Sunday, March 1, 2009

Journalist of the month: Gary Marx

Every month I praise a journalist who has been teaching me something that I will remember: journalists need some encouragement in today's crisis. Of course I usually try to pick somebody who just started. This month is different: the author, Gary Marx already had a brilliant career.
He wrote a piece in the Chicago Tribune that you can find here. The piece was recommended to me by my stumble friend Dan360 it is about the supermax prison of Tamms.The paper is superb and has stunning photographs.

I have a beef with the US jail system since I proposed to the local jail to give lessons in science and financial education and I was told that "only religious leaders were allowed to talk to convicts".
By contrast to jail, in a supermax prison, you find extremely bad people. I am under no illusion, because I was once victim of a psychopath; some people are evil and should be kept apart under lock and key. In the present state of science, they cannot be cured. Is it a reason to treat them like cattle? I do not see why, because I do not see what we gain from this: it is shameful.

To tell you the truth, I have worked all my life, and I resent people who do not work the best they can. So, not only they are bad people and we got to lock them up and feed them, but they do not contribute to society? We all work, not just to feed our family but to help each other. One person prepares bread, and one transports it, and one repairs the roads, and one builds houses: we all depend on each other, it is what makes this society successful. What kind of politics is it that makes the taxpayer pay through the nose to humiliate a bunch of evil guys for the next fifty years and then prevents prisoners to contribute to society the little they can? We have enough charities around that need help.
Prisons where I live, in GA, cost us a fortune,- we got half a million people in the system, and many people come out of it worse than they went in, despite the visits of religious leaders (but not scientists) of all kinds: it is time lost for them and for society. We should force them to learn: often they go to jail because they never learned anything. And if they are on the list of evil guys, by all means let us keep them locked and make them work.

There is in the bunch of prisoners a good proportion of people affected by mental diseases that could be cured. It makes sense to me that they are legally responsible, but it does not make sense that they are not treated when we can do it. Does it makes sense to you?

Bad people should learn and work like the rest of us and they should be shown as much humanity as security allows. Because humanity is what they do not have.

No comments: