10 weeks nonstop with phone calls home maybe once a week. Army basic trianing is a 24/7 operation. I could talk a lot more about my experiences, but that could take up many pages. In closing, even though Conover and the story he told about the academy being brutal or tough, it is nothing compared to what I went through. I would've traded places with Conover in a heartbeat.