Prison

Prison

     This isn’t really a blog per sé.  It is a series of articles that you can access via the fly-out menu you will get when you hover over “Prison” in the blogs drop down.

     I spent 2-1/2 years in the Washington State prison system and a couple of months in King County Jail.  I don’t know where movie and television get their ideas but the way they depict prison sure wasn’t my experience.

     In the general population, probably about half of the people there have severe mental illnesses, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and severe anxiety conditions (myself).  Left untreated, they aren’t going to be able to function in the outside world and their chances of getting treatment in prison are not very good.  The medications are very limited, either because of expense or the potential for abuse, to mostly substances that are not all that effective.  Likewise, therapy for mental conditions is almost non-existent.

     In the sex offender group, a non-trivial percentage are what they refer to as Romeo and Juliet cases, a high school senior and a sophomore have sex, usually they think they are in love, and so the male in that situation ends up spending a decade of his life for it.  If the female in the relationship is the older, she probably won’t do anywhere near the same amount of time if any.  Society has a funny thing about protecting female chastity that doesn’t extend to males.  You have to be really extreme, like Mary Kay Letourneau.

     I also saw that veterans were a much larger percentage of the prison population than the general population.  When you train someone to kill, they often have a hard time making a distinction between a foreign citizen and a US citizen, under the eyes of God they are all his creation, so that shouldn’t come as a big surprise.  There is also the matter of post traumatic stress disorder that often goes untreated.

     I’m going to use this section to express my ideas and relate my experiences with respect to what the prison system is doing right and wrong and what society is doing right or wrong.  I will relate experiences in individual drop down menu pages.  This section will grow as I have time to add to it.  This isn’t about getting revenge against individuals or a system that I felt wronged me, I know what I did was wrong and that I deserved punishment in excess of what I received. It’s about bettering society, reducing recidivism, and where possible initial offenses, so that people can live more fulfilling, happy, productive lives and we can experience a more pleasant, rewarding, productive, and also safer society.  This really requires a change to a more fact-based system of justice and a change away from our present fear / hysteria based system of justice.

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